Monday, October 23, 2006

How to configure Idiotic Anti-Feminist Ranting (v.18.3.1)

Right-wing mewling and gloating over the recent budget cuts to Status of Women has revealed a surprising amount of anti-feminist resentment among socially-conservative women. That their ability to sit at their keyboards and bang out anti-feminist rhetoric online is due in no small part to feminism is an irony lost on these women. I can't imagine the women of the 50's, a decade so many so-cons yearn for, publishing their opinions in a worldwide venue... or for that matter even having opinions of their own that weren't dictated by husbands or fathers. So regardless of how so-con women feel feminism does or doesn't impact their individual lives, they should at least have some appreciation of how it's freed them. But their anger towards feminists is virulent and growing. A recent thread at feminist discussion forum Bread n Roses asks "Why are so-con women so angry?", and as if to prove their point, so-con extremist Suzanne responds with tangible anger on her blog. That's all it took to trip the anger switch, asking why. Where does this come from?

It isn't just about differences of opinion. We all have our differences, and that's great -- feminism embraces diversity and dialogue, so we should be able to talk about our differences. But the dialogue ends when one side of an issue claims to know The Ultimate Truth and dismisses dissenting opinions as "moral relativism". It's significant that so-con women are almost always anti-choice and anti-gay rights, issues they obsess about with religious fervour, that also happen to be issues near and dear to the hearts of feminists who seek equality for all. When the opinions brought to the table are tainted with bigotry and misogyny, even the most tolerant feminist must reject them. That those opinions are often brought with maniacal evangelism shuts down the dialogue even further. The anger towards feminists will go on as long as we refuse to accept the so-con version of The Truth. which in their minds is rock-solid. While feminists discuss and consider and try to see issues from different angles, to so-cons there's only one angle, the one that god told them. And once someone's heard the voice of god, reason leaves the building.