Here Comes NOW . . .

by Little Miss Attila on August 8, 2011

Late. I’d say “better late than never,” but it was the negligence on the part of the National Organization for Women that supported, by its silence, the sexist trashing of Sarah Palin, who over the course of over two years was savaged—time after time—for the unspeakable crime of possessing a uterus and a brain.

The Daily Caller:

One of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s major political opponents is defending her against what it says is blatant sexism on the part of Newsweek magazine.

Monday, the National Organization for Women (NOW) spoke out against Newsweek’s most recent cover, which features an extreme close-up of Michele Bachmann and the title “The Queen of Rage.”

“It’s sexist,” NOW president Terry O’Neill told TheDC. “Casting her in that expression and then adding ‘The Queen of Rage’ I think [it is]. Gloria Steinem has a very simple test: If this were done to a man or would it ever be done to a man – has it ever been done to a man? Surely this has never been done to a man.”

While some have pointed out that Newsweek has used unflattering photos of men such as Rush Limbaugh and John McCain on its cover, O’Neill says that is not the issue.

“Who has ever called a man ‘The King of Rage?’ Basically what Newsweek magazine – and this is important, what Newsweek magazine, not a blog, Newsweek magazine – what they are saying of a woman who is a serious contender for President of the United States of America… They are basically casting her as a nut job,” O’Neill said. “The ‘Queen of Rage’ is something you apply to wrestlers or somebody who is crazy. They didn’t even do this to Howard Dean when he had his famous scream.”

What’s going on here? The charitable interpretation is that the leadership at NOW has had an attack of conscience; the less-charitable interpretation is that Governor Palin was perceived to be a serious threat to leftism, but that Rep. Bachmann is felt to be somehow safer, and the feminist extremists think she marginalizes herself with her occasional gaffes.

Which would make it okay to defend her against sexism—even if it’s the sexism of being linked to dangerous female anger, or having a bad photo reproduced on the cover of Tina Brown’s rag.

Much is made at NOW of the fact that this is News! Week! And yet, Andrew Sullivan lived for years in a conspiratorial world of his own, one he still inhabits, demanding Palin’s obstetrical records and asserting that she must somehow be Trig’s grandmother rather than his mother. (And never mind that this would have implied a rather superhuman uterus within Bristol Palin, and suggested that teenagers are somehow producing Downs Syndrome babies—rather than middle-aged ladies generally being the mothers thereof, which is how it happens in the Real World. The world of science and medicine.)

Where did Sullivan serve up this odd little stew? Well, as the top-billed blogger at The Atlantic, of course, where he was until he was snagged by . . . Tina Brown. The Atlantic also provided the pulpit from which Rev. Sullivan preached repeatedly that for a female Presidential candidate to take her baby on the campaign trail amounted to “using him as a prop.”

So much for females having the freedom to combine work with family life.

And NOW said nothing about that. For years.

Finally, it issued a weak-tea little statement to the effect that, “gosh, this whole business of dragging Palin through the mud and victimizing her underaged children–including her infant–is kind of regrettable. And–look! a Squirrel!” (I’m serious; go to the NOW website, and do a search for “Sarah Palin.” You’ll get four or five results dating back to 2008, most of which, essentially, blame the victim, because she was asking for it, what with the librarian haircut and the square-shaped glasses.)

Yes, the Newsweek cover is tasteless, and it’s probably sexist around the edges, too. But if the NOW thinks it’s going to erase the black eye it took due to its massive negligence regarding Sarah Palin—who was displayed on an astoundingly sexist picture on the cover of Newsweek, by the way—it’s very, very wrong about that.

Because conservative feminists haven’t forgotten. And if you’re back in the business of fighting sexism, NOW, you’re going to have to show a little bit of consistency. Some kind of commitment to the principles you supposedly espouse.

If you don’t, we shall go back to assuming that you aren’t really advocating for women at all, but rather for leftists, for the exploitation of women and girls by older men, for the mega-profitable abortion lobby, for fat-cat unions. For the con-jobs of limousine liberals.

And we will see what you’ve got.

We are watching.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

ponce August 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

“conservative feminists”

funny.

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Darrell August 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm

“ponce”
never funny.

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John August 9, 2011 at 4:34 am

Or truthful…

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Micha Elyi September 9, 2011 at 2:11 am

Agreed. Funny.

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John August 9, 2011 at 4:37 am

At some point after its founding, NOW became a wing of the Democratic Party in everything except name. This could be their first sign of wanting to be what they have always professed to being, or, as some people suspect, it’s a fig leaf.

We’ll see.

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richard mcenroe August 9, 2011 at 7:12 am

I wonder, did Newsweek ever admit the Palin photo was off the cover of a running magazine, hence the shorts?

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Mike August 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I’m with Stacy McCain. I think smart Conservative women are making a mistake trying to use the feminist label. Let the liberals who have besmirched it, keep it.

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Little Miss Attila August 10, 2011 at 12:39 am

Well, okay. So you would like to suggest another word for “anti-sexist, but in a conservatively correct way.” What is your recommendation?

I mean, I get that you’re not a sexist, but you don’t want to use the conventional term for antisexist. What do you have, here?

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Mike August 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I got nothin’.

But I did turn my current wife away from the dark side.

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ponce August 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Surrendered?

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Mike August 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I don’t surrender Dude, but I also don’t beat a dead horse either. If Conservative women want to fight for the feminist title and make it their own despite the efforts of the Progressive Liberals, more power to them. I, for one, am just glad they’re on my side.

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Darrell August 11, 2011 at 4:17 am

Feminist/feminist. It worked for Bill Ayers with the “C/c” shtick.
Or stick with “classical.”

John August 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I’d just like to say that I’m too much of a leg man to think that the running shorts cover is anything other than awesome.

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DaveO August 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

NOW criticizing one of their own, Tina Brown, is a bit of misdirection. When late spring/early summer of 2012 hits, NOW will point to this episode as evidence of their support for all women. Then they’ll instruct their minions to vote for a man, Obama.

Same ole, same ole. Happens every election cycle.

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Roxeanne de Luca August 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Cynical explanation: one of the reasons for the massive shellacking in November was that the gender gap was much narrower than it usually is. Women went to the GOP in droves. What that told NOW was that the Sarah-bashing won them the election in 2008 but did not do anything good in the long term for the Democrat machine. Perhaps this business of finally catching onto the sexism is nothing more than an attempt to woo women back to their side – or to at least not chase us more to the right.

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azmat Hussain September 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Roxeanne, please keep moving right to see how quickly you will erase any progress that the feminist movement has made.

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