By this point, unless you are fortunate enough to be able to completely ignore social media and most television programming, you’re probably familiar with the term “cultural appropriation.” It’s an increasingly popular term among social justice warriors, typically employed as an accusation of cultural insensitivity. This means that if you choose to wear some clothing, eat some food, dance to some music or otherwise partake of something which is deemed to be the “property” of a particular demographic group, you’re stealing it from them and somehow cheapening it. One of the most recent examples was the young lady who wore a traditional Chinese dress to prom and was roundly lambasted on the left over it.
It’s a silly idea which I’ve never paid much attention to since nobody “owns” a particular style of clothing, food or whatever unless they happen to hold a patent or copyright on a specific brand. But now, thanks to our Townhall colleague Timothy Meads, perhaps we can put that all behind us. There’s a new type of appropriation in town and it’s known as “conservative appropriation.” Hey now… that might have some potential! Do you mean people are taking on conservative traits without being conservative?
Sadly, no. In this case, it’s liberal women claiming that conservative women can’t speak up on women’s issues because… I have no idea. But it’s apparently “appropriation” of some sort.
According to the New York Times’ Jessica Valenti, conservative women cannot use the term “feminist” because their beliefs do no match up with hers nor in her mind help women. In today’s edition of NYT, Valenti says:
“Now, we have a different task: protecting the movement against conservative appropriation. We’ve come too far to allow the right to water down a well-defined movement for its own cynical gains. Because if feminism means applauding ‘anything a woman does’ — even hurting other women — then it means nothing.”
Valenti basically says that feminists wrongly led others to believe in a version of feminism that was separate from the truth. It does not simply mean equal treatment under the law or in the work place. Instead it means believing in ideals that ascertain only to the left. Because, according to Valenti, those ideals are what truly help women.
Valenti goes on at length to make an extensively cataloged list of complaints which explain why women who benefit from earlier feminist endeavors can’t actually be feminists if they are Republicans or conservatives. Breaking the glass ceiling in a major company or government office is “groundbreaking” according to the author, but only in a technical sense. It’s not a real victory for women to see one of their own gender take over Fox News, for example, because they’ve risen to the top in an organization which liberals don’t endorse. You see, feminism is apparently inherently tied to liberalism and anyone coloring outside those lines is not welcome in the clubhouse.
Wasn’t the original idea of feminism to fight for gender equality in the workplace and, more generally, under the law in all aspects of life? How does the question of whether you support or oppose tax cuts relate to this subject? Shouldn’t the career achievements and success of women like Nikki Halley or Betsy DeVos be celebrated by all women, if only for having busted their way into the old boys’ club?
Apparently not. For a long time now I’ve heard from various women who tell me that females in the workplace are their own worst enemy. There is anecdotal proof that women in competitive environments tend to treat each other horribly and stab each other in the back far too often. Apparently, it’s the same in politics. It’s all “up with women” and “fight the patriarchy” until someone shows up with some different political views. Then they are summarily kicked to the curb. It’s a phenomenon which was perfectly demonstrated when some Jewish lesbians were kicked out of the Dyke March in Chicago last year.
Just keep making that tent smaller, feminists. One of these days you’re going to wake up and realize that it’s gotten awfully lonely in there.