About this awful HufPost article, Feministing collectively says all that needs to be said, with an Abstract Nonsense chaser. But it makes one useful contribution–pushing Ann Althouse to a level of self-parody she had not previously reached (which, frankly, I would have thought impossible.) Laments La Althouse: “Fifteen years ago, feminists critiquing each other was an important part of feminism. Now, doggedly serving liberal partisan politics squelches everything that could become vital.” Yes, if you examine the feminist blogosphere today, one thing you’ll notice is that feminists are completely unwilling to engage in critiques of each other. (In fairness, she would be right not to count the many critiques of her post: feminists criticizing an anti-feminist is a different category.)
Let me explain: people didn’t criticize your claims that wearing a knit sweater to a meeting with an ex-president with a relatively strong feminist policy record is somehow anti-feminist because they’re against feminists being criticized in principle, but because your arguments were asinine and mean-spirited. If you want serious engagement with feminists, I would suggest not saying to an (actual) feminist, in these words, to “go ahead, tart up your website with boobies for now.” (Yep, “tart.”) Claiming that having an obvious parody of a sexist symbol and a T-Shirt ad constitutes “breastblogging” is stupid and insulting (and clearly even Althouse doesn’t take it seriously, since she’s not willing to criticize fellow conservatives who do the same thing.) Claiming that a group photo where the short people are in front and the tall people in the back must have been arranged to show off a young woman’s breasts makes no sense, and going on to speculate that NARAL’s house blogger might have been invited to the meetup as part of an elaborate ruse to get Bill Clinton laid is deranged. Your complaints about feminists not being willing to engage in an argument will be sneered at when you explicitly refuse to engage with the significant amount of substantive critiques you generated will be justly laughed at. And the idea of anybody listening to lectures about the purity of other people’s feminist credentials from somebody who took to the pages of the New York Times to write an evidence-free op-ed urging the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee who is not only a steadfast opponent of women’s rights in a context in which many crucial rights are hanging by a vote or two but belonged to an organization determined to keep women out of Princeton is absolutely risible. Is that critique enough for you?
…The Althouse method of “engagement” summarized neatly here.