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    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Ann Coulter: "Feminist Success Story"?

    I'm probably just nitpicking, but, when Caryl Rivers calls Ann Coulter a "feminist success story" it really gets my hackles up.

    She'd hate to hear it, but Coulter is a feminist success story, as well as being an emblem of the collapse of the American news media. She is filthy rich, from her book royalties and her lecture fees. She already has her own Barbie-type action figure, which blurts out her outrageous-isms. She is tailor-made for the modern media, which values high-decibel rant over thoughtfulness and for which no statement is too extreme, especially if it can be made with flair on television.

    Certainly, when we feminists were marching in the 1970s trying to knock down doors barred to women, we never imagined that one person who would follow us through was Ann Coulter. But, hey, everybody can't be Gloria Steinem.

    Why should middle-aged white guys get all the shekels from tossing red meat to gun nuts, school-prayer zealots, militias out in the woods, and haters of all things swarthy?

    The radical right outspends the lunatic left by a country mile. At least a woman is getting a piece of the action.

    I agree that women are just as capable of being, and just as likely to be, asshats as men, but wouldn't it be safer to say that Ann Coulter owes her success to the feminist movement (in more ways than one)? I don't think anyone who does as much as Ann Coulter to drag other women down (and I don't mean criticizing the actions of particular other women, but general sexism levied at most women) should really be called a "feminist success story". (Maybe I feel that way just because I don't want to be linked to her in any sense, even semantically.)

    All that said, I think that, beneath her invective, Coulter made a reasonable point about the 9/11 widows: grief isn't a qualification. It doesn't mean that these women shouldn't be speaking their minds, just that we shouldn't see their perspectives as somehow unassailable just because this stuff hit them harder where they live. I think it's worth hearing how people most impacted by certain events respond to those events on a public scale, but I don't think they're beyond criticism. What they should be beyond, as should everyone, is Ann Coulter's garbage. Ann Coulter, by the same token, should be beyond, as should everyone, being put to the Chris Matthews test. Ew. If that's not a sign that we're still in pre-equality mode, I don't know what is.

    And finally another patented My Amusement Park message to Lefties:



    Blogger dustdaughter said...

    Can we stop discussing Coulter altogether? Maybe if we ignore her, she'll shut up and go away (okay, it's a childish hope but hope nonetheless).

    You do make a good point though. I don't think liberals or feminists will win any points by fighting fire with fire.

    3:52 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    I actually think you're right, even though I'm one of the fools that felt the need to blog about her. Her entire impact is, as the article says, her Infotainment quality, which we should just ignore and allow the "novelty" of her asshattery to fade out.

    4:19 PM  
    Blogger midwesterntransport said...

    YES, el, folks should stop making those transphobic remarks in order to try to discredit her. it's gross.

    2:45 PM  

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