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A Feminist Girl Crush on S.E. Cupp?

Posted on January 18 2010 5:15 pm
Jenn escaped blue state academia for redder pastures in the South. Follow her on Twitter and read more of her work at
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What could possibly make conservative commentator S.E. Cupp palatable to the feminist Left? After all, the feminist playbook is pretty clear: women who appear on Fox News are gender traitors. End of story.

And yet, sandwiched between a primer on the festive art of “vajazzling” and an ode to “populist hero” Scott Ritter, Salon’s Broadsheet blog offers up a Google-fueled profile of S.E. Cupp that manages to be only mildly contemptuous.

Feminist writer Kate Harding makes no bones about her distaste for women like Cupp, characterizing her as “one of the latest young, white conservative women to make a career of saying inflammatory things while looking really pretty.” Young, white, conservative, and pretty? She might as well turn in her female decoder ring right now.

But Cupp gets a reprieve.

You see, Harding detects the nascent signs of a Real Person™ under that filthy coating of right-wing smut. Color her impressed: Cupp is a Blackberry addict with a sense of humor, and a talented writer who digs Nick Hornby. And what’s more, she’s an atheist, an urbanite, and a self-described misanthrope. “I have to admit you don’t often hear that from a conservative pundit,” writes Harding. “Tell me more!

Girl crush alert. S.E. Cupp is totally dreamy when compared with those icky-poo Christians like Ann Coulter.

But Harding quickly reasserts her feminist bona fides by explaining that a woman like S.E. Cupp is tolerable only as long as she keeps her conservative trap shut.

Out of context, all that makes S.E. Cupp sound like the kind of woman I’d love to hang out with. In context — the one where, say, the serious thought of a President Beck doesn’t necessarily make her blood run cold, or where her political writing explores the relationship between our common humanity and “the reasons we should want a Sarah Palin in a position of power” — I think we’re probably both OK with living 800 miles apart.

It’s the contradictions that make Cupp an equally interesting and irritating personality.

That grudging respect for Cupp’s writing talent? Yes, just a convenient excuse to toss around left-handed compliments and not-so-subtle digs. Harding concludes, “yeah, she’s basically just another Ann Coulter in someone sort of interesting’s clothing. But for better or worse, it looks like she’s here to stay.”

Sounds like the kind of insult S.E. Cupp could learn to live with.

Follow Jenn Q. Public on Twitter and read more of her work at

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