Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Strong Woman Myth

For many years now conservatives have been stereotyped as in opposition to "strong" women. I think it is a product of the ceaseless search by many Americans for identity in a minority group - black, female, gay, left-handed, disabled, Muslim, fat, bald, short, and for real status, a combination of some or perhaps for the very lucky, all of the above - and then to claim victim status because of discrimination against that minority. Lucky is the person who can claim they are a victim, because then society, and not themselves, is responsible for their problems and failures.

What strong women are we afraid of? We loved Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, the good friend and confidante of our most highly esteemed leader, President Reagan. Condoleezza Rice? She already has the complete trust of President Bush, and will easily go down in history as the strongest and most influential Secretary of State of all time. She is already the favorite for President in 2008 in conservative website polls. While Bill Clinton talked diversity for the sake of diversity, President Bush practices diversity for the sake of excellence.

I think liberals confuse our antipathy to Hillary as fear of a strong woman. Actually, we hold Hillary in contempt, and even pity her. I felt very sorry for her as the sordid details of Bill's escapades were made public, and she tried to blame the vast right-wing conspiracy. (G-d I wish we had one of those! But first, to get one we would have to find a way to get rid of Senators Chaffee, Snowe, Specter, and some other RINO's [Republicans In Name Only], our 5th Column. We're working on it.)

Many other strong women come to mind that we conservatives admire - I especially appreciate that we are blessed with beauty and brains in the persons of Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and Pamela of Atlas Shrugs. Add Katherine Harris to this list, who still scares the Democrats so spitless that they lose control of themselves about her makeup.

Karen Hughes worked with President Bush since around 1990, and has been called the most powerful woman to ever work in the White House (before Condi became Secretary of State). That was not said of any of Bill Clinton's hires or appointees, although Monica Lewinsky got very close to the seat of power.

We get all the spunky, assertive ones, and the liberals get all the whiners and victims of male oppression.

My favorite in the whiners category was Joycelyn Elders, who wore out her welcome with Bill Clinton in only fifteen months of stumbling and bumbling. Madeleine Albright was another, who always seemed to be photographed fawning over a Chinese, North Korean, or whatever other despot was available. Among the victims, Hillary leads the pack. The problems she and Bill had - the Hillary-care fiasco that gave us Republican majorities in both houses in 1994 comes to mind - she blamed on opposition to her being a woman rather than her dumb health care reform plan.

I am not just stuck on admiring Republicans. Golda Meir was a socialist, and though I can't find a good thing to say about socialism, I have to admire her as a leader. She helped defend and move Israel forward, while all the time having to deal with the fractious factions in the Labor party. It was like having the Republicans and Democrats in the same party, so they could fight more amongst themselves than outsiders. A tough job at any time, but try to do it when you are surrounded by hostile neighbors, each several times your size, that desire nothing less than your annihilation.

This post was inspired by watching "Pride and Prejudice" last night. I saw what I consider one of the best movies of all time, and there were no warships or violence, and no unbelievable special effects. A young woman masterfully carried the story about her sisters, parents, and suitors. It was a guilty pleasure to be totally engrossed in a "girl" movie. No looming physical danger or threats, and no violence, although some characters got skewered and carved up verbally - but very genteelly, without profanity or crudeness.

The young leading lady, Elizabeth, reminded me of the young ladies I am so fortunate to have in my life, my wife and her two daughters. They are intelligent, energetic, athletic, and of course, pretty. I salute them for what they have already accomplished, and frequently have a sense of awe at their energy and bright futures.

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