Friday, March 11, 2011

Right-Brained Ignoramus

I've been following the back-and-forth between RSM and some female conservative bloggers on the topic of feminism and the difference between Sarah Palin feminism (if such a thing exists) and radical leftist feminism.

I've read the posts by Stacy and Little Miss Attila, as well as the Barbara Kay piece that started the discussion, thinking about where I come down on the issue.

Personally, I think it's a question of semantics.

To my mind, the word feminism refers only to the leftist movement which I consider to be not about the advancement of women, but the settling of grudges. I'm aware that Sarah Palin considers herself a feminist... and I happen to disagree with her.

But I do generally agree with McCain when he takes on feminists. And it was with great interest that I read his opinion on female conservative writers who've wanted to argue that their feminism is different, and that he does a disservice by not recognizing that fact. He quotes a comment by Roxanne De Luca as he defines the case against him:
"...I am doing a "disservice to the conservative movement"? Because my "line of reasoning" is allegedly offensive to "left-brained, educated women"? (Implied: Any woman who defends him is a right-brained ignoramus!)
Well... enter right-brained ignoramus.

That's right.

I. Am. A. Girl.

Rather, a woman. Whatever... I am the proud owner of my very own vagina.

Oh. And I also have a brain.

That's my problem with feminism. I have a mind of my own, and I don't need to be told I'm a victim. Or that society must change utterly for my convenience. Or that I need advocates in order to be just as good as any man.

In nearly forty years walking around on this planet, I have never felt oppressed. I have never felt as though I couldn't do anything a man might (with the exception of my inability to "write my name in the snow", which is kind of a bummer).

I'm an at-home mom with a busload of kids, and I don't feel that I've wasted my life or missed out on a career. Instead, like many women in my position, I have sacrificed things I consider of lesser value in order to do something I consider both important and rewarding.

The feminists won't recognize that. So they don't speak for me.

Now, I realize I'm probably not McCain's vision of the ideal conservative spokeswoman. I'm a social libertarian, and a scofflaw one at that. And since I have less education (formal or informal) on organized feminism and I tend to call them names (although I prefer femininny to feminazi), I probably qualify as a ranting, random ignoramus like he mentions in his post.

But I am a woman. And I believe feminism is a heinous movement which serves to divide the sexes and denigrate men. I believe the completely wrongheaded ideas of feminism are dangerous to women -- especially young women who buy into the notion that enough activism and sister solidarity will render the world a safe place to be a sheep.

McCain wrote:
"...I was born with a penis, and no one born with a penis can be permitted to write with authority as a critic of feminism."
All right then. I was not born with a penis. And while I'm not sure how much authority I project when writing, I am a critic of feminism.

I've never mentioned my gender on this blog. I didn't want it to be about me personally, but about what was on my mind at any given moment. Though I gotta say, I damn near posted it once... back when PunditMom accused me of "unsubstantiated mockery" and offered to defend me if the New York Times ever started mistreating men.

(Note to PM: On rereading that post, I still feel you're guilty of a silly overreaction and have no one to blame for getting pegged as a "mommy blogger".)

And I happen to agree with McCain wholeheartedly. We don't need conservative feminists. We don't need feminists, period. Rather than bemoan the young women lost to the left because conservatism doesn't embrace feminist nonsense, we should be counteracting the effects of leftist teachings by telling young women that feminism is a flawed concept that demands unequal treatment in the name of equality, and leaves no room for common sense.

Why this is a problem is a mystery to me. We don't have black conservatives arguing for affirmative action, reparations and a "reclaiming" of the NAACP. Instead, they are wise enough to know that an ideology of victimhood has been one of their greatest obstacles -- and they stand against it. Conservative women should take a similar view of feminism.

He may not get agreement from "conservative feminist" women who can't see past their own gender... but he's got this former-liberal, apatheist, socially libertarian, female right-brained ignoramus firmly in his corner. (On this subject, at least.)

--------------
Update:
Better than a link.
A whole post from the man himself! Thank you!
Welcome folks from The Other McCain!

Oh, gee. Another, from Little Miss Attila.
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Update 2.0:
I'm not done.

21 comments:

Attila Girl said...

Congratulations. You've just distorted my positions almost as much as Stacy habitually does.

This is a shame, because there are much more important things we could be discussing rather than whether it's legitimate for me to use that word to describe myself, or whether Governor Palin should be allowed to do so.

What Stacy is doing--and you are enabling--is a right-wing version of politically correct speech wherein real ideas can't properly be discussed because everyone is tangled up in petty issues of semantics.

In fact, the philosophy you propose is pretty close to my own--there is NO reason that having a female body should prevent us from exercising our brains, or vice versa. And not only would Governor Palin agree with me, I think she's pretty much demonstrated that she agrees with both of us.

Not every woman on the right likes that word--some do, some don't. It has a lot of luggage. But whether one acknowledges the existence of "equity feminism" (the simple leave-me-alone type that is compatible with conservatism) should be an individual choice.

It's a personal decision.

What I personally won't put up with is other people who claim to be promoters-of-freedom policing my use of the English language.

ScratcherMMBI said...

That's a grossly unfair accusation. How can I distort your positions when I barely touch on them?

You can call yourself what you like, as can Governor Palin... but I think it's those who choose to do so that do a true disservice.

I have daughters. They'll be raised to believe they can do anything and match up to anyone, man or woman. But they won't be told that's feminism. They'll be told it's simple truth and they should demand no less.

They'll be told that feminism is a victimhood mentality.

Cassandra said...

How can you distort Joy's positions when you barely even touched on them? About 90% of what you wrote here has nothing to do with the actual arguments I read today. I have no idea what you were reading, but the two excerpts you chose from all the blather today are both gross distortions of what actually happened.

You begin your post with a quote from Stacy in which he puts words in Roxanne's mouth. Apparently, the made up part of that comment upset you so much that you quoted it twice. And bolded it too!

Can you see any logical problems with writing an entire post in response to something that was never said, or is this a normal practice for you?

As far as I saw today (and I'll gladly admit to being wrong if you can show me the evidence) Roxanne didn't call him (or you, or anyone) a "right brained ignoramus". You can choose to take offense at something she didn't say. You can even write an entire post about it and no one will try to stop you, regardless of your interior plumbing more closely resembles an innie or an outie!

No one tried to stop Stacy either, despite his repeat complaints that "no one is allowed to say anything about feminism"(to the tune of 4 posts in one day!) if they have a penis.

Personally I am glad Stacy has a penis, so long as I am not forced to look at it. I do wish he would stop acting like a victim simply because a few women disagreed with him on various grounds, but America is a free country.

Cheers :)

ScratcherMMBI said...

About 90% of what I wrote on here was in reference to leftist feminism. I said "Stacy's post got me thinking..." I did NOT say "Enjoy my play by play and verbatim coverage of someone else's conversation." I'm under no obligation to provide you full and accurate coverage.

"You begin your post with a quote from Stacy in which he puts words in Roxanne's mouth. Apparently, the made up part of that comment upset you so much that you quoted it twice. And bolded it too!"

He didn't put words in anyone's mouth. He wrote "implied". "Right-brained ignoramus" was Stacy's own phrase. And it didn't upset me. I'm not a Sister in the Culture of Victimhood. It was snark, you humorless thing. And it was bolded and repeated as a kind of sarcastic hyperbole.

So, to answer your question, is that normal practice for me? You bet your ass.

Why don't you climb down off your high horse and see if you can find your misplaced sense of humor. Good grief.

Attila Girl said...

This whole thing is really sad, because I really doubt that you disagree with Roxeanne, Darleen, Cassandra and me on much of anything, exept that we think there is such a thing as "equity feminism." That's a small matter in the overall scheme of things.

But as for this:

He didn't put words in anyone's mouth. He wrote "implied".

Only one problem with that: Roxeanne didn't imply any such thing.

"Right-brained ignoramus" was Stacy's own phrase. And it didn't upset me.

Of course it didn't. Because he was "defending" people like you from people like us, with whom you don't have any real disagreement except when Stacy McCain is blowing something out of proportion.

I'm not a Sister in the Culture of Victimhood. It was snark, you humorless thing. And it was bolded and repeated as a kind of sarcastic hyperbole.

We got the snark. But I'm not so sure, from the tenor of your post, that you aren't, after all, a "sister in the Culture of Victimhood." After all, you sound a little . . . defensive about identifying yourself as right-brain-dominant.

So, to answer your question, is that normal practice for me? You bet your ass.

Whining? That's normal for you? That's no way to go through life, young lady.

Why don't you climb down off your high horse and see if you can find your misplaced sense of humor. Good grief.

Hey. You inserted yourself into a long-standing conflict between Stacy and me. You want to play with the big girls, or go home? It's really all the same to me.

You're within your rights to agree with him that Sarah Palin is so idiotic she doesn't even know what she thinks about herself.

But it seems a bit disrespectful to imply such at thing.

And it is funny--in a way. But mostly, it's just sad.

ScratcherMMBI said...

"Roxeanne didn't imply any such thing."

Maybe you took it as gospel. I read it as sarcasm. And repeated it in the same spirit.

"You inserted yourself into a long-standing conflict between Stacy and me."

Uh.. no, O Narcissistic one. I read a few posts back and forth about a topic I've blogged about before, and it got me thinking. You personally weren't even an afterthought.

"You're within your rights to agree with him that Sarah Palin is so idiotic she doesn't even know what she thinks about herself."

Now who's distorting? I said nothing of the sort. She thinks she's a feminist. I think she's not.

"You want to play with the big girls, or go home?"

What is this -- high school?... "or go home"... I AM home. This is my place. You've been rude, dishonest and patronizing for no reason.

Attila Girl said...

"You've been rude, dishonest and patronizing for no reason."

Justify your charge of dishonesty, or withdraw it.

You mocked a friend of mine--an asset to the conservative movement, and a good, decent Christian woman. By name. Is that really your idea of lighthearted fun? Because if making fun of people is "humor," I can certainly show you that.

You've also implied that we don't have respect for women's roles as mothers--even though some of these ladies are mothers.

If you don't feel that you have any use for conservative women who see strands of virtue in equity feminism, that might just be an amazing coincidence, Ms. Itch.

I'm starting to think I don't have much use for you.

Chuck said...

Anyone who believes in "feminism" as something innately good must also be a "masculinist" as well...or simply a hater.

Take your pick.

ScratcherMMBI said...

"Justify your charge of dishonesty, or withdraw it."

The first comment you left here was dishonest. You MISREAD remarks about leftists as being about yourself, and came here making accusations... for which you have still not apologized. I'll withdraw nothing. You also created that remark about Palin being an idiot from whole cloth.

"You mocked a friend of mine"

There you go again. I did no such thing. She was not mocked, as it was not her phrase I used. And I only used her name near the quote from Stacy because HE had. I also linked your site and Barbara McKay's piece... because they were linked in the RSM piece I was posting about. It was an effort to be sure anyone who wondered what I was talking about could find their way to the original conversations and see what mental station my train of thought had started from. Next time I link RSM because he gets me thinking about something, I won't bother to try to include links and attribute.

"You've also implied that we don't have respect for women's roles as mothers"

That was NOT ABOUT YOU. Reread the goddamn post, or let me be about it.

A discussion about conservative feminism got me thinking. I already thought (and stated) that I don't consider Sarah Palin a feminist. I talked about what I think of when I think feminism -- radical leftists and their dangerous ideas. And you assume it's all about you.

"I'm starting to think I don't have much use for you."

Then we agree on something.

Most of what you're pissed about had nothing to do with you. As such, I don't appreciate your venom.

Attila Girl said...

"Justify your charge of dishonesty, or withdraw it."

"The first comment you left here was dishonest. You MISREAD remarks about leftists as being about yourself, and came here making accusations... for which you have still not apologized."

So you feel that I made a mistake, and you can--honestly--characterize that as "dishonesty." Interesting.

"I'll withdraw nothing. You also created that remark about Palin being an idiot from whole cloth."

Well, you called her a "person who doesn't even know whether she's a feminist, even though she's in public life and has clearly thought this through." If that isn't an idiot, I don't know what is.

BTW, Merriam-Webster defines "feminism" as: "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes"--pretty innocuous stuff, so I don't see why you're so determined to pick a fight with those of us who believe in it.

ScratcherMMBI said...

"So you feel that I made a mistake, and you can--honestly--characterize that as "dishonesty.""

When I've made a good faith effort to explain, and you keep at it... yes.

"you called her a "person who doesn't even know whether she's a feminist, even though she's in public life and has clearly thought this through." "

WHERE?! Where did I say that? You're despicable, really. I said she considers herself a feminist, and I happen to disagree. Yet you put that in quotes! You're guilty of exactly what you're accusing me of.

Roxeanne de Luca said...

He didn't put words in anyone's mouth. He wrote "implied". "Right-brained ignoramus" was Stacy's own phrase.
Stacy's own phrase... used in reference to something I said... but taking it several steps further via implication.... But that's totally not putting words in my mouth, not at all, no siree.

WHAT?

My comment, for the record, was in reference to the fact that the super-majority of women like feminism and self-identify as feminists. We can either scowl down at feminism because brain trusts like Amanda Marcotte have turned it into a "Screw everyone you can and get Obamacare to pay for it" movement, or we can take it back and show how a lot of the original goals - individual liberty, freedom, responsibility - are not just compatible with the conservative movement, but are part and parcel of it.

However that turned into repressing Stacy's uppity penis is beyond me.

Attila Girl said...

Well, at least you are consistent: you refuse to either use contextual clues in your writing, or notice them when others do so.

Intuition ought to tell you that, but . . . sadly, you don't appear to be right-brained enough to make the playing field level at all.

ScratcherMMBI said...

"Stacy's own phrase... used in reference to something I said... but taking it several steps further via implication.... But that's totally not putting words in my mouth, not at all, no siree."

If I were mocking you, I'd have used your words.

"My comment, for the record,the super-majority of women like feminism and self-identify as feminists"

I understood your comment... and unlike you, I took it as a separate thing from Stacy's remark. But to address your specific comment: I do not consider myself a feminist. Most of the women I know do NOT self-identify as feminist. Could that be because we move in different circles, or could it have a geographical component? Possibly/probably. The point is, you don't speak for all women any more than I do. That doesn't mean that my experience or point of view is invalid.

I don't think we need to reclaim feminism - partly because it was never my philosophy to begin with. You disagree... that's fine. This difference of opinion doesn't need to be a war.

"However that turned into repressing Stacy's uppity penis is beyond me."

I could care less about his penis. I do agree that men are often cut off at the knees when they attempt to criticize feminism. As are women who don't toe the gender-approved line, apparently...

Attila Girl said...

Except that there are plenty of conservative female bloggers who don't use the "feminist" label. Hell--Cassandra doesn't usually identify with it, either.

And we don't hassle them about it, because we don't care.

I only go on the attack about it to defend myself against those who presume to tell me whether I should be allowed to use the term.

My general philosophy is "live and let live."

Unless you attack me, or my friends.

ScratcherMMBI said...

"I only go on the attack about it to defend myself against those who presume to tell me whether I should be allowed to use the term."

I didn't presume to tell you anything. I disagree with you. And with Sarah Palin.

The day I begin a campaign to stamp out parts of your vocabulary, you can behave as you have. In the meantime, I'll think and say what I damn please. You're entitled to disagree, but my words are as legitimate as yours.

This didn't need to be confrontational. I've had exchanges with radical leftist feminists that were more pleasant, although we disagreed as fundamentally as you and I do. You want to be nasty, and your latest insults have been geared more toward my genitals than my thoughts. You debate like a raging liberal, and while I previously held no opinion of you one way or the other, I'm rapidly coming to dislike you.

Attila Girl said...

"This didn't need to be confrontational."

No, it did not.

It saddens me that you took that approach, and that you persisted in going down that road.

ScratcherMMBI said...

It saddens you. Please. You're referring to me as Mrs. Vaginal Itch on your site, but my discourse saddens you.

http://littlemissattila.com/?p=20764

You're a real piece of work.

Well, since we're showing how adept we are at the "new civility", try this one:

Go fuck yourself. Sincerely.

Roxeanne de Luca said...

This difference of opinion doesn't need to be a war.

Odd, because I posted a single comment at LMA's site a few days ago, and then found my words and name splashed all over the internet to be mocked. Then you pull the passive-aggressive move of the century and tell the lovely woman who sticks up for me that she's getting bent out of shape over nothing.

Scratch, you made this war. The fact that the fallout makes a Japanese nuclear reactor look safe is a problem that rests at your own feet, with your own smarmy post.

People do say to not assume malice when ignorance is an equally viable option, but since you so snarkily said that you have a brain... well, forgive Little Miss Attila and I for taking you at your word and then going to the only other option: disingenuous, passive-aggressive bitch.

Attila Girl said...

Hey--I was mild-mannered for a long time, but I simply couldn't get through, and she kept escalating.

In fights, they advise against leading with the chin; for that matter, they ought to caution against leading with one's vagina.

ScratcherMMBI said...

Here's some passive aggression for ya...

http://makesmybrainitch.blogspot.com/2011/03/harpies-travel-in-flocks.html