DAVID BROOKS, EXPERT ON FEMINISM.

David Brooks marrs an otherwise solid column about the contradictions of conservatism's hatred of "the elite" with this statement:

 The feminists declare that [Palin is] not a real woman because she doesn’t hew to their rigid categories.

No, feminists don't like Sarah Palin because she wants to, at best, give state governments jurisdiction over women's bodies. The tokenism of her selection manages to be both insulting and incompetent at the same time (as Ann argued on the day the selection was announced). But if anyone has been "hewing to rigid categories" it's the people who have claimed that she represents a new "feminist ideal" by being the kind of woman some people want "laying next to" them. And as Courtney Martin argues, Palin's candidacy is in and of itself an argument for traditional gender roles.

Palin appeals to many conservatives precisely because of her non-political, (but politicized) qualities, her big family, and her physical attractiveness. They see in her what a woman "should be." (After all, "who wants to stare at an aging woman," who isn't "a babe" eh, Rush?) But the very notion that woman "should be" something other than what she wants to be is what feminists have been fighting since the beginning of the movement. 

Feminists may not embrace Palin as one of them, but that's not the same as saying
she's not "a real woman." That's the kind of argument conservatives
make about feminists.

--A. Serwer

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