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Fascist Feminism: The Idea That Women Are Too Stupid To Think For Themselves

Posted on June 29 2010 9:00 pm
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Amanda Marcotte

About a month ago, Sarah Palin had the gall to describe herself as a feminist. Then, a crop of Republican women rose to prominence — most notably, Nikki Haley, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Sharron Angle — by winning primaries across the country. Nikki Haley in particular, an Indian-American Christian conservative Republican woman, was the victim of horrendous attacks from the good ol’ boys club in South Carolina. But she was able to rise above the crude attacks and still win the gubernatorial primary in her state.

Suddenly, conservative feminism is everywhere. Women have become more and more politically active, and they’re rejecting the hijacking of feminism that’s been going on for several decades. Fascist feminists have come out in full force against it, digging their heels in deeper and deeper. The idea that women could make up their own minds about political issues and actually believe in conservative principles infuriates them, because women are supposed to toe a very specific ideological line.

After several weeks of conservative feminist bashing from the leftists Lori Ziganto has dubbed femisogynists, Amanda Marcotte has chimed in, with a column saying that conservative feminism is the idea that women are too stupid to know the difference. And, as per usual with any fascist feminist, the nonsensical argument revolves almost entirely around abortion.

Marcotte argues that abortion is not harmful to women (without citing any references to back up her argument, we should believe that it’s the truth because Amanda Marcotte Says So) and that conservatives do not see women as equal to men.

Common sense would demand that one not agree that there could be a kind of feminism that would declare the entire female sex incapable of handling the right to bodily autonomy. But the anti-choice feminists swear they have an argument! The argument is that Abortion Is Bad For Women, because it thwarts women from their true desires—so deep and true that many women don’t even realize they have them—to bring every pregnancy to term, no matter how much they think they don’t want it. They marshal all sorts of made-up evidence to support this argument, claiming incorrectly that abortion causes depression and breast cancer and probably ingrown toenails. The conclusion is that women have to be forced to bear children against their will for their own good.

. . . .

But setting aside even these historical realities, the argument underpinning anti-choice “feminism” is one based on the very un-feminist belief that women are simply too stupid to know their own minds. The narrative that suggests that women only think they want abortions, but will see the light if forced to bear children is to paint half of all adults as basically very tall children, except that it’s legal to have sex with them. In the anti-choice view, every single woman who enters an abortion clinic and asks for an abortion is really just a victim of her own stupidity and gullibility, and only after she has the abortion will she see how wrong she was. (They need to believe this so badly they simply overlook the evidence showing that most women who have abortions feel relief, and even those who feel sadness often don’t feel regret.) Any feminism that starts with the premise that women aren’t equal to men, because women are too stupid to make their own decisions, is simply not a kind of feminism. This is definitional—feminism starts with the belief that women are equal to men, especially with regards to intellectual and moral abilities. A feminism that doesn’t accept this is like a humanism that believes that human beings are fundamentally wicked and undeserving of rights—that is, it doesn’t exist.

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