The Queen of Rage

August 11, 2011 at 12:34 am 8 comments

Cover of "The Stepford Wives"

Cover of The Stepford Wives

Usually whenever some Fox news pundit goes on and on like a broken record about the liberal bias of the mainstream media, I have to laugh. However, the conservatives have a point when they bring up the latest Newsweek cover of Michelle Bachman. They titled the cover story, “Queen of Rage,” and they have a photo of Bachman looking like a mildly surprised homicidal Stepford Wife.

Tina Brown, the female editor of Newsweek, has worked overtime at implying that Bachman is crazy. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bachman is no friend of mine, and she certainly is no friend of the feminists. However, that doesn’t mean that tactics like Brown’s are acceptable in an attempt to make her unpalatable to Iowa voters.

Here we have a woman who’s running for the office of President of the United States of America. Ask yourself this: would any man who’s running for President be treated with the same indignity? I think the answer is no. So, is the Newsweek cover blatantly sexist? You bet your sweet bippy it is.

You don’t need to go searching through the galleries until you come up with the one photo of Michelle Bachman that’s actually unattractive. I mean, just how long and hard did Tina Brown have to search to come up with a single photo of Bachman that’s not flattering? My guess is: hours. In fact, the woman is so beautiful that I’m going to have to see her and Sarah Palin in a room together before I’m convinced that they aren’t the same person.

Michelle Bachman can be called a lot of things, including, perhaps, legitimately crazy and even dangerously simple-minded, but the way we judge those things shouldn’t be based on her appearance, but rather based on the substance of her campaign, her platform, her speeches, her words. There’s lots of fuel for the fire there.

Shame on Tina Brown for resorting to this kind of yellow journalism. It’s like a one-sided catfight in print. It’s the picture that was substituted where a thousand words would do. And Brown makes the loonies at Fox News actually right for once. She also makes me, as a feminist, have to defend a woman whose politics I abhor.


Entry filed under: Current Events, Ethics, Media, Politics, Women's Rights. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nullpointer  |  August 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Here’s an example of Newsweek doing it to a male Republican candidate.

    Also, if Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin run for office, I’m voting for them. The sooner we get done with smashing the system into broken bits, the sooner we’ll be able to start re-building.

    I also think there’s a little bit of the Phyllis Schafly “traitor” effect going on. A lot of feminists accused Schafly of being a traitor for helping kill the equal rights amendment. It seems an affront that a smart, beautiful, and articulate woman would disagree with the feminist platform. After all is feminism not entirely correct? Must we not stamp out anything that has a whiff of discrimination anywhere?

    I laugh, because Schafly, contrary to Steinem’s insistance otherwise was successful without “feminism”. In fact, there is a long history of women who have built successful business empires, gave us revered artistic works, ruled over nations, and achieved great power on their own without resort to feminism (before feminism even existed). What we call feminism today does a lot more harm than good in that it inculcates a victim mentality (similar to black and minority communities) that redirects efforts to using government policy and force to impose equalization instead encouraging people to pursue whatever life path they so chose.

    Women never need feminism, feminism needed them.

    • 2. Author  |  August 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      I’m sure that there were many successful women prior to second wave feminism, which is probably what you’re talking about when you refer to “feminism.” It’s just that we would never have heard about them if it weren’t for feminism. Schafly is a hypocrite in the extreme, advocating that other women stay home and have babies while she made a career for herself out of advocating that other women stay home and have babies.

  • 3. Nullpointer  |  August 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Last time I checked Schafly had six kids. Only a childless woman, would consider it hypocritical for a woman who had six kids to advocate for full-time motherhood. She was exceptional in that she had the capacity to raise six well adjusted kids, while having a successful career. Very few women have the capacity to do both, neo-feminist propaganda to the contrary (i.e now

    I was actually referring to third wave, though I did mention Steinem. Second wave at least had some legitimate concerns in that there was a good ol’ boys club.

    However, it was social network– not a patriarchal network, even if the shared values were “patriarchal”. We knew about successful women far before feminism existed (and not just the monarchs). Mary Shelley did not need Gloria Steinem to call attention to her writing Frankenstein. Sophie Germaine didn’t need feminism either (though that’s a case where first / second wave couldn’t have helped). For more examples of how women owned property and were just general bad asses without the help of feminism see here:

    Also, completely off topic, but the waves in feminism annoy me– they’re worse than artistic “waves” (classical -> romantic -> realist -> impressionist -> modern/pop -> shitty post-modern art). It’s like a case study in the law of unintended consequences. Let’s take complex systems observe a small subset of behavior through ideological lenses and then attempt to impose a new better system– the ultimate in human hubris.

    Now, its splitting every which ways as a variety of women that are unhappy with the fruits that feminism hath born try to re-interpret it to suit their own personal desires. The only thing I see tying “feminists” together is a desire to have all wants of any given female satisfied as long as they do not interfere with the satisfaction of another female’s desires.

    The good thing is that a lot of the best and brightest of the next generation of females is starting to figure it out and think on their own:

    • 4. Author  |  August 12, 2011 at 1:06 am

      Yep, you bet I’m a childless feminist who advocates that Schafly is a hypocrite for championing full-time motherhood. I’m not ashamed of it, either. I have no problem with women CHOOSING to be full time mothers, but how come there are so few full time fathers? Are we saying as a society that fathers are unimportant? Why aren’t fathers held equally accountable for a child’s development? If fathers are, indeed, important, then why are they not held to the same standard as mothers?

      I think that you could successfully argue that Mary Shelley and Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne, were feminists before we even had heard of the word. Their works call attention to the plight of the women at that time: the double standard, the inequality in property and career and independence. Don’t pretend like these women and men weren’t aware and advocates for the feminist cause. That’s just plain old ignorant to come to the conclusion that they were just okay with the inequality that existed in their times.

    • 5. Author  |  August 12, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Of course, with your views, you’re a white male, probably Libertarian. How nice for you to be a privileged white male with such views. Of course, you don’t approve of feminism. It’s not in your best interests. I suppose that you would advocate the removal of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. They were completely unneeded. If only the Blacks could rise to the top like the cream, without any help from unneeded and artificial laws that guaranteed them equality. The problem with Blacks as with women is that they just didn’t assert themselves. No laws needed. They only needed to rise above their station. The reason they didn’t had only to do with the fact that they weren’t, of course, inherently equal to the white males who were enslaving them.

      How daft of me not to realize that!

      SARCASM, a service I offer for free.

      • 6. Nullpointer  |  August 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        Nice try, I am a mulatto mestizo with Chilean, Colombian, Polynesian, and Scandinavian ‘heritage’. I am dark enough that people often assume I’m black, even though I have more Mapuche then black.

        I used to be a libertarian and even went through a short objectivist phase, before I gained some wisdom and now I’ve become an anti-ideologist. I dislike most ideologies, because most people intelligent enough to develop coherent ideologies are generally doing so from a place of enormous overcompensation, are hypocrites, and usually have Asperger like social disorders (particularly in the libertarian arena). Just peruse any works on Austrian economics, libertarianism, feminism, and objectivism, utilitarianism, existensialism, etc. They all start from small kernels of truth, which are then built into explanations for how the world works. I particularly dislike feminism and anarcho-capitalism (Molyneux and von Mises both have aspergers IMO), because they threaten to literally destroy or massively reset civilization (not as we know it, but period). I had to live with a mom who was a self-proclaimed feminist– when I was five, I was preaching the virtues of feminism. Unfortunately, she didn’t ever divorce my dad who was a computer scientist and he taught me this thing called logic, at which point I started with, “if feminists want equality, why don’t they expand the selective service to women or do a way with all together?” Game over, once you actually start critically examining feminism.

        There were plenty of blacks who were able to rise up in spite of the lack of 13th and 14th amendments. In fact, one of the women on the list from the Spearhead is black. Black and female? She must have had no choice, but to fail without the feminist helping hand! I never said that there was no discrimination (in fact, please bother looking up sophie germaine and how CF Gauss and other mathematicians fought to have her ideas published, even though she failed to derive an accurate solution for the differential equation governing elastic surfaces). “Shirley Anne Jackson” didn’t need any help from feminism to become the first black woman to get a Ph. D from MIT (nuclear physics/astrophysics).

        I hope by bringing up Hawthorne you are not about to reference the Scarlet Letter as a proto-feminist work. Next you are going to tell me ‘Return of the Native’ is feminist masterpiece. The only thing those books having common with feminism is people making poor choices, repeatedly.

        As someone who has had to live with people assuming I’m black, I’ve rarely encountered outright discrimination (except from the police, which as I live in a wealthy neighborhood kept hopping out of their cars and interrogating me, but this makes sense because due the destruction of the black family through government support of single motherhood, it has left the majority of black families poor, criminal, and dysfuntional). Even when I have encountered discrimination it has worked better to give people no choice but to respect me, however, grudgingly, by being a exemplary human being than to ask the government to dictate the bending of rules in my favor. The government didn’t help me grasp the Heine-Borel theorem, Urysohn’s lemma, or complex analysis. I taught myself cryptography and linear algebra in high school.

        If you notice, I never said I’m for ‘patriarchy’. I’m all about equal opportunity. However, feminism is a vile ideology that more closely resembles marxist fascism than the opportunity to succeed and fail on your own merits. As a resident of Seattle, I can’t count how many feminist women want to work in policy, whether it be environmental, energy, transportation, or social, but yet spent their college studying women’s studies and political science. Do you have any idea how infuriating it is to hear some policy major talking about covering Arizona in solar panels, or how if only everyone drove plug-in hybrids we could stop drilling for petrol, with a complete lack of understanding of how rare earth metals are mined, the effects of the tailings on the environment. How separation of the stuff needed to make batteries for cars leaves toxic radioactive lakes and pools in Mongolia? Sorry about that rant, but that gives you an idea of how feminism wastes my time on a day to day basis. Have you ever tried explaining the thorium fuel cycle to a child? That’s what my day to day interactions with feminists are like.

      • 7. Author  |  August 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm

        Clearly, you’re an intelligent person, but it doesn’t really sound like you’re interested in equality or like you respect women. You preface your last paragraph with, “I never said I’m for patriarchy,” and then go on to bash women who are feminists or who dare to major in womens studies as lacking in intelligence. Before that, you describe how your mother lacked, “logic.” Frankly, you come across as condescending and as someone who has very little respect for women. Women aren’t children. They’re adult human beings. They deserve to be treated with better respect than the contempt that you heap on them with this diatribe.

        There are more radical feminists than me, to be sure, but for me feminism means truly equal opportunity, which means that our society is going to need to make some more changes in order to see that happen. Frankly, the stereotypical roles that are thrust upon girls and boys in our society are damaging. Women get the message that their only power is through sex, which they weild as a weapon or a bargaining chip. Sexual market value is their total worth. Motherhood is their greatest or only purpose. Men are shoved into even tinier boxes, relegated to the roles of breadwinner and provider and warrior. Men aren’t encouraged to forge relationships of equal quality or quantity with their children. They feel obligated to physically defend women in public. They die in wars in order to defend their countries while the women keep the home fires burning. To be sure, this only skims the surface of the injustices that are perpetrated upon both men and women due to their social conditioning.

        It’s not bad to defend a weaker person in a fight. It’s not bad to be a mother. It’s not bad to be a provider. The problem is when we as a society force people into roles based solely on their gender. Man, would I kill to see some advertisements for cooking or cleaning products that feature men for a change! I would love to see Madison Avenue portray men as caring, involved parents and homemakers. Until I see a world where men and women really do have the freedom to be who they want to be I’ll still be calling myself a feminist.

      • 8. Author  |  August 13, 2011 at 1:44 am

        Quickly, about selective service, if you actually peruse my blog, you’ll find that I’m all for women in the military. Either we get rid of selective service or we draft women as well. I have no problem with that. Most feminists, true feminists, don’t. The problem is that when sexist men are confronted with women who say, “Fine. Draft me as well,” they run the other way. They do the same thing they accuse feminists of, which is, having their cake and eating it, too. In my experience, from comments on my blog, most of the anti-feminist men throw up the draft as a reason women shouldn’t be allowed to be equals. Then, when I mention that we could draft women as well, as they do right now in Israel, those same men retreat and say that the women shouldn’t be allowed to fight since they will obviously put the men in danger due to their lesser strength and skill. Despite evidence to the contrary, historical or otherwise, they claim that one more soldier on their side is instead of a help, a hindrance, merely because she’s female, and for no other reason. That’s bullshit! They wouldn’t make the same argument about weaker men who meet military standards. Oh, no! That 5′ tall, 130 pound man is still an asset, merely because he isn’t a woman. I call, “hypocrite,” once again.

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