...they don't like women. At least, the women who aren't on their clubby little approval list.
I bowed out of the feminist movement early. I thought the movement was about choice for women: opening up job opportunities for females should they choose (through personal want or dire need) to enter the workplace. But for those who wanted to enjoy the traditional role of mother or wife, her choice would be honored as well.
I discovered that was not the case, much to my dismay. Feminists derided women who still chose to work in traditional positions. I was and am one of those women who enjoy serving in the traditional role. When I was teaching elementary school I also chose to stay at home in the summers and be a wife. If I had had children, I would have stayed home to rear them. Those choices are not kosher to the militant 'break the glass ceiling' kind of feminists who think that any sentence with the word 'serve' in it means the person who uttered it is a moron.
For women like Sarah Palin, who hold traditional values (I mean biblically traditional, not secularly traditional: valuing life, staying married, rearing family personally, and loving Jesus) I am pleased to see that they are also successful in the public forum. Palin believes "that women can balance family life with ambitious careers," something I thought the feminist movement was supportive of. Of her pregnancy while being Governor, Palin had said, "To any critics who say a woman can't think and work and carry a baby at the same time," she said, "I'd just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave." But feminists like Steinem disavow any support for women like Palin and that is why ultimately I became disenchanted with the feminist movement.
It is too bad that the feminist movement has secret strings attached. If you sign on, you must seek a high-powered career, not one that involves staying at home. If you sign on, you must be a Democrat, not a Republican. Gloria Steinem, poster-woman for the feminist movement, said this week of Palin:
"She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs ..." So when did these positions get relegated to the second class status in Ms. Steinem's club? Who says a majority believe them? Why are Palin's positions somehow not acceptable, but Steinem's are? Finally, why do Palin's positions deserve derision from the very movement that offered women a place to promote them in the public spheres?
Steinem goes on to say "we" women owe much to "Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House." Reader, understand that Chisholm was listed and lauded by the feminists because she was a Democrat. Steinem and other feminists who deride Palin forget the accomplishments of women like Margaret Chase Smith:
"Former Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Maine's First Lady, is perhaps best known for her contribution to the well being of the United States and its people with her consistent stand for the condemnation of bigotry and injustice wherever she found it. Her stand against "McCarthyism" in the early 1950's marked her outstanding courage and devotion to conscience and justice."
"Margaret Chase Smith is the only woman elected to serve in both houses of Congress. She was first elected to the House of Representatives from the Second District of Maine in 1940. In 1948, Mrs. Smith was elected to the United States Senate by an overwhelming margin. She received the greatest total vote majority in Maine history."
"In 1954, when Senator Smith was re-elected to a second term in the Senate, she received the most votes of all candidates for all offices. In the primary that year, she set a new record for the total number of votes received in a contested primary, a great illustration to all women that gender is not an obstacle if one is willing to work hard and be honest. In 1966, the Senator repeated her record."
"Senator Smith put her name at the forefront of women's achievements that have significantly improved the lives of women when, at the Republican Convention in 1964, her name was placed in nomination for the President of the United States. This is the first time a woman had been so nominated by a major political party."
Gee. And nary a mention by Ms. Steinem. But not surprising: Chase was a Republican.
To be a feminist you have to believe only certain things, behave a certain way, subscribe to certain mores. And here I thought all that went out with the Victorian era.