The Left’s Deep Hatred for Conservative Women
Thought experiment: What if Don Lemon had worded it a little differently? What if, instead of suggesting that all women over a certain age are past their prime, the CNN co-host made it clear that he was only speaking of Nikki Haley?
You know the claims that put the CNN host off the air — though only for a few days, because the stars never suffer too much for their failings. He said the newly-announced Republican presidential candidate “isn’t in her prime” and then defended himself by saying “Google it”; only women “in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s” are “considered to be in their prime.”
Would People Have Been as Angry?
What if he’d said: “Different people age differently and, look, when you work in television you know many women past a certain age who are clearly still in their prime. But Nikki Haley is not one of them. And that’s why she shouldn’t be making age an issue in this race.”
Now, Lemon would have never worded it like that, because part of what I think he was trying to do there was to take a dig at his female co-star, whom he does not like. The man has issues.
But what if he had made it really clear that he meant it only in regard to Haley? It would still have been a sexist remark, but would the reaction against him have been as intense?
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Maybe. In the post-#MeToo era, people are more sensitive to misogyny in general. Especially the woke precincts of mainstream television like CNN. And many people are sensitive to bigotry against older people as well. Especially people who follow a very old president.
But I don’t think the reaction would have been as intense. I think it would have only been mostly the Right who would have been upset with Lemon if he had more carefully aimed his sexist, ageist attack directly at Haley.
Why? Because the Left’s concern for women is political. “Women” means “women we approve of” or “women who agree with us.” It doesn’t mean women like Nikki Haley. As 40 years ago, it didn’t apply to highly successful women like Margaret Thatcher, the most powerful woman in the western world. But an enemy, not a “real woman,” because she was a Tory.
God Help You
If you are a conservative woman who speaks her mind, and especially a conservative woman who dares to run for national office, God help you. There are no limits to what some liberals will say about you. They will say or do whatever they can to crush you. You should not exist.
Eleven years ago, Rush Limbaugh called a young woman named Sandra Fluke a “sl**” after her absurd testimony before Congress demanding the government provide her contraception. The Left went berserk. You’d think he was the worst man on the planet. They tried to get his show taken off the air. Rush eventually apologized.
But as journalist Kirsten Powers wrote then, the Left’s record on this was much worse, and its offenders rarely got criticized. No one tried to get them off the air or off the web. Let me just quote a few of her examples.
Keith Olbermann, for example, called Michelle Malkin a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick” and talked about Carrie Prejean’s breasts on his show. Ed Schultz, once a progressive radio star, called Sarah Palin a “bimbo” and Laura Ingraham a “right-wing sl**.”
Chris Matthews asked if Sarah Palin is even “capable of thinking.” He called Michele Bachmann a “balloon head.” She was, he said, “lucky we still don’t have literacy tests out there.” I can’t even repeat here the kind of things liberal favorite Bill Maher has said about conservative women.
Several did also hate Hillary Clinton. So they didn’t just direct their misogyny at conservative women. But conservative women were their main target and the one they could safely hate on.
Don Lemon’s Reasons
What Don Lemon did was not simple male boorishness. He made the most personal possible attack on Nikki Haley, the one he knew would hurt her the most. He did it because she is a Republican woman running for President.
There is something about conservative women that really, and I mean really, triggers the Left. It triggers both the men and the women of the Left.
I think some of it’s simple misogyny. That men (and women) talk about respecting women doesn’t mean they all really do. There can be a big gap between the ideas they’re supposed to hold and what they really think. Anyone who’s spent years in politics has heard good liberals speak like sexist boors.
But it comes from somewhere else as well. I think it’s the feeling that conservative women are traitors because they should know better than to be conservative. They shouldn’t be serving the bad Republicans.
It’s bad enough if you are a white man who is a conservative. But, well, you’re a man and you’re white, so what can you do? You were born that way. The liberal can still despise you, but he doesn’t expect better of you.
But if you are a woman of the Right? How could you? You know what pigs they are. You know how they want to keep women barefoot and pregnant. You know they hate reproductive rights and want women to die of coat hanger abortions so men can keep their power. The only explanation the liberal can give is that you too hate women and want to join the conservative men in their tyranny.
Don Lemon’s Example
Don Lemon only said something about a conservative woman that others have said. In fact, he wasn’t as cruel as the people Powers wrote about. The liberal press did criticize him and he did get punished by being taken off the air. But only for a few days. He was back on his show Wednesday morning. He apologized. He said all the right things about respecting women. He promised to keep learning.
But you know what? Watch what the Left does if he finds a way to attack Nikki Haley without saying something that applies to other women as well. He can be as misogynist as he wants and the reaction will be crickets. He’ll only be exposing a traitor after all.
Peter Wolfgang is Executive Director of Family Institute of Connecticut Action. He lives in Waterbury, Connecticut, with his wife and their seven children. The views expressed on The Stream are solely his own.