Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Dec. 1, 2000/ 5 Kislev, 5761

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


Liberals' art of trashing of women


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- IF YOU CAN'T say something nice about a woman, go and sit by a liberal. They specialize in the art of bashing females.

The feminist movement, in theory, sought to bring "looks don't matter" nirvana to a society addicted to curves, curls and cute. Our feminist friends in comfortable shoes, complicated clothing, and complex turquoise earrings wanted looks irrelevant, foundation passť and charm verboten. Al Gore's style guru and feminist author, Naomi "earth tones" Wolfe refers, in her agonizing tome on the vast male conspiracy to sell blush and alpha-hydroxy cleansers, The Beauty Myth, to "the injustices done by beauty - its presence as well as its absence."

There is, however, a footnote to the doctrine of appearance irrelevancy. When confronted with a powerful woman who lacks proper ideological bent, present claws, make ready, and fire insults. The wicked green eye of jealousy, albeit eyelinerless, emerges.

Linda Tripp today is today virtually non-recognizable from that tape-toting single mother who appeared outside her Virginia home in 1998. Plastic surgery altered her face, exercise and diet reformed her physique and Christophe tamed and highlighted her locks. Who can blame her? David Letterman, a man who protested mightily when the New York Times speculated that he was a "non-voting Republican," referred to her as "Michael Caine in drag." That was one of his more charitable jokes about her looks. Her appearance was the target for liberal sharpshooters who loathed the woman who dared challenge the boy president's integrity.

Mr. Letterman has found a new target in Karen Hughes, George W. Bush's communication director; her looks are now fair game.

Katherine Harris, Florida's secretary of state, who dared halt county election boards' Carnac routines to divine votes, has brought out the liberals' caustic best. She has not only seized late-night comics' insults, she has earned mainstream press bashing. The Boston Herald described her as "looking just ghastly." The Washington Post wrote Mrs. Harris, "seems to have applied her makeup with a trowel."

Not ones to stop at looks, liberals are hurling other insults. The renowned television lawyer and Harvard professor, Alan Dershowitz., told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who is surely a dead ringer for Ted Baxter of the old Mary Tyler Moore Show, "She's corrupt. She's a crook." Little things such as no criminal charges ever being brought against Mrs. Harris, let alone prosecuted, don't seem to bother these Harvard types, especially when it comes to conservative women.

There is the long list of appearance-slain Clinton women: Paula Jones (James Carville said of her, "Drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find."); Gennifer Flowers (for whom the term "bimbo eruption" was coined); Kathleen Willey (in oddly defending Mr. Clinton against her allegations of groping, supporters labeled them incredulous because her chest was too small). Elizabeth Ward Gracen, a former Clinton paramour, hid out of the country rather than face the insults, and she's a former Miss America. If this is equality, I'll take Jane Austen's era. Even the evil Fanny Dashwood was derided only as less "amiable." Harriet Smith was graciously described as "certainly not clever" but having "a sweet, docile, grateful disposition." I prefer these tame insults to the right to own property.

Today vilification and politics of personal destruction reign. But the politics of personal destruction is one-sided. Righteous indignation springs forth when personal attacks come to liberals. When the Saturday Night Live crew did a skit on Chelsea Clinton's teen awkwardness, they were forced to issue an apology and refrain forever. I once suggested in a column that Madeleine Albright, as secretary of state, not wear short skirts. She looked like a one-woman wrestling match each time she sat down with a world leader. Arafat averted his eyes using his purdah more than once. I was chastised mightily for offering just an age-specific wardrobe tip for a cabinet member.

The beauty coup of the women's movement doesn't apply uniformly. Democrats of the female persuasion, difficult as it is sometimes to tell, are off limits when it comes to insults. Not once has Mr. Letterman joked about Hillary Clinton's piano legs, Donna Brazile's weight, Carol Roberts' (the Palm Beach county balloteer and marionette for team Gore) gravely voice, or those Palm Beach voters who can't punch a chad and look like cross-dressers. Such attacks are cruel. But, John Goodman playing Linda Tripp on Saturday Night Live, now that's funny.

The piercing reality of the women's movement emerges once again. It was never about women and equality - it was about liberalism. Those who rise in opposition to liberals and liberalism are mocked publicly for being less than "amiable."


JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.

Up

11/20/00: Put me out of my misery
11/17/00: On being a statesman
11/13/00: When it's broke, fixing it wouldn't offend the Framers
11/08/00: ELECTION 2000: I SURRENDER
10/27/00: Al in the package? Memo to women: Choosing presidents and husbands
10/20/00: Ten things the gay community should understand
10/13/00: "You Have a Lump."
10/06/00: The government as the pharmacy: Don't
09/29/00: The capacity for truth
09/22/00: Charity with strings and an agenda
09/15/00: The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband
09/09/00: Why rich folk don't bother me none
08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
08/04/00: Women: Their own worst enemy
07/21/00: Hillary: Our longshoreman First Lady
07/21/00: SUVs: The root of all evil
07/14/00: The basketball gene and white men not jumping so well
07/07/00: I wanna be around
06/23/00: The liberal conversion
06/14/00: Sex and the City: The shallow but vulgar female
06/08/00: No excuses schools
06/02/00: Oh, Canada: Our Nutty Neighbors to the North
05/23/00: The new mollycoddling coach
05/16/00: On adultery and leadership
05/12/00: Taking your lumps
05/02/00: Elian: There's never a liberal around when you need one
04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
04/18/00: Womyn who want it both ways
04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
02/29/00: Ditzes in TV Land
02/22/00: Cranky nitpickers make writing a [sic] experience
02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
02/08/00: McCandidate McCain: Flirting with principles
02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
01/11/00: Oprah's lemmings
01/04/00: Struggling mightily amidst the comfort
12/23/99: Confused fathers
12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
11/29/99: When conservatives behave badly
11/22/99: Compassionate conservative: Timing and targets
11/18/99: The elusive human spirit and accountability
11/11/99: Succumbing to the intellectual child within with the help of crackpots and screwballs
10/28/99: Live by litigation, die by litigation
10/22/99: Jesse, Warren, Cybill, Donald and Oprah
10/14/99: Inequality and injustice: It's the big one
10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2000, Marianne M. Jennings