In the 1980s the Coca-Cola company made a gigantic mistake. That mistake was known as New Coke.
It was so unpopular that it took less than 3 months for the company to reintroduce the original product, only under the name “Coca-Cola Classic” because the name “Coca-Cola” was already on every bit of New Coke advertising.
New Coke was hated by some, tolerated by others, and actually enjoyed by some people (questionable souls that probably needed therapy), but the important thing to note was that just because New Coke failed horribly, doesn’t mean that we gave up on the original beverage.
Because Coca-Cola is delicious and it’s important to the fabric of our society.
Wait, sorry, I’m getting Coke confused with the actual topic of my post.
For years I’ve stated that I’m not a Feminist. I can’t associate myself with the likes of Lena Dunham or Sarah Silverman or Amy Schumer. I’m not on Code Pink’s rosters and I have never read or seen The Vagina Monologues and I sincerely hope I never do.
Feminism is usually described in the form of waves and the current one is so preposterous in nature that I could never become part of it.
But it isn’t Feminism, it’s the New Coke of feminism.
Just because it sucks now, doesn’t mean feminism as an ideal should be given up on.
And clearly we need it, because conservatism and conservative women have a crisis on our hands when it comes to respect for women.
We’ve spent so long renouncing New Feminism and refusing to call ourselves feminists, that I think a few people have gotten confused. They think that because we do not call ourselves feminists that we view ourselves as subservient, that we don’t believe in equality, that we have no self-respect, that we are okay with being viewed as objects, that our lack of “feminism” means that we are docile and have no problem with their casual “locker room talk” of sexual assault, that we think that people who boast about groping women against their will and bragging about rape fantasies are people capable or deserving of the Presidency.
Somehow our rejection of New Feminism has led a lot of people to think we are done with the idea entirely.
So I think it’s time for Feminism Classic.
Feminism Classic means that I’m not okay with “locker room talk” that treats any woman like a plaything for a man’s enjoyment. I wouldn’t speak about a woman that way myself and I’m no less attracted to beautiful women than any straight male. It is not “locker room talk” to casually talk about sexual assault and if you think it is, then there is something deeply twisted in your character and your ethics and both of those things should be valued and considered when we are deciding on a President.
The Republican party and conservatism have had to spend many years arguing that they are not misogynists, that they value equality and meritocracy and shun things like racism and sexism. I was making those accusations long before I switched sides and started defending conservatism and the GOP, so I know what the accusations of modern Feminists sound like in regards to conservatism. I knew (and know) so many good conservative men and women who I know without a doubt believe in equality and want nothing to do with sexism of any kind. The women I know who have said that they reject the New Feminism ideology are not women who view themselves as subservient playthings either. So I felt confident that I was not wasting my time defending the GOP from people that claimed that I was supporting a party that saw me as worth less than a man just because I was female. I was willing to ignore the slips by some members of the party, the Todd Akin moments, or the commentary that I occasionally saw from the average Joe Republican on twitter or facebook, because at it’s core I truly believed that the majority of our party was not like that.
But, much like Trump is only a symptom of a much larger disease of racism and anti-semitism in the “Alt-Right” and in America in general (as much as I disagree with Hillary Clinton on 99% of things, she was right when she called them deplorable), I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps the people I know and the leadership that have denounced Donald Trump are the exception rather than the rule.
Polls like this one indicate a disease in the Republican party membership that can’t be covered up by the fact that the higher level members of the party have rebuked Trump’s statements in the home stretch of the election. Only 12% of Republicans polled thought that the statements made by Trump should cause him to end his campaign.
Only 12% viewed Trump’s belief that he has a right to assault women because of his status as something that should disqualify him from running our country. Only 12% of Republicans (and 13% of female Republicans) looked at their wives, daughters, sisters, and female friends and thought “no, that’s not the kind of President I want.”
12% is too few and it leaves me wondering if perhaps I’ve been wrong to defend the GOP from accusations of misogyny for so long? Could it be that the “grassroots” of the GOP really might treat me as less deserving of common decency and respect just because of where my sexual organs are housed?
Of course I’m still not a New Feminist.
I will not be protesting the patriarchy any time soon, preaching about rape culture, or comparing people to poisoned skittles (I’ll leave that to Donald Trump and the writers at Jezebel or whatever the New Feminist website of the week is), but I am ready to take Feminism back and make it very clear to the world what Feminism Classic means.
And should the GOP want me back, they’ll need to embrace Feminism Classic too. I don’t ask them to drink the New Feminism swill, but I am going to follow in the footsteps of women like Susan B. Anthony and Abigail Adams.
No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party who ignores her sex.
-Susan B. Anthony
Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your sex.