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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Saturday, December 1, 2018
When Women MARCH To DIFFERENT Drummers
Illustration ondifferences of opinion among women in the public eye by Linas Garsys Suzanne Fields
It’s not exactly a cat fight, and even calling it that is a no-no. But certain lionesses of culture and politics are growling, hissing, spitting and scratching at each other. Some of the growls are fiercer than others, but there’s anger aplenty.
Barbra Streisand, the dowager songbird of Hollywood, is out promoting and hyping her new protest album “Walls,” and building walls of her own. She’s making catty and condescending remarks about women who don’t agree with her politics. Explaining Hillary Clinton’s failure to break the glass ceiling in 2016, she falls back on the old complaint thrown at the suffragettes, that since women don’t have minds of their own they would just vote like their husbands. So who needs them?
“A lot of women vote the way their husbands vote,” Ms. Streisand told the London Daily Mail, explaining how Donald Trump won. “They don’t believe enough in their own thoughts.” Adding insult to intimidation, she further explained that Hillary, “so articulate, so experienced, so fit for the presidency, was too intimidating.” It’s hard to unpack her logic. She’s accusing women voters not only of being unable to think for themselves, but driven by their emotions and feelings of inferiority. Where have we heard that before? She just doesn’t understand why every woman doesn’t think like she does.
The remarks invited a Twitter tornado from women, calling it “gender shaming” and telling her they won’t be tutored by a left-wing Hollywood celebrity whose husband no doubt votes the way she does. Is he intimidated by her success? If she’s so upset by walls, some of them suggest, she could tear down some of the high fences that protect her glamorous houses whose taste and style she set out in a coffee-table book. Most stinging of all, others recall how she kissed up to Bill Clinton after he was credibly accused of rape.
A lot of women voted for Donald Trump, flaws and all, because he was not Hillary, whose flaws they found greater, more numerous and more offensive. Barb doesn’t run in circles where she’s likely to meet and greet them. Her new album, critic Armond White in National Review observes, finds her “preaching from the high tower of self-involved, high-minded people who have had their worldview shaken by democracy itself — the will of an electorate that dares to differ from Streisand’s own high-flown preferences.”
Another expression of women’s issues that sets women against women comes in a particularly nasty way. Teresa Shook, founder of the Woman’s March first put leather to pavement on President Trump’s inauguration day, is criticizing those getting ready for their third march in January. She calls for the four leaders of the march to resign. She accuses them of enabling “hateful” and “racist” rhetoric inspired by anti-Semitism and homophobia to infiltrate the movement.
Tamika Mallory, one of the four, boasts of her close connections with Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam whose hateful speech against Jews is compounded with other vicious bigotries. The criticism of the Woman’s March leadership has accelerated in the past eight months since she attended the Nation of Islam rally and applauded Louis Farrakkhan’s remarks.
She recalls that she was tutored by Mr. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam from childhood. “I thought he was the GOAT, ‘the greatest of all time’.”
Mr. Farrakhan identifies Jews as his enemy, and tells them “it’s God who put you in the ovens [at Auschwitz],” and that it’s “the wicked Jews, the false Jews that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality, and that makes it a crime for [them] to preach the word of God.” Whew.
That should invite the strongest denunciation from any women’s group claiming moral leadership, but it doesn’t. Leaders of the Woman’s March point out a few mild differences with Mr. Farrakhan, but offer no condemnation. One leader even blames “white supremacy” for suggesting that the women should condemn his wickedness. “As a Muslim,” says Linda Sarsour, “I know all too well that I am expected to answer for other Muslims’ actions when white folks never have a second thought about having to do that. This is a feature of white supremacy.”
After the four leaders of the Woman’s March returned their founder’s fire, and Teresa Shook described them as “the mean girls,” the four decided on a softer approach, apologizing “for the harm we have caused.” Their apology sounds more like they wanted to reset their image for public approval, not disconnect from the Nation of Islam. Will Louis Farrakhan suddenly morph from their GOAT to scapegoat?
That may depend on which Lioness cage is most rattled. None of them should expect a lullaby from Barbra Streisand.