Let’s be clear. The only – I repeat, ONLY – reason liberals vilify female politicians like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann is because they are pro-life. Were Palin and Bachmann the conservatives they are except pro-abortion, they’d be tolerated, if not embraced.
Nevertheless, I was very disappointed that even liberal feminists piled on Palin in 2008, going so far as to say she couldn’t handle kids and work at the same time.
But apparently their consciences are getting to them, because after Newsweek published this scary and misogynist photo and caption of Bachmann this week…
… they came to her defense.
About the cover Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, told Salon:
It’s sexist…. Gloria Steinem has a very simple test: If this were done to a man or would it ever be done to a man – has it ever been done to a man? Surely this has never been done to a man.
Even Feministing called out Newsweek, going so far as to quote pro-life conservative female icons to buttress the case:
As conservative bloggers have rightly noted, this is a sexist cheap shot. Dana Loesch says, “When your premise is an unflattering photo…to sell your bias, you just might be a chauvinist.” Michelle Malkin asks, “You’ve resorted to recycling bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo cliches about conservative female public figures and their enraged ‘crazy eyes?’ Really?”…
Malkin links to a great post by Karrin Anderson exploring the “troubling trend in which political women are critiqued as crackpots and lambasted as lunatics.”
The reason that the image of a crazed female politician is so powerful, and powerfully dangerous, is because it stems from a much older story about women. Whether burning them as witches or dismissing them as b**ches, Western culture has always disciplined women who transgress established societal and political boundaries.…
[T]here’s no question that Bachmann’s views are as hateful, incoherent, and hypocritical as they come. “Batsh** crazy” has become the go-to short-hand during a time when the right-wing is slipping farther from the mainstream than ever before. But it’s ableist, counterproductive, and just lazy, and, as feminists and progressives, we need to do better – and better than we’ve previously done on this very blog.
If you’re trying to illustrate the extremism of a politician’s views and find yourself relying on sexist, ableist tropes that have been used to discredit women since they first started fighting their way into the public sphere, just stop. The odds are good that Bachmann herself will make your point for you.
Yes, call us “batsh** crazy” for the right reasons, 1) for supporting the right of preborn females and males to live, 2) for trying to keep parents from physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ruin by killing their own children, and 3) for educating about the physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy choice of abstinent/be faithful sexual behavior.