Monday, July 19, 2004

Girlie Men



Politics News Article | Reuters.com

Good move, Arnold: we're forked. If we let that remark about Democrats being "girlie men" ride we tacitly agree to the received wisdom that Democrats are wimps. If we object then we get pinned as "humorless feminists" or "politically correct liberals." We can't win, can we?

When did "conservative" become cool? Years ago conservative was precisely what no self-respecting kid wanted to be: conservative meant cautious and cowardly--it was what old ladies like my mother and grandmother, who wore sensible oxfords, voted Republican and spent their time worrying about crime and disease were. They even got their oxfords at Coward Shoes in Hackensack, which I thought was shameful.

Arnold explained that he meant that Democrats were wimpy for being intimidated by unions and other "special interests." There is another switch. Special interests used to be small groups of plutocrats who promoted agendas that were contrary to the general interests of the common people. Democrats boldly defended unions which represented the workers' interests.

I resent Arnold's suggestion that girliness is synonymous with wimpery: as a feminist my goal is to show that we women are as macho as anyone else. And I wouldn't be caught dead being a conservative any more than I'd wear sensible oxfords.

2 comments:

bls said...

Two words: Ann Richards.

I'm sure she'd have been able to come up with some pithy comment in response. The key is to laugh with them, and then, more importantly, AT them.

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