The conservative website Hot Air has posted a list of the most anti-woman acts allegedly committed by leftist “feminists.” While I could go through and break down each of the acts one by one, I will instead focus on the entire concept and the complete hypocrisy inherent in this supposed hypocrisy-exposing exercise. While a couple of the acts depicted were quite bad, most of the “hatefulness” was actually directed at right-wingers attempting to advance a false and anti-woman agenda themselves. I also take issue with the fact these are “leftist feminists” as many of the women are either frequently criticized by legitimate feminists for not actually being feminist, are not really that left-wing or both. Perhaps the most important distinction to make is that most of these acts were not really hateful, but just happened to get under the skin of certain …
… Teabaggers looking for things to get offended about that they see in the “librul meed-ya.”
A lot of the “hateful acts” were actually pretty tame. No one but Hot Air actually got offended by Maureen Dowd’s criticism of Catholicism’s treatment of women, Jessica Valenti’s support for a woman who plastered over a misleading anti-abortion poster, Gloria Steinem’s statements about pro-life feminists or Helen Benedict’s work concerning rape in the military (in fact, saying that what Benedict said is anti-woman is itself anti-woman). Some of the “acts” were quite awful (particularly those committed by Naomi Wolf, who supported Islamic veiling), Bonnie Erbe (saying Michelle Malkin deserved to be hate fucked) and Melissa Lafsky (rationalizing Mary Jo Kopechne’s death), but none of those women are feminists (Wolf calls herself a feminist, but she also thinks pro-choicers should go out and hold candlelight vigils for their dead fetuses after they abort them, so I think that speaks for itself). Lafsky even works for Fox Business Network, so the Hot Air crowd should check their sources lest they want to get called out by their Lord and savior, Glenn Beck.
Yes, Marcotte’s opinions are regrettable (I’ve already made it pretty clear how I felt about that genital cutting recommendation), but that was not really a hateful act. And even though she does do good work for RH Reality Check, she’s not really that leftist. Nor is Keith Olbermann, whose remarks about the aforementioned Malkin (which he apologized for) were more stupid than hateful. Finally, Alice Walker should come under scrutiny for what she did to her daughter, but her views on womanhood (and most other things) make her far from leftist or feminist, no matter how she chooses to label herself.
Thus, what can be said about Hot Air’s list is that most of the “acts” were either not that hateful, not committed by leftists, not committed by leftists or all three. Many of these women have never identified as feminists (yes, one does have to do this to be a feminist) or written about any feminist issues. This list seems to be more about picking on popular liberal bogeywomen (I’m surprised there was no mention of Barbra Streisand, Hanoi Jane Fonda, Hillary Clinton or Gloria Allred) than actually attempting to expose anti-woman hypocrisy among feminists. Hot Air would do well to think before it posts — if that’s even possible for the Fox News crowd — instead of trying to cover up its own misogyny by making ad hominem attacks against those that choose to highlight it.