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Jewish World Review
March 10, 2008
/ 3 Adar II 5768
The impending death of feminism
Enough is enough. Hillary Clinton has made history already; she has shown us that a woman can be a major presidential candidate. But as we are here living history, I'd like it to now be history.
Simply put, I don't want a woman president. Not if she's running to be a "woman president" and not the leader of the United States.
I'm deeply grateful to my junior senator. Her defeat this year would be a significant milestone for American women: The death of the feminist movement. It would mark the end of the silly-women-talk on the national political scene. The beginning of female candidates running as candidates, without a heavy serving of identity politics.
The great feminist lie was exposed when Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle quit after some 16 years with the senator, using the excuse of her 6-year-old son. As the story goes, upon returning home after two months on the campaign trail, her son rejected her. "I want Daddy," he insisted. Solis Doyle broke out in tears and announced to her husband, "Joey doesn't want me. ... I'm quitting."
Few believe Joey was the only reason she quit. She left the campaign in a state of disarray, with reports of internal fighting and a dire outlook. But she did quit, and with a spotlight on her son, she revealed more than the sisterhood would have liked. America is ready to quit this feminist silliness that men and women are equal, and that women don't have different, natural responsibilities to the children they give birth to than men do.
The icing on the cake, however, may have been the overwhelming and overbearing presence of Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem on the Clinton campaign trail. I thought she had nailed the coffin on feminism shut for good when she announced in The New York Times that Clinton's lackluster campaign was evidence that women have it worse in the United States than blacks. "Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House," she wrote.
However, Steinem popped up again right before the Texas and Ohio primaries, ridiculously and shamefully attacking Sen. John McCain's time as a prisoner of war. She said: "Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain, and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. (The media would ask), 'What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?'"
Egging on laughter from the audience, she added, "I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don't think so."
Further disgracing Clinton and the movement she's lead, Steinem continued her speech: "I am so grateful that she (Clinton) hasn't been trained to kill anybody. And she probably didn't even play war games as a kid. It's a great relief from Bush in his jump suit and from Kerry saluting."
We could have seen this coming. The first serious female candidate for president would have to be a maverick if she were going to be a true leader, fearless to break free from the apron strings of her liberal feminist sisters. Instead, she bought into their script: Women are victims, and it will take a woman to ascend to the presidency on the shoulders of the feminist movement for the glass of oppression to break. Besides being downright incorrect, it's a political ditz-dance. For years now, groups like The White House Project have devoted themselves to the urgency of electing a female president. To show how devoid of reality their crusade has been, rewind back to the 2005 TV series "Commander in Chief," with Geena Davis in the starring presidential role. Watching the premiere of that TV show, the head of the White House Project, Marie Wilson, exclaimed, "Isn't that the best thing that ever happened?" It is hard to believe that the best thing ever to have happened is a doomed TV show. But, in a room of crying feminists, Wilson announced, "I must have seen this eight times ... and I keep trying to watch it without crying."
Sadly, real politics this year hasn't fallen too far from the Ms. Ridiculous tree. Given that we're at war, I'd like a candidate who is not playing an identity politics game. I'd like a candidate whose executive experience is more than pillow talk with a president of the United States. I'd like a candidate who is a grown-up and doesn't let her surrogates try to steal her opponents' GI Joes. But I have the audacity to hope the next woman who runs will run because she's qualified to be commander in chief, not because she's a uterine-American.
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