06/17/2010 02:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Think Again: Networks to Women: "Never on Sunday"

In a column this past Sunday entitled "No Mystique About Feminism," New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat observes, "When historians set out to date the moment when the women's movement of the 1970s officially consolidated its gains, they could do worse than settle on last Tuesday's primaries." Douthat notes that the female victors won largely running as conservative Republicans, and he offers ambivalent support for Sarah Palin's claim in her now infamous "mama grizzlies" speech that these new candidates were forging an "emerging, conservative, feminist identity." Douthat argues that "whether or not Palin or Fiorina or Haley can legitimately claim the label feminist, their rise is a testament to the overall triumph of the women's movement." In doing so, he could not resist taking a swipe at what he termed "the peculiar left-wing misogyny that greeted Palin's candidacy."

One of those misogynists, one assumes, would be Amanda Marcotte, author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments, who usually writes on the Pandagon blog. She finds Douthat decidedly off base. Responding to his (and Palin's) claim that right-wing women who do not support a women's right to choose or equality in the workplace have the right to call themselves "feminist," Marcotte writes:

"Real feminists find themselves unimpressed with the notion that there can be a feminism based around rich, powerful women passing policies that destroy the possibility of equality for all other women in the country. Nowhere in the centuries-old definition of feminism is there a phrase explaining that equality is only for rich, white, straight, married mothers with conservative politics."

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