Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Think They Believe It

Here's what Mike Huckabee said about Mika Brzezinski's criticisms of his daughter and White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders:
"She [Huckabee Sanders] deserves better from other women and it just amazes me that even the women who say they are feminists are doing everything they can to discredit my daughter," Mike Huckabee said Wednesday evening on Fox News. "My daughter stands strong and tough and walks into that lions den of a press room every day and represents women and represents the president and represents strength in an incredible way."

Brzezinski was critiquing Sanders for providing cover to President Trump after yet another demeaning tweet towards a powerful woman (this time New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand).

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I'll say it again: every instinct in my body says that conservatives know that their caricature of feminism (that it means you can never criticize a woman) or their caricature of anti-racism (that it means you never criticize a person of color) is an obvious, ludicrous strawman. Of course that's not what it means. Who could think that's what it means?

And yet then we get moments like this, where Huckabee basically says "these women 'say they are feminists', and yet they're attacking another woman!" And it's like -- my goodness: I think he really believes it. I think he genuinely feels like this is hypocrisy. I think he's drunk his own kool-aid.

None of this is an excuse, of course -- a modicum of basic curiosity would establish that what feminists desire is not that nobody ever criticize women for anything. But still -- unreasonable as it is, I think it's pretty close to genuine. Mike Huckabee, and those like him, really believe that the feminist argument is that woman ought to be immune from any critique whatsoever.

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