Irin takes issue with McCain's defense of Republican women Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, women who have been treated absurdly by the main-stream media, as I described earlier. McCain links recent media scrutiny to their Republicanness instead of their femaleness. If the cause is the former, Irin thinks it's warranted, since these women are standing on the shoulders of a women's rights movement that they did nothing to support. And then she mentions this:
A more spirited yet reasoned analysis can be found in Joan Indiana Rigdon's Forbes.com column on why, exactly, one might be skeptical of these women and their claims to both represent progress for women and the end of any need for such progress.You know what, Michelle Malkin is right. And it really pains me to say that. I wouldn't say "liberals do this," as she did, but I would certainly say it's a behavior I've seen applied to Republican women more than once. Sontany's comment is completely sexist, not to mention it reeks of transphobia. I understand the idea, expressed elsewhere in Rigdon's column, that female politicians on either side of the aisle use a passageway paved by feminists, so should be willing to pay a "toll" to maintain that passageway. Nonetheless, if they choose to support different political viewpoints, my principles of feminism dictate I should support their right to speak these views as equals, free from gendered ad hominem attacks. If we attack their womanness, using ugly rape metaphors, how can we ever expect to stand on the platform we're mad they're not building? I choose a different path: to criticize their positions while fighting for their right to express them.
She describes how Tennessee Rep. Janis Baird Sontany said at a recent breakfast that when it comes to Republican women, "You have to lift their skirts to find out if they are women. You sure can't find out by how they vote." That elicited a response from Michelle Malkin not unlike Meghan McCain's: "When liberals can't handle GOP women, they infantilize, sexualize, demonize and dehumanize them." [emphasis added]
That means you can vote Republican (at the poll or in Congress), and I'll still defend your right to be treated with respect. Not deference, mind you, but basic human respect.