The last time I railed against the warmed-over Phyllis Schlafly rhetoric posing as meaningful gender analysis in our nation’s journalistic outlets, the editor of a well-regarded publication wrote in to accuse me of having a “little agenda.” He closed his email with this chastisement: “Not what I’d expect from a Southern lady at all.”*
(He did not, naturally, feel compelled to respond to the substance of my complaints, except to suggest in a conclusory fashion that I’d misunderstood the articles I was attacking. Well, what do you expect? I mean, between the sweet tea and the fanning myself, I couldn’t possibly find the time to formulate reasoned opinions.)
Since then I’ve decided to leave Caitlin Flanagan to her narcissistic and moneyed antifeminism, Meghan O’Rourke to her quarrel with gender parity, Rebecca Traister to her fervent belief that chick lit serves as a meaningful representation of women’s lives. I don’t see the point in screaming into wind blowing back against my face. I’ll just direct you to the feminist arguments I like.
But I will say this: in the slimy trough at the bottom of the slippery slope down which reasoning like Flanagan’s leads is, among equally spurious notions, the idea that feminism begets rape. See “Ladies, you should know better.”
* For the record, I don’t consider myself a “Southern lady,” or a lady of any kind.