But there is more at stake than meets the eye, because what Althouse is up to, along with her cohorts on the pseudo-libertarian right, is actually attacking and undermining feminism and whatever gains it may have made over the years. Check out, for instance, the reaction from the Instawanker, in whose stable Althouse firmly resides:
- One might almost think that feminism has become nothing more than a subset of the Democratic Party's activist base. Actually, that has become so obvious that even Maureen Dowd managed to figure it out when she famously commented: "Feminism died in 1998 when Hillary allowed henchlings and Democrats to demonize Monica as an unbalanced stalker, and when Gloria Steinem defended Mr. Clinton against Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones."
Phonies like Reynolds and Althouse are fond of claiming that they, and not people who actually take feminist issues seriously, are the true bearers of the feminist torch. It's Newspeak in action: Claim that "real" feminism is something approximating its opposite, and in the process the meaning of the word becomes confused and lost. What, exactly, is a "feminist" when people like this claim to be one?
Recall, if you will (thanks to Scott Lemieux), that last year Althouse took Atrios to task as insufficiently "feminist" by failing to delete sexist remarks from his comment threads.
Now fast forward to Althouse's original post on l'affaire Booboisie. Here's a sampling of the comments from Althouse's regulars:
- Goesh said...
Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?
Dunno, but by her expression, it looks as though she may be getting "a small glimpse at greatness."
Since we don't know who she is, this is quite the cheap shot: Who is the Intern directly in front of him with the black hair?
As such, it would be beneath me to respond, I don't know, but she can deliver my pizza any day.
"He's got beautiful blue eyes."
I didn't realize that liberal men also wet their panties at the sight of Bill like their female counterparts.
The girl in the center is a hot babe, huh?
This is why plain girls go to trekkie conventions. In here, I'm Miss America.
Of course, those comments remain on the site, as well as similar comments on Althouse's subsequent posts. Althouse is clearly incapable of living up to the standards of feminism she demands of others. (Amanda at Pandagon and Lindsay Beyerstein have an even more complete selection. And, as Jessica notes, Althouse herself indulges in comments that don't exactly bespeak someone serious about feminism.
Then, of course, there are the troglodytes on the right blogosphere (like this pathetic example of masculinity) who chimed in thus:
- That's right, I said "hussy." Wearin' lipstick. Smiling.
Like a whore.
The right -- including its apologists like Althouse, the claims to feminism and knee-jerk "concern trolling" belied by their actions -- is in fact constitutionally opposed to feminism and everything it stands for. Always has been, always will be.
She's also, obviously, a fairly crude attention-monger, glad to post crap like this because it brings her traffic. And she's already had more than her share from this.
So rather than spend another iota of energy on this affair, I'm going to do something I should have done long ago: Add Feministing to my blogroll (I'm actually kinda embarrassed they're not there already, but I think everyone knows I'm pretty lousy about those housekeeping chores), and do my level best to send her more traffic more regularly. And I'd urge everyone else in the left blogosphere to do the same.
They want attention? OK -- we'll give it to the people they are trying to humiliate. When they try to win by degrading and humiliating people, it's important to make our stand with them.
Because, despite the proliferation of this kind of Newspeak, we all can see fairly clearly who the real feminists are.