Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Provocative Open Thread: Can Feminism be Right Wing?

Wake up, Moose! Come on. Stop sleeping. Summer’s lease hath all too short a date. It’ll be the mid terms soon. Time to shake that shaggy ass and get up off those dusty haunches. You’ll be needed come November. Just leave that grass alone (not mentioning anyone by name) and get up onto your hoofs!

Where are they now? Ou sont les neiges d’antan? Where are the snows of yesterday? Bushy Blasky and Prickly Allen? Where battling feminists JJC and Michelle? Where imagistic Kysen and empathetic Sricki? Where hot-hob Hubie and down-under Shaun? Where Gadfly and Btchakir and all my friends beside?

Ou sont les neiges d’antan?

OK. I get it. You’re tired. You’re bushwhacked. You fought to elect a democratic president and congress… and waddya get? Trouble. Compromise. Legislation. Grey zones. More legislation. Imperfection. Sell outs. Corporatists. Pragmatists. Idealists on a stick. In other words.. Politics.

To use more ponsy French: plus ca change.

But how to goad the somnolent beast out its slumber? What woke it up before? What made the Moose strut, run, and use its horns like a Spanish bull in frenzy?

Hmmm. I know. I remember the most commented diaries. So here we go. This has got everything that gets you going my Moosey Friends. Feminism. Palin. Sexism. Liberalism. And even a bit of I/P in the mix like a Tequila slammer with nitro, triple sec and glycerine.

Follow me below the fold if you dare.  

A diary and a newspaper piece have got me thinking: is Feminism always liberal? Is it, sui generis, progressive?

On Daily Kos, someone I don’t usually read that much has written a brilliant impersonation of Sarah Palin as a reactionary feminist or Mama Grizzly. Here’s a brief sample of this rather wonder spoof, or reactionary riff:

Throw the hockey sticks and kids into the back of the van, look in the mirror, and I am sooo ready

I must throw off the shackles, scream blue murder, who cares about facts, I’m a Mama grizzly and you are in deep doodo.

You want crazy, well I’m going to unleash Jaeger styled Frontier Woman mad!

I must gird my vagina with the holy scriptures and be piously loopy.

Perm my hair, break out the pearls and I’m ready to rock; photogenic you betcha, I’ve got the looks, now I want the power!

Republican sexy! You better fucking believe it buster!

Burn a bra, no way, I’m going ta wiggle into the tightest basque there is, I’m going to aim myself directly at those gonads!

I’m going to win! Come ta mama!

Wolf, shot one. Moose, skinned one. Man, dumped one, well he was a liberal!

Look at this blood red lipstick you lilly-livered republican men, you think driving around in a truck with a gun rack is going to scare anyone, just look at these lips and teeth babe, think sucked dry!

Mama’s taking over, off to your room with no dinner! You want directions? Well I’m holding the map

Wow. Kind of nails a strange mixture of empowerment, misanthropy and right wing anger. Who’d have thought feminism could be reactionary? Except perhaps Camille Paglia. So question number one:

Why do we assume feminism is always progressive?

The second part of my timely provocation now takes us to Israel, where sexual politics now mingle with race (again): in this case the tension between Jews and Arabs.

In this case Saber Kushour has been convicted of “rape by deception” for having casual sex with a Jewish woman who thought he was Israeli. The Guardian explains some of the background to the case.

Last week the married father of two from east Jerusalem was sentenced to 18 months in jail for the “rape by deception” of a Jewish woman who claimed she would not have had sex with him had she known he was an Arab. What might have been a tawdry episode – casting neither Kushour nor the woman in a favourable light – exploded into a debate in Israel about racism, sexual mores and justice.

“I am paying the price for a mistake that she made,” Kushour, 30, told the Observer. “I was shocked at the sentence – it shows a very vivid and clear racism.” The message from the judge, he says, was that “because you are an Arab and you didn’t make that clear, we are going to punish you”.

In his verdict, Judge Zvi Segal conceded that it was not “a classical rape by force”. He added: “If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have co-operated. The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price – the sanctity of their bodies and souls.”

Now deception I understand. Rape by deception, not so much. Surely, either party in consenting sexual congress agree to the physical interaction, economic, social or ethnic issues aside. It’s yes/no to two bodies: if you don’t like the guy/gal, that’s experience. If you have been bamboozled by them, that’s fraud. But rape?

In the UK, most rapes go unreported, and only a small percentage of those that make the courts are successfully prosecuted. The overwhelming power lies with male strength, and a mainly male justice system which belittles women and undermines their claims to justice.

But having said that, can rape itself be reversed, and an allegation itself used as a weapon of oppression?

Flame away Mooses. Glad to have you back


  1. What’s this? No comments yet? Sitting back and popping open the popcorn?

    {American accent}

    No. That ain’t gonna fly. The big camera on the sky is pointing at you, bud.

    Speak up. Can’t hear ya. What was that you mumbled, between popcorn cemented teeth? Oh. It’s not an either/or? I’ve phrased it in a too provocative way?

    Duh. Course I did. I’m shaking Java beans in ya face. Wake up and have a sniff…

    {English accent}

    And don’t forget this is an open thread, for the elucidation of any issue, and the edification of all.    

  2. HappyinVT

    Palin and Bachmann see themselves as feminists because they are women who have been successful in a male-dominated environment.  They’ve taken on some big boys and won.  And, on top of that are considered (yuck!) leaders in the Republican Party.  If that’s feminism, they’re feminists.

    That they do not support a woman’s right to choose, or that they seek to tell other women when to have sex, is not a problem for them because their God tells them that abortion and pre-martial sex is wrong.

    I really do wonder what’s up with Palin trotting Piper out at just about every event.  Does that child not go to school?

    Lastly, the rape by deception story puts me in mind of Lawrence Taylor, the former NFL player, who had sex with an under age prostitute.  There have been stories that the girl in question lied about her age.  I have to say as someone approaching fifty too soon I cannot tell the ages of the young folks anymore.  Should Taylor have walked away if he doubted the girl’s age?  Hindsight is 20-20.

  3. linfar

    I have been arguing this hither and yon–that liberal democrats do not have a lock on feminism. If empowering women and putting women first is feminism, then Palin is one. She is the second woman in US history to be nominated for Vice President. In a way it is fantastic to have women from all across the political spectrum represented now.  I abhor Palin’s policies but the truth is as a working class women I luv the way she talks. And she makes me laugh. Palin has moxie and a kind of authenticity that resonates with voters. Reagan had it as well. I also think that the attacks on her based on her sex are aweful. Every bit as bad as what came at Clinton. No one on the left took Reagan seriously either.

    As for the mis-representation leading to sex. It’s fraud not rape. And it does somewhat undermine the seriousness of the use of force to compel sex.

  4. fogiv

    I’m brain stew; packing and moving all day in the heat.  I’ll have some things to say on this subject once I pull myself together and align some other unrelated ducks (have some more prep to do before I go to work for Uncle Sam earl and brighty tomorrow.

    get your flame throwers ready folks.  just to preview where I may go here, recollect the whole Larry Summers/sexism flap?

    CAMBRIDGE — The president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, sparked an uproar at an academic conference Friday when he said that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. Summers also questioned how much of a role discrimination plays in the dearth of female professors in science and engineering …

    Here’s the thing: I think Summers’ was largely correct.

    I’ll explain later.

  5. Kysen

    While I can agree that a ‘feminist’ can come from either end of the political spectrum….I just don’t cotton to applying that badge (of HONOR) to anyone who believes in lesser rights for women, anyone who believes a woman’s body is anything other than HER OWN, anyone who in any form has a fall back position that places women in a second class role. So, while there are indeed those on the Right who are there solely due to (their perception) of fiscal policies and who are Pro-choice….they are a minority. I do not see Sarah Palin as a feminist…honestly, I see her as a pawn and that is a shame. Seeing her as an example of feminism lessens feminism because she does not believe that women are whole enough to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies. I won’t say anything else about her cuz I have nothing even remotely nice to say.

    As far as the Arab being jailed for rape for lying about being Jewish…I am totally ok with that…..

    So long as

    every married man or woman who said they were single…

    every man or woman who said “oh, I’m 39” well after their 40th birthday…

    every man or woman who claimed ownership on the rented Porsche…

    every man or woman who says “I am on birth control” or “I had a vasectomy” whilst hoping for a pregnancy…

    every man or woman who said “I love you” in order to get laid…

    ALSO goes to prison. Seems fair, no?

    In other words….I think it is complete and utter SHITE. Fucking BULLSHIT. I hope it is quickly overturned upon appeal. Disgraceful. (and, yes, he may be a slimeball….BUT..he is NOT a rapist).

  6. fogiv

    here’s The Builders and the Butchers, with a song called ‘Black Dresses’.  About a girl!  It’s been stuck in my head all afternoon.

  7. are you actually making me think in the summer?!?!?

    ok – first things first… the israeli case is a bit of an odd duck. but not so clear cut, since religion has a strange relationship to law in israel. (it does in the states too i’ve learned that in some US states, a marriage can be nullified if one party lied about his/her religion).

    but in this case, it was not specifically designed for that of an arab/israeli dynamic, with a jewish man being charged for the same thing 2 years ago – thus making the racism argument invalid.

    In 2008, the High Court of Justice set a precedent on rape by deception, rejecting an appeal of the rape conviction by Zvi Sleiman, who impersonated a senior official in the Housing Ministry whose wife worked in the National Insurance Institute. Sleiman told women he would get them an apartment and increased NII payments if they would sleep with him.

    High Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said a conviction of rape should be imposed any time a “person does not tell the truth regarding critical matters to a reasonable woman, and as a result of misrepresentation she has sexual relations with him.”

    Rubinstein said the question was also whether an ordinary person would expect such a woman to have sex with a man without the false identity he created.

    In the past, men who misrepresented themselves in this way were convicted of fraud.

    One such case was that of Eran Ben-Avraham, who told a woman he was a neurosurgeon after which she had sex with him, and was convicted of three counts of fraud.

    next – to the question of political ideology and feminism. also not so simple… the answer is clearly no in that right-wingers, conservatives, centrists, etc can most certainly be feminists. but the question arises then  – what if a person supported one (or more) laws that are decidedly against what feminism represents? does this make them against women’s rights? the answer undoubtedly is no.

    i think what this demonstrates is that politics isn’t a zero-sum game and that politicians, or people, aren’t a product of their views on a particular law or laws but rather an amalgamation of their values. i’d like to hope that its the total make-up of a person and what they stand for, but i know i am in the minority.

  8. creamer

    is more of a problem. It will be interesting how she dances behind the woman shield if and when a white male politician implies shes an idiot. One wonders if womanhood will rise up in outrage about her being treated unfairly.

     Now if a black politician calls her an idiot look out, old white males will go nuts regardless of wether they agree or not.  

  9. spacemanspiff

    Anybody else think it’s totally cool the President is going on The View?

    Out of all the highly rated shows he decided to do one geared primarily towards women.

    Speaks volumes. I’m just saying.

  10. Jjc2008

    Every thing I cared for, worked for, wanted for the past 40 years, seems to have been ignored, lost, disregarded.  I know I am only one person, and it is no president’s job to appease just one.

    But honestly, the whole education deal has me pretty down.

    Arnie Duncan and his love of charters has disenfranchised a lot of teachers. It’s wrong.  When investor’s can make money on the backs of children, to me it is immoral and takes away the whole notion, the essence of what I believe, that public education is the ultimate equalizer (in the ideal).  I know, all teachers know that public ed has issues.  But the answer is not “for profit” ed.  It is hard for me to get how any liberal/progressive can’t see it.

    Health care and jobs and the attitude toward unions is simply a downer for me.  I hear all the time, from young people, here and irl, about all the bad things about unions.  Rarely do people want to discuss all the things unions did to improve the quality of life for the masses.  

    Like education, there are problems.  But imo they are easier to fix than just pretending the corporates will ever give a dame about workers.

    I am a few months from Medicare.  So maybe I should not worry so much about Health Care issues.  But I do. I look at the grandkids, I look at young people I know and I am afraid for them.  Ditto on global warming.  I won’t be here to have to deal with the worst that can happen if we don’t stop this insanity when it comes to our planet, but I care.

    In the end, I feel pretty helpless and so I have take time away to try to live in the moment.  

  11. DeniseVelez

    give or take a few.

    My feminism was learned from the sheroes of my life – Sojourner Truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Blanca Canales,  Lolita Lebron, and Yuri Kochiyama (who is still a figther in her 90’s).

    You cannot be feminist and racist.  You cannot be feminist and classist.

    Don’t dirty the tag with Sarah Palin’s name.

    She is the antithesis of all that my feminism espouses.

    BTW – was at Netroots Nation and am stil tired from the trip to  Las Vegas but I gave a shout out to the Moose on my panel 😉

  12. Rashaverak

    at a rally in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in October 2008, a Male Palin Supporter,shouted out, “You’re a Hottie!”

    And Sister Sarah responded…

    Wink, wink!

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