It takes feminist author (and former Al Gore grooming consultant) Naomi Wolf to see a sinister conspiracy behind the narrowing of the gender gap.
“What happened?” she asks apropos the gender gap in the latest issue of New York magazine. “Karen Hughes,” she answers. “The true genius behind the Bush success is not Karl Rove; she’s a suburban working mom in sensible shoes. It was clear from the start that Team Bush realized that the old, white, male face of the Republican Party was a recipe for losing those crucial suburban women in the swing states who are socially progressive and fiscally conservative. As long as the face of Republicanism was that of Newt Gingrich, ready to talk about women soldiers getting gynecological infections in foxholes, the GOP would face a Democratic hegemony, to paraphrase Rove, for the next twenty years.”
“So they devised a deliberate strategy that went unnoticed by Democratic strategists, most of whom are white guys over 50: to showcase a moderate, mainstream feminist makeover for the Bush brand. Everyone fell for it, including the press. Bush’s speeches are routinely cast before the eye, I am convinced, of Karen Hughes, who spins tax cuts as a boon to women entrepreneurs, like the one Laura Bush mentioned in her convention speech (Carmella Chaifos, ’the only woman to own a tow-truck company in all of Iowa’). The fallen heroes of Iraq are ’moms and dads.’ Afghanistan was the first time U.S. troops were deployed for a feminist goal, ’so Afghan girls could go to school.’”
This is how out of touch Ms. Wolf is: Instead of seeing Laura Bush as a woman who’s simply who she is, she sees “a moderate, mainstream feminist makeover.” That’s because women like Wolf can only appreciate the hackneyed opinions of somebody like Teresa Heinz Kerry–opinions pretty much bought in toto from sophisticated “thinkers” like Ms. Wolf–and when they meet somebody who is more in harmony with the American people, they can only regard her as really phony or really weird.
You see, for Ms. Wolf, women like Mrs. Bush are strange, alien creatures, while Teresa is just your average billionaire heiress next door, not weird at all. It is quite telling that Ms. Wolf compares Ms. Bush’s “gentle, Xanax-like demeanor, her faultless librarian’s poise and sincerity,” unfavorably to the “the imperious sexuality of Teresa Heinz Kerry.” But most people don’t like the “imperious sexuality” of a 65-year-old woman who designates those who disagree with her “idiots” or “scumbags.” Only a radical feminist like Ms. Wolf mistakes this for charm.
If you had any doubt that the blue state mentality–which Wolf represents–is different from the rest of the world, you just have to read the article. Do most folks regard Vice President Dick Cheney as “a scary, old-guard, male-dinosaur guy?” Naomi Wolf does.
Yes, yes, you must read it all, but here is one hilarious tidbit I can’t resist quoting. It’s about Teresa and how her use of her late husband’s name isn’t helping the Democratic cause: “By retaining her dead husband’s name,” writes Wolf, “there is no genteel way to put this–she is publicly, subliminally cuckolding Kerry with the power of another man–a dead Republican man, at that.”
So maybe Mrs. Heinz Kerry needs a make over? Earth tones would be nice–or maybe just some contact with normal earthlings.