Sunday, March 9, 2008

Why can't conservative women be feminists, too?

On March 2, Charlotte Allen published an essay titled We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get? If Allen weren't who she was, it would probably be a funny essay. But, Allen is trying to make a point here, that women are just silly while men are not, despite her frequent parentheticals noting that men, are silly, too.

This article created a firestorm of response, so much so, that for several hours Mrs Allen (I'm sure she doesn't mind me referring to her as Mrs. Allen) took questions live from net chatters. most of the questions were statements about what people thought wrong with Allen, with the essay, her logic, a whole lot.

She mostly uses media images of women or reports of anecdotes of women to make her points, hardly a compelling evidentiary case, but it makes "cultural sense" sort of like, "we'll look out at the horizon, (looking over water) its obvious the world is flat."

among her evidence is that women get is more accidents than men, proven twice, which is proof of their inferior abstract thinking, (spatial visioning). Some smart guy wrote in on the response/comment page noted that if you control for age, that the auto accident relationsship goes away and that it is a function of age and there are more older women drivers. Makes sense to me. More goes into driving than spatial vision stuff, like focus, experience, etc.

But what got me the most, (and yes, I read virtually all of the comments and the Q&A) was that Mrs Allen said two things: first, that women were not a minority group because they constitute the majority of the population (well then a guess that "white minority government" in South Africa was just that, a minority, the same with the Sunni minority government in Iraq all those years). Minority has little to do with population, it has all to do with power. And that women had (and are and do) devalue the "natural" roles of women, housewife and mother. It was women who barred women from education? It was women who denied themselves the right to vote?

I think it is about choice. And conservatives who value money in all things, it seems to me, wouldn't support altering something like social security so that stay at home moms could qualify during that period of staying home and raising kids which are so important to our future. Just one way to demonstrate the value placed on that all important position. I guess the sacrifice that it entails is supposed to be private, not shared.

I also cannot understand how conservatives who so value the individual could write such a fallacious article based on supposed group differences.

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