I am a feminist. I think it's important to use these words. Feminism simply refers to a philosophy that woman should be judged equally. So I use the term, hoping that it helps take it back from the people who believe that it comes along with an entire list of radical belief. I also identify at as a Zionist. That doesn't mean that I agree with anything the current government of Israel stands for. It simply means that I believe there is a place for a Jewish state in the Middle East. It doesn't come along with any policy about borders, etc.
I've been disturbed lately about the state of feminism. Having a pre-teen daughter has given me a lot to think about in that department. In particular, I think that feminism has gone so far that it has been appropriated by corporate forces and that woman have gone back to being objectified in our society. But that's another post.
How does a feminist deal with Michele Bachmann, the winner of yesterday's Iowa straw poll, the earliest indication of who will run against President Obama on the Republican ticket? On the one hand, she has announced that she is a submissive wife, according to her interpretation of the New Testament. She stands against the majority of women on any number of issues.
As Liberal, I say, "Bring it on." She's certainly entitled to any opinion she wants. Let's have it out, let's have a debate about these issues.
Yet much of the discussion about Bachmann has been about her looks. She launched her national career with an ill-advised response to the President's State of the Union Address earlier this year. She was not looking at the camera that was broadcasting the message to the major television networks. Her side claimed that she was looking at different camera, meant for the Tea Party website. Fair enough -- but I've seen both and I still think she looks weird. This week, conservatives were upset with Newsweek's use of a cover photo of her looking skyward. They said the editors where trying to make her look crazy.
Here's my take ... It think Bachmann has very strange eyes that make her less photogenic. I think it's very difficult to find a photo or video of her in which she seems to be addressing the audience directly. To this end, just to be fair. I embedded the video her campaign posted on YouTube in which she announces her presidential run. This is as good as it gets, folks -- she is addressing the camera, one controlled by her own campaign. You be the judge as to whether she has "go-funny eyes or not."
But my main point is, "Who cares"?
I think editors need not go out of their way to find flattering photos of Bachmann. She should be judged by the orifice located just inches below her eyes: Her mouth. I disagree with just about everything that comes out of that thing.
Bachmann is woman second, and politician first. To talk about what she stands for instead of how she looks ... that's feminism.