The October Surprise fired at Meg Whitman this week has nothing to do with immigration policy; it has everything to do with feminism.

The accusation that the GOP gubernatorial candidate in California knowingly employed an illegal housekeeper even after receiving a “no-match” letter from the Social Security Administration falls flat. As of now, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of illegal behavior – Whitman filed an I-9 form, fired her housekeeper promptly after she admitted to her boss she was here illegally, and there’s no proof she ever received a letter from the SSA.

What’s clear, however, is there are some suspicious players lurking just (barely) behind the scenes.

When I learned the self-identified “feminist activist” and “warrior” Gloria Allred is representing Whitman’s former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz Santillan, my ears perked up and my concern about Whitman’s honesty began to subside.

2010 is going to be the year of the GOP woman. More importantly, it’s shaping up to be the year of women standing up for limited government, individual rights and freedom. And traditional “feminists” like Allred are fuming: A victory for Meg Whitman is a loss for feminism.

Allred and others on the left – like author Jessica Valenti and Slate’s Hanna Rosin – understand feminism as unlimited abortion rights and big-government economic policies. And women like Whitman – who calls for the reduction of taxes, a spending cap and the elimination of burdensome regulations on business – don’t toe the traditional feminist line.

But perhaps Allred and her cadre of supporters ought to consider why so many voters are supporting conservative women like Whitman and Carly Fiorina and Nikki Haley and Sharron Angle. Today women earn more bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and now Ph.D.s than men. Nearly 25 percent of women out-earn their spouses; and nine out of 10 women are the leading purchaser in the household – everything from groceries to electronics to cars.

Feminism today has been refashioned to fit this new woman. Women are tired of the top-down, Keynesian economics that define the Obama administration – from the healthcare overhaul to financial reform. They believe a return to smaller, more sensible government is good for women and their families. And that’s a serious threat to traditional feminists.

So for Allred, this isn’t about legal or illegal; it’s about who owns feminism on Nov. 3.