Monday, August 12, 2013

Chicks on the Right...You're So Wrong

As I've mentioned a million times, I'm originally from Indiana. Today one of my Indy friends, Jess, passed along the latest export (in a long line) of things from home that makes me want to cry: Chicks on the Right. They are "Daisy" and "Mockarena":
Daisy is Amy Jo Clark, and Mockarena is Miriam Weaver. Together they write the Chicks on the Right blog ( and host a talk show on WIBC-FM (93.1) in Indianapolis.

I don't even know where to begin. I guess I can start by letting them talk for themselves. Here are a few of the endearing things they have to say:

The word “feminist” has been hijacked by liberals, and we’re taking it back.
...We’re sick of liberal feminists who screech “WAR ON WOMEN!” the second they’re faced with challenges — or with having to pay for their own birth control. It’s laughable when they depend on a cradle-to-grave government to take care of their every want (like guilt-free abortions and taxpayer-funded contraception), and then dress up in vagina costumes on Capitol Hill hollering for the government to keep its hands off their “lady parts.”
They can’t have it both ways.
They either need to own up to needing a Sugar Daddy (whether he is in the form of a mate or a taxpayer) or woman-up and take care of themselves. Liberal “feminists” are proving what conservative feminists like us have known forever: They’re not feminists at all.
They’re parasites.
Real feminism is defined by women who can, and do, take care of themselves. Real feminists don’t look for a Prince Charming to rescue them, and they don’t look for a handout. That sort of entitlement mentality hurls women back several decades, when it was expected that someone else (a man) would pay their way. Liberal feminism has morphed into a laughable movement filled with harpies who hold up signs saying, “Hoes before embryos” while defining themselves entirely by their “lady parts.” We, on the other hand, define ourselves by our character, our passions, our loves, our strengths, our abilities and our successes.
Let's examine a few issues that I see right of the bat:

-We're taking feminism back!!1!! The first blunder the Chicks make is in that opening statement. Even a cursory glance at a 101 Women's Studies text would clearly demonstrate the "liberals" haven't "hijacked" feminism--it was, in fact, always theirs. The first and second waves were inherently rooted in progressive movements for their eras (voting and reproductive rights.) There is little history of conservatism in feminism. If they want to talk about their personal brand of feminism and what it means, then fine...but to claim that they are somehow the rightful owners of it is such a stretch that it makes my brain ache.

Unfortunately, the fails in their tirade do not stop at an un-earned claim on feminism. They actually go on to say many things which I feel are antithetical to the spirit of feminism.

-Use of stereotyping. The Chicks invoke stereotypes in their descriptions of liberal women, specifically with the words like "screech" and "harpies." There has been a long tradition of women who speak out against sexism being called names like this, having their tone policed (they're so shrill!), and enduring every manner of gendered insult to shame them into silence. It's sad to see women who have so deeply invested in these messages about traditional feminism that they invoke the same language that you'd see a misogynist like Rush Limbaugh using. I don't expect all women to agree with me and they can express whatever view they'd like, but it would be just swell if they could do so without using the same terms that anti-feminist bigots have used for decades.

-Policing other's identities. Any time anyone engages in a "this is what a REAL woman is like" or "you're not a REAL feminist if..." I can't help but shut down to their message. I don't believe you can police people's identities like this and people who try to decry "realness" like this really mean, "I don't respect you unless you're just like me." This piece by them absolutely exudes exclusivity and a total inability to take into consideration the views/values/lives/experiences of people who are not *just* like them.

-Implied slut shaming. The Chicks focus their attack on the reproductive/sexuality side of feminism talking about "hoes," Sugar Daddies, and vagina costumes. If this doesn't just reek of slut shaming, I'm not sure what does. And the thing is, I understand not connecting to that part of feminism...what I can't understand is demonizing and out right insulting other women for choosing to participate in reproductive rights movements (parasites?! REALLY?!) Or critiquing women for doing what they want with their bodies. (Honestly, how can you claim feminism if you don't believe in bodily integrity? That's a real question I have...the two things seem inextricably linked to me.)

-Pitting women against one another. One hallmark of internalized misogyny, for me, has always been women who see other women as competition and attack them. This piece is almost nothing BUT an attack on other women. If there are conservative women who want to actually participate in feminism in a way which speaks to their personal values, why wouldn't they come out talking about the patriarchal structures they wish to challenge instead of attacking feminism itself. This baffles me. It centers the discussion on their perceived problems of feminism instead of what they actually want to accomplish as women who are apparently embracing the feminist label. They also play up their femininity in a way that makes me feel they're trying to not scare the menfolk. (They end their piece with, "Now if someone would please pass us our stilettos. We’ve got to get back to work.") There's nothing wrong with traditional femininity (I've long been a defender of it) but ending a post that is a long tirade against "liberal feminists" like this seems to be an attempt to further distance themselves from the "harpies" and point out just how lovely and ladylike they are to the exclusion of others.

Ultimately, after reading that piece, I know nothing about what they hope to achieve other than insulting feminists like me. There is no room for us to work together in their world, and that's just sad.

I think that's what gets me the most about their introduction to the series they'll be writing, they have shut down any productive interaction with "liberal" feminism from the start (if there is such a unified thing. Spoiler: there's not.) I believe that there is a way that we could have healthy discussions across the feminist spectrum, but this is not it. It feels like their ultimate goal is an "us vs. them" mentality and to get cookies from the patriarchy and a pat on the head for being "better" than women like me. They're a safe form of feminism for conservative men and your general dude bro bigot to embrace because they're not actually challenging the status quo, they're attacking other women.

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  1. I'm from Muncie. I haven't heard of these girls yet but it sounds confusing. Are they feminists or anti-feminists, or do they even know?

    1. They seem to be Indy specific at this point, and just starting up, so perhaps you'll hear more about them soon.

      I think they are women who want to claim feminism while shitting on feminists.

  2. Very antifeminist. They think that fitting feminine stereotypes while being right-wing and taking a s--- on other women who aren't them is feminist? Or something? And they're still Indy based so far, on WIBC and this new column, but they've had a blog since like 2010 and a lot of people on the right love 'em apparently.

    1. Yeah, I spent a few minutes on their blog and had to bail because...sigh.

  3. Every oppressor loves a collaborator. As long as women like these are more interested in winning points with regressive misogynists by helping them oppress other women, we won't be able to say that all women are in this together.

    Hopefully, once progressives have done enough work that winning the approval of oppressors is no longer a survival skill, women like these will get their minds right. Until then, they're going to stand on us in the hopes of sharing what men get when they do it.


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