We love Caitlin Flanagan–because she sure knows how to tick off the feminist ideologues! Caitlin (who’s got a new book out, “To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife”) violates feminist orthodoxy by arguing that kids whose mothers work outside the home really miss out on something.
Indeed, here’s Caitlin’s latest piece, for Time magazine, where she points out that even though she’s pro-choice and anti-Iraq war:
….there is apparently no room for me in the Democratic Party. In fact, I have spent much of the past week on a forced march to the G.O.P. And the bayonet at my back isn?t in the hands of the Republicans; the Democrats are the bullyboys. Such lions of the left as Barbara Ehrenreich, the writers at Salon and much of the Upper West Side of Manhattan have made it abundantly clear to me that I ought to start packing my bags. I’m not leaving, but sometimes I wonder: When did I sign up to be the beaten wife of the Democratic Party?
Here’s why they’re after me: Here’s why they’re after me: because of it. I’m out, and I’m proud. I am a happy member of an exceedingly ‘traditional’ family. I’m in charge of the house and the kids, my husband is in charge of the finances and the car maintenance, and we all go to church every Sunday.
So our reader P.S. protests:
She calls herself the ‘beaten wife of the Democratic Party.’ Do you think it was right for her to say that? My mother was a beaten wife. It was horrific. I had to live through watching that as a child. I think Flanagan must be lacking in basic simple human decency in order to say an offensive thing like that. I think Caitlin Flanagan needs to apologize to the ALL of the victims of domestic violence for her crass comment. By the way, the victims of domestic violence include not just beaten wives but also children, and unfortunately, many law enforcement officers killed while responding to domestic violence calls. That’s what she’s trivializing with her stupid comment.
I’d never want to trivialize wife-beating (and neither, I think, would Caitlin), but don’t you think she’s speaking metaphorically? It’s like accusing someone of “murdering the English language.” That doesn’t trivialize murder.
And here’s more from Caitlin:
It’s a small but very vocal minority, the Democratic pundits, who abhor what I represent because it doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of the modern woman who has escaped from domestic prison. Fifty years ago, a stay-at-home mom who loved her husband would not automatically be assumed to be a Republican. The image of the Democratic Party that used to come to mind was of a workingman and his wife sitting at the kitchen table worrying about how they were going to pay the bills and voting for Adlai Stevenson because he was going to help them squeak by every month and maybe even afford to send their kids to college.
The Democrats made a huge tactical error a few decades ago. In the middle of doing the great work of the ’60s–civil rights, women’s liberation, gay inclusion–we decided to stigmatize the white male. The union dues–paying, churchgoing, beer-drinking family man got nothing but ridicule and venom from us. So he dumped us. And he took the wife and kids with him.
And here’s one of our favorite fellow blogstresses, Bookworm, commenting on the tale of Monica Pippin, who lied her way into a wet T-shirt contest at age 16, bared her chests in front of cheering guys with video cameras, and then was shocked, shocked to discover herself on a Playboy documentary about girls who bare their chests in public–so she’s suing everyone in sight (see “How to Feel Sexually Exploited and Get Rich,” May 3).
I was rather taken aback when I read about Monica Pippin who, at 16, went to Daytona Beach for spring break, lied her way into (and won) a wet t-shirt contest and sued five years later, apparently in part because her parents eventually found out when footage of her escapades ended up on Playboy.
Where the heck were her parents in the first place? What kind of parents let their 16-year-old go off without any kind of oversight to Daytona Beach? Even minimal oversight from a parent or chaperone should have meant that she couldn’t even get near a bare-your-boobs contest in the first place. Perhaps the people Monica really should be suing are Mom and Dad.