by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In last weekend’s New York Times, feminist writer Jessica Valenti argued that conservatives can’t be feminists, and that any claim to the contrary boils down to an empty charade. Conservatives, she wrote, actively undermine the key tenets of feminism, no matter what label they attempt to “co-opt” or claim: “The truth,” she continued, “is that while feminism need not be complicated — it’s a movement for social, economic and political justice — it is not for everyone.”
I don’t often agree with the louder voices in the modern feminist movement — and by “don’t often,” I mean “almost never” — and so it is with a sense of bemused amazement that I type the following words: Amen, sister. Right on.
Today’s feminism is clearly not for everyone, and it hasn’t been for a long time. You can’t really be a conservative and a “feminist,” at least not these days. This is because the modern feminist movement is no longer focused on empowering women for women’s sake. Instead, “feminism” stands as a not-so-subtle code word for over-the-top progressivism, served with a hefty side order of shaming. …
… Who in their right mind would want to “appropriate” today’s brand of feminism, given that it is a total mess? If it were a ship, today’s feminism would be driven by a proverbial clench-jawed and obsessive Captain Ahab, steering the doomed vessel into the clutches of various ideological drag-you-down whales.