“We are in the era of Republican Mean Girls, grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.

“These women — Jan, Meg, Carly, Sharron, Linda, Michele, Queen Bee Sarah and sweet wannabe Christine — have co-opted and ratcheted up the disgust with the status quo that originally buoyed Barack Obama. Whether they’re mistreating the help or belittling the president’s manhood, making snide comments about a rival’s hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men’s fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate…

“With casino red suit and lipstick, Angle played the Red Queen of the Mad Hatter tea party, denouncing career politicians and ordering ‘Off with your head!’ and ‘Down with government benefits!’ Even sober and smiling beneath her girlish bangs, the 61-year-old Angle had the slightly threatening air of the inebriated lady in a country club bar, tossing off outrageous statements and daring anyone to call her on them.”

***
“That’s exactly what her column about mean Republican and conservative women is — stereotypical and uncalled for. She lists the usual suspects — as in, those expected to win. Yet reading her piece I keep thinking, has she met any of those women? Does she still feel that way after walking away? I’m fortunate to meet a lot of women from both sides of the aisle — and with few exceptions I like them all. I certainly don’t think any of them are mean. Can women have moments they aren’t proud of? Sure. But to write all conservative and Republican women off as mean is . . . mean…

“Perhaps she was a mean girl. Or maybe mean girls picked on her. Not in high school, but in adulthood — and now she can think how powerful she is by writing catty columns on America’s most liberal editorial page. A column like today’s keeps those cocktail-party invitations coming.”

***
“Yes, sexism matters—as does gender. But whereas you never hear anyone claim that men should vote a particular way because of their gender, feminists have no trouble treating women like pre-schoolers who have to be herded into the right camp, a camp that is apparently preordained at birth. In an interview with Katie Couric last year, Gloria Steinem said that where conservative women stand ‘is squarely against what most women need and want. If [women] still vote for them, they are voting against themselves, which is quite tragic to me.’

“This kind of attitude should be antithetical to feminist thought because it is infantilizing to women.

“Politically, I agree very little with any of the conservative women mentioned in this column. But they have the same right as any woman to be treated with respect and dignity. Every time anyone—liberal, conservative, man or a woman—engage in sexist smears, all women lose.”

***
“It is 2010, ninety years after American women first won the right to vote, and nearly fifty years after Betty Friedan’s influential work ‘The Feminine Mystique’ was published, and women still do not want to vote for women.

“And women definitely do not want to vote for Republican women. For example, in Connecticut, Republican Linda McMahon has only 34 percent of the female vote as compared to Democrat Richard Blumenthal who has 61 percent of the female vote. In Delaware, Republican Christine O’Donnell has only 25 percent of the female vote as compared to her Democratic opponent Chris Coons, who leads with 58 percent of the female vote; in Nevada, Democrat Harry Reid is beating Republican Sharron Angle by a 51-33 margin. According to pollsters, Sharron Angle is a ‘staunch conservative, something that tends to turn off female voters.’…

“As the author of ‘Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman,’ allow me to spell it out for you. Like men, women are also sexists. They still expect women to behave in ‘feminine’ or maternal ways; this includes choosing a man as a protector, not as an opponent to publicly defeat in a very aggressive, ‘male’ way…

“Yes, feminist women have worked hard for both male and female feminist candidates, and some Republican women are now working hard for Republican candidates, both male and female. And yet, the problem of our collective sexism still remains and will continue to determine how campaigns are conducted and who wins.”