Roger L. Simon

What Happened to Feminism? Republican Women on the Rise

I lost it with the fuddy-duddy, seventies-style women’s libs after their pathetic non-response, post 9/11, to Islamic misogyny.

Stuck in time, the leftover libbers still regarded membership rules at Georgia country clubs as a more serious threat to women than the billion-plus people under Sharia law.

This reached its black comic apogee (for now) with Nicholas Kristof’s recent review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book in that bastion of feminism, the New York Times. Kristof — husband of the Times‘ Sheryl WuDunn — attacked a woman whose filmmaking partner was assassinated by an Islamist, who has had a forced clitorectomy, and who is under constant threat of being murdered … for going too far in her criticisms of Islam.

Oh well. What’s a little multiculturalism among “feminist” friends?

Meanwhile, in the real world of yesterday’s election results, Republican women seem to be gaining everywhere, breaking glass ceilings as if they weren’t even there. As my grandmother used to tell me, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do.

Some of that doing is occurring — and none too soon — in my home state of California where Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina will be helming the Republican ticket this November in the gubernatorial and senatorial slots.

These are going to be fascinating races.

Incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer is known to be one of the most rigid and conventional liberals in Congress. (I use the term “liberal” in the modern, reified sense, even though it’s factually meaningless and has nothing to do with being liberal.) So don’t expect any original thinking from her, just more pandering to her base of union members and exploited ethnic groups.

One-time Governor Jerry Brown is another matter. Vastly more intelligent than Boxer (no challenge there, I know), Brown realizes the state of California has an unprecedented financial crisis and cannot even begin to afford the “liberal” economic policies instituted by his father and continued by Jerry himself while in his first go-round as governor.

So what to do? How does Jerry distance himself from … himself?

Well, maybe he should hire Phil Jackson as his campaign manager. In any case, last night you could hear Jerry, in his acceptance speech, starting to make a move rightward while pretending to be left.  Yet to me, he still sounded like an old hack wearing a Zen hat — although not nearly as much of a hack as one of the men who introduced him and was hogging the television stage, L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (A well-known philanderer and women’s movement supporter — are we detecting a pattern here?)

For businesswomen Whitman and Fiorina, the task is to convince the electorate that they need, well, businesswomen in office at a time of extreme economic crisis. With California unemployment the highest it has been since the Depression, and businesses fleeing the state like lemmings jumping off the Queen Mary, that would seem like a no-brainer. But time will tell, obviously.

Meanwhile, Pajamas Media will be tracking all this. Just as we did in Massachusetts, we have commissioned CrossTarget to do a poll for us of the two key California elections. The results should be appearing here and on PJTV in the next day or so. It is our intention to follow the California elections as closely as possible: we’re a California company, after all, and California is — for now anyway — our most populous state.

In closing, a special nod is due our blogging colleague Mickey Kaus, who came in a respectable third in the Democratic Senatorial primary with 5.3% of the vote. Just one question for Kaus: Will you be voting for Boxer in November when your views, as outlined during the campaign, seem so much more closely aligned with Fiorina’s?