…and jump into the argument between two of the people I am most fond of on the net.
I’ve already talked about what I think of and owe Stacy McCain and There is no person in bloggerdom whose company I enjoy more than Little Miss Attila, but this is getting ridiculous.
Stacy put out 4000 words last night on the History of feminism. It is very detailed and quite a read. I would recommend it to anyone.
Yesterday Joy today fisked a previous Stacy’s post and answered his magnum opus with a single drawing and two sentences proving she is an expert in blog Jujutsu.
I haven’t talked to either Stacy or Joy about this exchange but I am going to comment very briefly on the substance and I’ll let them correct me if I’m misinterpreting it either of them.
The way I see it Stacy is saying that Feminism and its origins are a lot less clean than a lot of people see it and that conservatives should avoid being seen as “feminists” because it means something that is quite different that what we think it does.
The way I see it Attila is defending Feminism or what she is calling equity feminism and saying that is is not invalid for a conservative to believe in it.
A lot of this is starting to look like dogs chasing tales so lets cut to that chase:
1. Per Stacy’s argument, There are a lot of nasty roots in the feminist movement, just as there were a lot of people happy to break bread with the communists in the civil rights movement. We might even stipulate that both groups used addressing an actual wrong (Jim Crow and inequality before the law of the sexes) to advance something they were more loyal to (the overthrow of capitalism and western culture that they found racist and/or sexist). Thus feminism means something and we should let the left have that label and stew in it.
2. Per Attila’s argument the basic equality before the law of women (and the equality of souls in the before the eyes of God) is a basic human right. Such a belief and the advancement of said belief is feminism 101 in the same way that belief in Christ is Christianity 101. One can adopt the label feminist without paying homage to the leftist maxims of some of those who followed it at the time. Or to use the Christian example, Protestants don’t shun the term Christian because we Catholics were using it hundreds of years before Luther was a gleam in his mother’s eye.
In terms of an intellectual point and history, Stacy makes good points, but I think he is forgetting something about society.
Words mean things as he says but the meaning of words change over time. 150 years if someone said “Michael Jordan is cool” the answer expected would be “Well have him come closer to the fireplace.” More importantly the public perception of the meaning of those words change.
When society thinks of the word feminism, they do not think of the Marxist roots or any of the class warfare BS that the left was trying to peddle, they are thinking simply of the base equality before the law of the sexes. The terms has become mainstreamed to the point where it can be used without incident.
Stacy correctly worries that like planned parenthood’s Eugenic past, this allows Radical feminists such as NOW and those in the gender studies department to co-op the uninformed because people think they are simply supporting woman’s rights when they are in fact supporting wrongs, wrongs simply used to sexualize our society even further or as a club to beat Western Civilization, Christianity and the US while ignoring actual wrongs against women in the East and in Islam. It’s a valid worry and I think it is very important to call them out loudly and regularly!
Happily there is an easy and well known term for such people propagated over the last two decades, that can be used without using the now generic terms Feminist: Feminazi.
I submit it would be healthier and easier to deploy the Feminazi term, particularly within the movement than to try and insist people stop deploying the, I submit now generic term “feminist”. In terms of changing hearts and minds I say its the best move. Additionally it forces the feminist left (read feminazi) to explain why a Sarah Palin or a Michelle Bachmann or a Tammy Bruce or a Little Miss Attila is “not” a feminist. Inevitably their anger leads them instead into the trap of proclaiming that they are not valid “women” retreating into a level of misogyny that alienates regular people and forces honest feminists to recoil, thus dividing them.
Or to put it another way Stacy has a good intellectual point, both socially and politically I think its to our disadvantage.
And although it is entertaining intellectually (and may or may not have been productive in terms of hits) I think that like Road Runner cartoons this is getting too long. I can’t think it’s generating enough hits to make it worth going on.
Stacy thinks we should abandon the term feminism to the left: Fine, that’s a valid opinion but I disagree.
Attila thinks we should not: Fine, that’s a valid opinion too. I agree and state why.
Now excuse me while I duck for cover.
Update: Cripes that generated a bunch of comments and links quickly. Maybe I should just schedule them together on the show and let them have it out. April 2nd is open.