For all their insistence that they are fighting for women, radical feminists are in truth only fighting for their abstract concept of womanhood and not for concrete women. When confronted with the concerns of concrete women in the concrete world, radical feminists display attitudes ranging from the curiously indifferent to the contemptuous.
The future of feminism, I feel, lies in fighting the oppression of women overseas. Sexual slavery, genital mutilation, stoning, honor killings, and wildly imbalanced marriage laws still exist outside the post-industrial West. In Islamist nations, women have had their noses chopped off or their faces burned with acid for the “crime” of having contact with an unrelated man — and in China, restrictive reproductive policies have resulted in the deaths of countless infant girls. If Western radical feminists truly cared about real women in the real world, they would be howling with rage over these injustices. Instead, with the exception of a few admirable dissidents, these feminists maintain a silence about women’s issues in the developing world that is absolutely deafening. They don’t want to drift from their anti-Western orthodoxy, you see, so they expend thousands of words in the New York Times complaining about the Augusta National Golf Club and ignore the plight of the globe’s Sorayas.
Meanwhile, when a woman in the West dares to question the radical feminist claim that left-wing policies will serve her best interests, the abuse that is rained down upon her head is simply astounding. If a Sarah Palin or a Christine O’Donnell should come along, radical feminists morph into those mean girls from high school who used to delight in spreading scandalous rumors about those students who weren’t members of their exclusive clique – and their fellow (male) travelers in the mainstream media happily go along for the ride. How many feminists helped spread the vicious rumor that Trig is not Sarah Palin’s son? How many feminists looked the other way – or agreed – when latent misogynist Chris Matthews declared on a recent broadcast that Christine O’Donnell is a pretty young thing without a brain in her skull?
On today’s political playing field, fair play is, for feminists, anathema. If a conservative politician called his female opponent a “whore,” NOW would be on him in a heartbeat decrying his “misogynistic language”; when an associate of the liberal Jerry Brown recently called Meg Whitman a “whore,” however, the Brown campaign basically got a pass. If radical feminists actually cared about concrete women, they would be consistent in their attacks against sexually charged terminology — but since their true goal is to defend a politically correct abstract, they tolerate the blatant hypocrisy in their midst.