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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dear Confused

Dr. Kelly Hollowell asks the question we've all been too afraid to ask: Do conservatives see women as inferior?

I sat in church on Mother's Day and listened to the pastor build his sermon around the book of Proverbs. Sadly, one point of emphasis was that "it is better for a man to live in the corner of a roof than share a house with a complaining wife." The pastor predictably joked that "his point was scriptural and not personal." But then went on in poor taste to make other jokes concerning his wife's shopping habits and the number of shoes in her closet.

Yeah! Way to celebrate women on Mother's Day! I know I like to show appreciation with tasteless remarks in front of a congregation. After reading this and two other examples, I was utterly shocked that Hollowell answered her own question completely contradictory to my expectation:

...I don't think conservatives regard women as inferior. Rather, it is a liberal spin that has over-capitalized on a rather obvious (although not exclusive) area of appreciation conservatives have for women.

...

The worst part of the conservative's failure to correct this perception is that liberals have usurped and distorted the very meaning of feminism. Today, it has been successfully spun so far left that it is epitomized by women willing to kill their own children in the womb.

Whaaa? Are we thinking of the same liberals? I think the very core of feminist movements, the very definition, opposes conservatism. And spin? Hasn't this woman been paying attention? It is conservatives that smear the good name of feminism (they can't help it-- it's chapter one of their manifesto).

Right before I diagnosed Hollowell with minor cognitive dissonance and conservative brainwashing, she shows signs of life:

First, it would be good for conservatives to give a few more kudos to women called outside the traditional roles and – dare I suggest it – support them along the way. Second, it might help in some cases for the more traditional leaders to take a class on sensitivity training … OK, OK, at least a class in 21st century communication skills. Third, and I have to say it, it would help if the old codgers among us who do hold rather blatantly chauvinistic views stepped into the 21st century and recognized that women can think outside the cake box.

I daresay these are progressive statements. I can just hear conservative men belching objections at her request for finding their feminine sides. Yet Hollowell claims to be a conservative woman. She must be living in an alternate reality (i.e. watching Fox News) or she has her ideologies confused.

It's okay, Kelly. Come towards the light, come see the ways of liberal truth. We'll let you be a feminist.