Thursday, February 24, 2005

Feminism Smackdown

I've always enjoyed Susan Estrich's perspective, even though I often found it to be balderdash for the most part.

The Washington Examiner, (courtesy of Galley Slaves), reproduced a rather unpleasant exchange between a fairly belligerent Estrich and a concomitantly irritated and uncooperative Michael Kinsley. Estrich threatens and gets personal with Kinsley regarding his Parkinson's Disease. Kinsley freezes her out.

And then comes this excellent piece by Heather MacDonald (courtesy RealClearPolitics) which puts Estrich in her place. Everyone knows that Susan Estrich is a radical feminist. She also can be a very witty and sensible person, but both of those features are gone in this exchange, revealing a sarcastic and bitter gender advocate.

I can't divide up MacDonald's article as effectively as she did Estrich's rants, but I'll give it a try. Estrich is focused on voices for liberal women, not just women. Estrich thinks that women should get just as much column space as men do, regardless of the merit of the writers' work. But more importantly, she seems to favor women who write about women's issues. And who the heck wants to read about that?

Can't women write about Iraq, Social Security, terrorism, tax policy, federal judges and the like? I don't mean to sound unkind, but seriously, the gender stuff is an isolated cry of days gone by. It is an effort for liberal women to advance an agenda that is more about bitterness towards men and sameness (not equality, mind you) between the genders.

Estrich's vision for women columnists needs to extend beyond leftism and gender politics. Because really, who cares? If women are to be legitimate participants in the marketplace of ideas, people like Susan Estrich need to get past the notion that women writers need to be liberal or primarily concerned with the very limited issues that concern liberal women. Because it would be insulting to say that men command all of the other issues, now wouldn't it?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your comment regarding the importance of women writing about issues besides gender issues. It is absolutely imperative that women stop playing the role of abused victim and step up to other roles. That may mean roles traditionally held by men or it may mean a conscience decision to hold the role of wife and mother. Whatever each individual decision the trend needs to move towards equality. - christy D

2:45 PM  

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