Nancy Drew Feminism
On display at the Democratic National Convention, the new feminism.
September 16, 2012 - 12:00 am
I woke up a few mornings ago to the utter perplexing news that Red State founder Erick Erickson was in trouble for calling the speeches at the Democratic National Convention the “Vagina Monologues.”
Apparently, the truth is no defense anymore. I can’t offer a line-by-line fact check because I have successfully avoided the Broadway version of vagina dentata for the whole of its 11 years. But anyone with even passing knowledge of the dreaded Monologues knew it when they saw it, as it were, unfurling in speech after speech at the DNC.
For one brief, shining moment in the mid-1980s, feminism meant that you could actually do something about the Stop & Shop promoting a pot-smoking teen boy over a dozen older, more competent women with decades on the job.
Feminism now means that a 31-year-old woman with a Georgetown Law degree gets five minutes on the stage at a national political convention to whine about having to work six minutes a month to pay for her own contraceptives (which could be reduced to three if she asked her boyfriend to pay for half).
Which, she should. If feminism means anything.
I can imagine the cries of protest that Ms. Fluke was speaking for women who earn considerably less than a Georgetown Law grad, or that Fluke herself will not earn as much as Georgetown Law grads of the past because the economy is tanking (future Sandra Flukes may have to work upwards of seven or eight minutes a month to pay for the pill). But the Democrats did not put Sandra Fluke on the stage to talk about the economic crisis, or any other complex issue.
They put her on the stage to mutely embody government-funded contraception.
Feminism also now means that all those Teamsters and drill press operators who allegedly forge the backbone of the Democrats can no longer attend their own convention without hearing far more than they’d like about the endometrial travails and contraceptive minutiae of women who might be 25 or 35 or 45 but seem frozen at the age of “college girl.”
The funniest moment of the convention, for me, happened when yet another attractive young embodiment, Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Bruce, unleashed a gynecologically detailed yet otherwise vague anecdote about nameless doctors who allegedly failed to diagnose her health problem until she found solace and vindication in the arms of her local Planned Parenthood empaths. As Libby proceeded to vastly over-share, a cameraman zoomed in on one guy in the audience who looked as panicked as a raccoon caught in a trap.
Buddy, this ain’t your father’s DNC.
Interestingly, Ms. Bruce also announced to the world that she hoped that her newborn daughter would someday use Planned Parenthood too, which is tantamount to hoping out loud that your daughter grows up needing public assistance. It is a weird thing to say about a four-week old baby, though not nearly so weird as looking at a newborn baby and visualizing the baby’s first gynecological exam, then talking about it at a political convention.
This sort of weird is the new normal. In order to resist the hoary conspiracy of being “reduced to wombs,” today’s feminists have preemptively reduced themselves to wombs, or even just vaginas. Outside the conventions in Tampa and Charlotte, feminism’s most deranged denizens, Code Pink, totemically adored their bodies with feathered representations of female sex organs and walked the streets, utterly impervious to that irony, while at Planned Parenthood rallies nearby, younger women ratcheted up the denaturing by dressing as contraception itself.
Not so long ago, it was sad that even one little girl might grow up with dreams of becoming a sex columnist for Salon magazine. Now it’s apparently a career choice to stagger around dressed up as a giant Norplant, or Ortho TriCyclen. It’s as if these women were pleading with the DNC: “We’ve reduced our entire existence to exhibitionist behavior referencing our sex organs: will you please start taking us as seriously as the gays now?”
Unfortunately, this is no way to get real respect. Case in point: with little more than a fake Indian law professor tottering between them, Sandra Fluke and “Libby” Bruce were followed on stage by Bill Clinton. I know I was not the only viewer who recoiled at the sight of Clinton following up two attractive, dark-haired girl-women from planet permanent intern who spilled private details about their sexuality on the stage. What kind of woman-hating political operative planned this line-up? George Stephanopoulos works for ABC. Rahm Emanuel is super busy doing something in Chicago, right?
Watching Fluke, I couldn’t stop thinking about Monica Lewinsky’s own career track. Before the Democrats get away with accusing the Republicans of waging a “war on women” even one more time, Democrats’ real vision for, and of, their daughters needs to be confronted, because what they demonstrated at their convention was about as “empowering” for women as a drag queen’s portrayal of late-stage Liza Minnelli. Only, they don’t need the drag queens to make a mockery of female body parts anymore: women are doing it to themselves.
“Women Are Doing it to Themselves” could actually be the theme song for the devolution of the Democratic female: used for sex and discarded (Monica); helpless and girding herself hygienically on the public dime (Sandra); and, finally, mouth-less, man-less, and eyeless (Julia, the animated Dem-bot). I actually thought the “Julia” ad campaign was a Republican exaggeration until I got around to watching the video.
And I can’t believe I actually have to say this, but depicting women as mute car-crash dummies that lack either the integrity or the competence to collect child support from their babies’ daddies does not equal progress.
Nor does taking Georgetown Law grads and turning them into symbols for the pre-fertilization version of the same behavior, rather than turning to them for discussions about the economy, for example, or governance, or other types of knowledge law school grads ought to be able to articulate. You know, like the Republicans did at their convention
I do have to admit, though, that I like the new, barely talking version of Sandra Fluke far more than the old, testifying one. Remember Fluke’s testimony before Congress about a fellow Georgetown student and alleged rape victim who opted not to report the crime because she worried about having to “pay for a rape kit” if she did?
Fluke’s invented rape victim was a vile creation, though nobody in the media bothered to notice why this was so. For, if this woman really existed, how could she be so impervious to the vast anti-rape-activism industry of modern academia that she didn’t know to call a rape crisis center to find out if she would have to pay for a rape kit?
More to the point, what sort of woman would decide that she would rather let a real rapist go free to attack other women than take ten seconds to punch in the number of her campus’ rape crisis line? I can’t imagine such a woman actually existing, but if the story is real, it’s nothing to brag about to Congress.
Fluke’s rape story raises another dialectical query: what sort of woman would exploit the fears of sex crime victims for partisan political gain, then not use even a tiny portion of her fifteen minutes of subsequent fame to reassure women that rape kits are, in fact, not something they need to pay for under any circumstances, thanks to the work of real feminists?
That woman is Sandra Fluke. Fluke wasn’t standing up for rape victims in Congress that day: she was pimping the issue of rape. When Todd Akin similarly peddled ugly misinformation about rape, members of his own party quickly corrected the record. Not so with Fluke. Since Fluke’s fibbing, the Democrats have done nothing to reassure women that no woman needs to spend money in order to report a crime of sexual violence.
For to correct the record would muss up the real raison d’être of these whining, anti-feminist anti-heroes: not reproductive choice, but government dependency.
Watching the weird devolution of allegedly well-educated women unfold on the Democratic stage, I kept thinking about Nancy Drew, girl heroine with the sporty car and strawberry-blond hair who is supposed to be independent and clever and competent but always seems to find herself tied up in basements and needing rescue. The so-called feminists who allowed themselves to be used as the warm-up act for Bill Clinton painted a picture of women that could not be further from “empowerment,” be it sexual, intellectual, moral, or economic.