One thing that mystifies conservatives is the utter rage with which pundits and ordinary followers alike attack conservative women and minorities. We were not prepared, none of us, for the daily Two-Minute Hate that greeted Sarah Palin when she became our vice presidential candidate.
Apparently, she was supposed to be a pretty, empty-headed Republican Stepford wife. Instead, she was charming and snarky, beautifully feminine but stronger and more fit than most men, a successful businesswoman and politician who also had raised four children and was starting on a fifth with special needs. She did not fit the box within which liberals prefer women to be confined.
Oh, you hadn’t noticed the box? Strange thing I’ve noticed about liberals: they categorize people within rigid boxes. There’s the Republican Rich Guy box, which includes all wealthy and some nonwealthy Republicans. There’s the Crazy Libertarian box, with the guy smoking pot but also wearing a tinfoil hat. There’s the Gun Nut box, the Welfare Mother box, the Generous Liberal Philanthropist box, etc. There are hundreds of boxes, and for liberals to be comfortable you must be made to fit in one.
For example, an ultraliberal friend of mine expressed delight but also utter astonishment when my current husband proposed to me. You see, this friend had a particular viewpoint of him that did not allow for change or deviation. "I’ll have to construct another box to put him in!" he told me. He had put Clark in a rigid "selfish gamer dude" box that did not allow for him actually committing to marriage. Funny – after the box was broken, we didn’t see much of that friend anymore.
Liberals often don’t handle it well when people don’t fit their cardboard stereotypes. Women are supposed to be perpetual Mary Tyler Moores or Murphy Browns, Aunt Bees or struggling welfare moms. Women who "have it all" are not really part of the liberal paradigm, no matter how they might deny it. (Show me a strong wife, mom, and professional woman, and I’ll show you a woman conservatives, not liberals, admire.)
You see, deep down inside they don’t believe the things they say about women. They really don’t believe women are capable of having it all; often they don’t seem to believe women are capable of taking care of themselves. How else to explain the "Life of Julia" woman, spiritually married to Big Daddy Uncle Sam? Or the insistence of Democrats that a refusal to pay for birth control equates to a denial of birth control?
SOME women can handle it, of course – but most women? They shouldn’t bother their pretty heads about it – let Uncle Sam make those mean old men share what they have. After all, they didn’t build that. As for the women who CAN have it all or who give up part of what it means to be a woman in order to Advance The Cause: they should be our honored leaders.
We have two major boxes for women, according to liberals: we have the Strong Independent Woman box, where smart women capable of having it all reside. And we have the Poor Little Thing box for Julias, the women who just can’t quite do it, bless their hearts. But there’s one requirement for both boxes: they must believe in redistribution as the answer. The SIW must acknowledge the benefits of socialism as the key to her position, and she must proselytize "paying it forward" to other women – but in the form of other people’s money, not, you know, starting up a charity or something. The PLT woman must gratefully accept the handouts the SIW and her allies provide – by confiscating money and opportunities from others.
The patriarchy – men – must be made to pay. Not just with money, either.
Apparently, these days women aren’t supposed to make it on our own, as Mary Tyler Moore did. Instead, we require others to step aside so we can take their positions. Men, the reasoning goes, have had control of everything for too long. Hence, it is time for women to take their turns.
Well, that’s just silly. It works just fine in a classroom, where children are participating in a learning process that necessitates each having an opportunity to practice what they are learning. It also works fine in play, where children sharing facilities should all have a roughly equal chance to use them. But we’re talking about real life. In real life, if you share and step aside, you do not enhance excellence. Instead, you hinder advancement – progress, if you will. You are not moving things forward, but rather stagnating society.
Let’s say you are making a berry pie. You have several types of berry to choose from: strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, boysenberry. Of course you’re going to choose, not the berry you haven’t used as much, but the berry that looks best to you when you’re shopping for pie ingredients.
Now let’s say the store has decided boysenberry has been ignored for too long. They tell you either you must use an equal mix of berries or you must use boysenberries exclusively. Your pie’s probably not going to be as good, is it?
That’s what happens when you decide ONLY WOMEN should be considered, or women should have preferential treatment, or you must have a roughly equal ratio of men to women in your organization. Your talent pool shrinks. Now sometimes your boysenberries will be in season and excellent – but other times? Not so much.
In addition, when it goes on for a long time, boysenberry farmers find out they don’t have to put out the best berries they grow to sell them. They can, instead, put out Incredibly Average Berries. Or they can dump their worst berries on the market, or skimp on fertilizer to save money, or whatever. It doesn’t matter – they will sell those berries.
Same thing happens when you "level the playing field." No matter who you’re leveling it for, that group discovers they don’t have to work as hard to be hired. Businesses are harmed in the long run, because it makes them less efficient, and efficiency is profit. And since they’re less profitable, they pass more costs on to consumers, who are ultimately the ones who pay.
Now back to those boxes. When a woman breaks out of the box, like Sarah Palin did, she’s essentially spitting in the face of the system. She has told them hey, I don’t have to do it your way. I can do it MY way and do even better. Palin built a profitable family business and raised five children, had a very successful political career, and looked gorgeous while doing it. Conservative women from Nikki Haley to closeted-conservative novelists are doing the same thing.
How? They are breaking all the progressive rules: they are working hard, getting married and having children while married, eschewing most or all government support, becoming entrepreneurs. They don’t have abortions. They don’t sleep around. They don’t complain about patriarchy. They don’t ask for a handout.
They are not dependent on the feminist system.
In short, they’re just like successful women BEFORE feminism. It is true, unfortunately, that women for a very long time were held in second place by the government – restricted to varying degrees from voting, owning property, and inheritances. Despite these barriers, there are thousands of stories about widows and single women making their own lives and their own fortunes.
- Louisa May Alcott supported her family by writing and selling books that became beloved classics.
- Clara Barton pioneered nursing and hygienic medicine, then founded the Red Cross.
- Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female doctor in America, then founded her own college to train women doctors.
- Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science.
- Harriet Tubman, born a SLAVE, led over three hundred blacks to freedom, was a spy and high-level military adviser in the Civil War, and spent her life helping freed slaves improve their own lives.
Not one of these women could ever vote legally in a federal election. All these women had to deal with a prejudiced society, a government that treated them as lesser, a workplace that wasn’t fair. And every single one of them changed our world, shaped our country.
Now today, I’m seeing a lot of female politicians and journalists and entertainers – but I’m not seeing a whole lot of female excellence in the vein of these historical ladies. I propose this is due to the Boysenberry Effect: women who are propped up and cared for by a sugar-daddy government and a coddling women’s rights movement never have to push that envelope. Women who COULD excel learn not only that they don’t have to, but also that if they do excel on their own, they are pulled down by the other crabs in the bucket. Sarah Palin – she was an escaping crab. Hence, she had to be destroyed. Other women watched and learned, whether they were the pullers or the pullees: independent success must be destroyed.
This is killing female excellence. We are all poorer for it.