Opinion: Top 10 feminist fiascoes of 2014
Since a delicious feminist folly occurs nearly every day, I had a hard time picking the sweetest of the cherries off the cupcakes. But here goes, more or less in descending order of absurdity:
The “gang rape” hoax at UVA: Rolling Stone’s 9,000-word feat of “investigative reporting” smelled worse than a bucketful of day-old chicken heads from the day it was published on Nov. 19. A three-hour serial sexual assault atop a pile of glass shards as a fraternity-initiation ritual? Really? Yet many feminist (but fortunately not all) in America bought into this over-the-top tale because … it’s a feminist axiom that no woman ever lies about rape. Over at #Istandwithjackie, they’re still standing with alleged victim Jackie even though her story has been chopped into glass-shard-size pieces by real reporters doing their jobs.
Wendy Davis: Who came up with the idea that because she looked so cute in those pink sneakers filibustering abortion restrictions in 2013, she’d make a winning candidate for governor of Texas in 2014? Just the fact that the abortion restrictions became law anyway should have provided a clue. Even though Davis’ bedazzled supporters threw almost $40 million at her feckless campaign, she still lost by 20 points to Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott.
Rotherham: Now there was a real rape culture: nearly two decades of sexual assault, exploitation, and trafficking of teenage girls, mostly by British-Pakistani men, that had been covered up by British authorities for fear of stirring up anti-Islamic sentiment. The response of U.S. feminists was mostly crickets chirping. Why? Perhaps because the perpetrators weren’t the white middle-class men who are feminists’ preferred villains.
#Shirtstorm: In mid-November scientists managed, for the first time in human history, to land a robot on a comet hurtling through space some 25 million miles away from Earth. But the reaction of feminists was: Who cares? They were fixated on the fact that one of the physicists, Matt Taylor, wore a shirt printed with ladies in lingerie during a live screening of the feat. A blitzkrieg of Taylor-bashing Twitter-bombing ensued, on the theory that the shirt somehow discouraged women from entering STEM fields. Yes, feminists thought the best way to entice women into STEM was to disparage a monumental STEM achievement.
Hobby Lobby: The Supreme Court ruled on June 30 that a federal religious-freedom law permitted the crafts-store chain to refuse to pay for certain kinds of birth control for their employees on the ground that they could be abortifacients. Feminists and other progressives vowed to boycott Hobby Lobby out of business -- but they forgot that there’s hardly any Venn overlap between boycotter feminists and the women who actually buy stuff at Hobby Lobby.
The Nine West shoe ad ragefest: Nothing inflames a feminist more than the idea that women primarily want to be wives and mothers. So when Nine West launched a series of ads for stilettos over the summer with such slogans as “starter husband hunting” and “first day of kindergarten,” feminists clutched their pearls so tightly over the supposed damage to women’s “self-esteem” that they nearly decapitated themselves.
The Great Spider-Woman Sexist Derriere Scandal: Feminist ire detonated after the leaking of Italian graphic artist Milo Manara’s comic-book cover showing Spider-Woman clambering over the top of a skyscraper with her behind stuck up in the air. “A male hero would never be placed in the same physical position,” sniffed one commentator. Then it turned out that a male hero -- namely Spider-Man himself -- had been placed in the exact same position, with his behind stuck up in the air, on the cover of one of his comic books.
F-Bombs for Feminism: Someone actually thought it would help the cause of women to dress up little girls in princess costumes and video them as they dropped the f-word more times than Leonardo di Caprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” I kept hoping the voices in this video were dubbed by adults who had the sense not to put foul words into the mouths of children -- but no chance.
Amanda Marcotte: This Slate XX regular and overtime tweeter was the feminist gift that kept on giving throughout 20014. Top Marcottism of the year (on Dec. 5): Calling the people who disbelieved Rolling Stone’s now-debunked UVA rape yarn “rape apologists.” But there was also Marcotte going ballistic (on March 18) because the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) preferred to blame rapists instead of “rape culture” for rape. And there was her Sept. 3 blast against the “tyranny” of preparing a home-cooked family dinner. What’s next? The “tyranny” of decorating the family Christmas tree.
“Ban Bossy”: Whatever happened to that? In March, celebrity Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was making the media rounds to promote her plan to encourage girls to be leaders by making sure no one ever used the b-word around them. Then … nothing. Perhaps Sandberg decided it was more fun to, um, boss around her subordinates at Facebook than flog a mule that didn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Charlotte Allen writes frequently about feminism, politics and religion. Follow her on Twitter @MeanCharlotte.
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