Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Joan of Arc and Judith of Murdoch

If there were blogs back in Joan of Arc's day, feminists would have accused her enemies of having her torched because she was a woman.
Not without justification, mind you.
And so it comes as no surprise that some feminists are questioning whether Judith Regan was booted from Rupert Murdoch's publishing empire because she is a woman and not because she was so appallingly deaf to the marketplace that she consorted with O.J. Simpson to publish a book on how he "might" have committed the murders.

Zuzu at Feministe, who calls out Regan on non-gender grounds, has a pretty good debate going on among her readers that is a window into the minds of the Feminism Police. You know, the people who will try to have you busted for not hewing to their Taliban-like rules. (Pun and irony intended.)

Meanwhile, Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise has a pretty good debate going on about the debate, where I added my hairy chested two cents' worth:
"Being a bald 6-foot-2 male, I dare not comment on whether La Regan's firing was gender related.

"If it was, that's peripheral to the fact that she is a raving a--hole who had lost all sense of proportion when it came to the marketplace.

"She has beaucoup male company in that respect."

* * * * *
What is so interesting to this to a hairy chested observer is that discussions about high-profile women almost inevitably devolve into food fights over whose Feminism Police badge is bigger and before long no one is arguing over the original premise.

A good example was the kerfuffle over Loretta Nall, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor in Alabama, who as an Associated Press scribe put it, "[is] campaigning on her cleavage and hoping that voters will eventually focus on her platform."

Nall provoked a debate on whether a woman can be a feminist and a libertarian if she shows cleavage. (I'm not making this up.) That debate lasted for about a half an hour until the Feminism Police raided the joint and arrested everyone for having a civil discussion.

My own view is that feminism is in the eye of the beholder.
I am qualified to say that because some of my best friends are women and my mother was one. I read Kate Millet, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Djuna Barnes and Anais Nin when most men wouldn't be caught dead doing so (although I have to say that Barnes is one of the most overrated writers in English literature, while Nin was a rank plagarist).
But face it, feminism is a third-rail issue and no matter what one says, they're going to catch grief from one quarter or another.

So bring it on.

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