Earlier this month, Monica Lewinsky’s lawyer attributed the muffled attacks on his client’s character to a veiled threat he had made shortly after the attacks began. He told 200 attorneys gathered at a legal convention that he had threatened to expose President Clinton as a misogynist if the attacks continued (Drudge Report, 8 April 1998).
Don’t feel bad if you had to stop and look up the word in your dictionary when you saw it. I did, too. I’m glad I took the trouble. A misogynist hates women. One would assume that most misogynists are men. One would be wrong.
Jennifer James, an advice columnist writing for the Seattle Times, attempted to explain (5 April 1998) why feminists haven’t been upset by the president’s behavior toward women. After describing the Paula Jones lawsuit as an “hysterical right-wing bandwagon,” she went on to explain why “conservatives” don’t understand women’s issues. Here are some excerpts:
“(Conservatives) don’t understand women’s desire to be judged by competence, not gender … women’s need for protection from serious harassment, rape and beating … (and) care for children or women’s desire to have a say in both the law and the policies of their country.”
A few observations about Ms. James’ hysterical attack are in order. Most conservatives I’ve met strongly support every individual’s desire to be judged by competence. That’s why we oppose group-rights and preferential hiring quotas — including those aimed at women because of their gender. As a feminist, Ms. James apparently wants to take credit for laws punishing rape and assault against women. The evidence indicates such laws predate female suffrage, let alone feminists. As for political participation by women, it would be an interesting explanation indeed that could account for how so many mean-spirited men conspired to deny women their voice, when female suffrage was granted by an exclusively male vote.
No, the majority of misogynists are not male. They are female. And they are feminists. Perhaps that is why feminists have aligned themselves so closely with a man whose behavior toward women is best described as misogyny.
Those of us who have struggled to understand the feminist mindset in support of President Clinton’s disgusting and degrading behavior toward women have been misled by assuming the presence of “feminine” in the word feminist.
In fact, feminists stand in opposition to femininity in the majority of its roles in society, especially those of procreation, child-rearing, and family. During its brief history, feminism has sought to uproot family structure and denigrate the role of women who chose to devote their efforts to raising the next generation of men and women who would lead our nation. In their hatred of traditional women, feminists have embraced men like our president. Men who see nothing wrong with using their power — in fact, the power of all Americans, vested in the Presidency — for their own private gain. And as feminists are so quick to remind us, sexual assault is not about sex, it’s about power.
Elaborating on her theme, Ms. James assures us that feminists:
“understand the difference between private consensual behavior, individual incidents of grossness and workplace harassment. … Americans don’t want our president hounded by unproved claims of sexual misbehavior. Americans don’t think hiding our private sexual behavior … amounts to perjury or obstruction of justice.”
Ms. James neglects to point out that sexual behavior in the Oval Office is hardly private; or perhaps feminists simply misunderstand the phrase “affairs of state”? And if Ms. James doesn’t think “hiding our private sexual behavior … amounts to perjury,” perhaps she should check with the judges and lawyers who inhabit family and divorce court. More than a few men in America have lost their families and children because they hid “private sexual behavior.” Or perhaps she was referring to the “private sexual behavior” we increasingly see between teachers and schoolchildren? Should the adults who obstruct police and child protective services inquiries into such cases be prosecuted, or should we honor their “private sexual behavior”?
Finally, Ms. James assures us that:
“Feminism is about independence, education, competence, work and family, not class, social maneuvering, hustling for jobs with sexuality, and whining about petty incidents … calling groping sexual assault. … Most women have a keen sense of justice and they are not interested in yelling ‘victim!’ just because it will attract attention. Women know, because of our history, who the real victims are.”
Those of us who remember the Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas feminist hysteria over Coke cans and pubic hairs can perhaps now better understand the feminist mystique: hatred and self-loathing sufficient to embrace even the abuse of state power to satiate private lusts, as long as the goal was to demean traditional womanhood. The feminist/misogynist agenda has demeaned not only feminists, but our entire nation: men, women, and children.