In what has to be one of the most vicious, uncalled for columns I’ve ever read, the SF Chronicle’s Mark Morford goes off on First Lady Laura Bush, accusing her of being “the ideal Republican wife: Prim, sexless, nearly useless, lets the men do the real thinkin’.” He cites the opinion of a “conservative friend” who is Catholic, a mother, and a grandmother for the basis of his opinion. According to him, she hated Teresa Heinz-Kerry because she was “too strong” and “too fearless and outspoken.”
Morford, on the other hand, holds up Heinz-Kerry as a role model for what First Ladies should be like. Let’s pick up on where he starts in on Mrs. Bush:
No, I was stunned because my friend far preferred, as the perfect counter to Heinz, as a role model and a woman and the ideal presidential wife, one tepid, timid, thoroughly useless Laura Bush.
Wait, what? You mean docile, prudish, former librarian Laura Bush, she of the nonexistent inspiration and dull-as-dishwater personality? Yes indeed, that Laura Bush. Here was my friend, brash and funny and who spoke her mind without the slightest reservation, and who could drink and think and opine with the strongest of men, and yet she admired this … limp wallflower? I didn’t get it. I still don’t completely get it, to this very day.
All of this comes to mind as I see, skirting across the newswires, a handful of generic photos and sidebar stories of Laura Bush out on tour recently with her twin Styrofoam peanut daughters, Jenna and Barbara, promoting a new children’s book they all apparently, and yeah right, wrote together and isn’t that sweet.
There is Laura, looking exactly as she has looked for the past eight insufferable years. Prim, a bit glassy, reserved, her hair some sort of ironclad helmet of awkward architecture, the very epitome of nice, meek, domestic Republican female, not making the slightest wave and hoping no one really notices because, well, she’s just a woman.
In fact, I challenge anyone reading this column right now to name one thing this woman has said or done in the past seven-plus years that shows her using her position as first lady to make any real difference. A single issue. A single notable appearance. A single daring, interesting, engaging … anything.
Did you say, somewhat meekly, “children’s literacy?” Ah, yes. Right you are, Laura has indeed taken on that wild ‘n’ wooly issue, fought valiantly to ensure lots of white children have enough access to “James and the Giant Peach.” It’s a hugely divisive, hot-button topic that’s tearing the nation apart and really needs someone of her position and influence to step in and … Oh, never mind.
Children’s literacy. Yes. I believe that ranks No. 291 on the list of the Top 300 controversial issues facing the nation today, right behind overpriced lip balm but just ahead of the demise of “Cathy” cartoons in major American newspapers. Good choice.
I know. It’s not exactly against the law to be docile and quiet. It’s not exactly a crime to simply want to be a good mother and housewife (noble and under-respected callings, both), to not seek the spotlight and not hunger for power and influence. And besides, meek, shy girls who want nothing more than to marry the male equivalent of a tub of spackling paste at age 22 and never think for themselves and never inspire anyone to do anything need role models, too. Right?
Sure, eight years in one of the most high-profile positions in the world, a simply staggering opportunity to make use of that power and that “office” to take on at least one serious, needful issue (or 10), and you do not a single thing of interest or inspiration with it? You essentially get handed the keys to the kingdom and all you want to do is knit a nice key cozy for them? Fine.
But then again, no. For in choosing to be and do almost nothing at all for all these years, Laura has also come to epitomize the compliant, unobtrusive woman, the worst kind of example for modern young women today. This is, of course, why conservative Republicans and fundie Christians love her. They call her “classy.” What they mean is: She knows her place, keeps her mouth shut, possesses exactly zero sexuality, speaks only when spoken to, lets the men do the “real” work, stays so far off in the background she might as well be wallpaper.
Here’s the bottom line: I think Laura Bush has been bad for America. Not nearly as toxic as her husband, but bad enough.
Indeed, Teresa Heinz Kerry may’ve been weird and worldly, Hillary might be polarizing and opinionated and overly masculine, Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, appears to be outspoken and sarcastic and smart as hell. But oh my God, give me one of them any day over the docile doormat first lady. Hasn’t the expiration date for that dangerous feminine cliche long since passed?
Sounds like an uber feminist-in-training, doesn’t he?
In Morford’s eyes (and as implied from previous columns), there is not a better woman out there than the woman who advocates and pushes a Socialistic agenda, whether she be in the role of (potential) First Lady or some other influential position. As you read above, Morford’s unimpressed with Mrs. Bush’s children’s literacy campaign because it’s …. not controversial enough. I guess we should cut him some slack, though, because the fact that he’s such a clueless moron is a strong indicator that those responsible for educating Morford when he was a young boy clearly didn’t believe in the importance of children’s literacy, either.
True feminists back in the day fought for the right to vote, they fought for equal rights in the workplace, and for an attitudinal change in the way people viewed a woman’s role in society. They wanted a woman’s options to be expanded beyond the traditional roles of the time. If a woman choose to be a stay at home mother, that was fine, and if she wanted to work, early feminists fought for that to become acceptable in our society. It was all about choices.
Somewhere along the way the feminist movement splintered into multiple factions, with the most popular of them being the radical leftist element that shunned any woman who frowned upon sexual irresponsiblity, any woman who made the choice to be a stay at home wife and mom (or who chose only a part time job), and/or and any woman who didn’t view males as the root of all evil. Essentially, if you didn’t follow the agenda of radical feminists to the letter, then you weren’t a “real woman.” As ya’ll know, I was a liberal once upon a time and considered myself a feminist, but even I didn’t get carried away with these attitudes – but I did run up against them alot. I can’t tell you how many times I talked to feminists who snickered and scoffed at the idea of stay at home motherhood, who viewed women pushing baby strollers as “tied down” and too “domesticated.” Never once did it hit them that the women they laughed at had made their own choices about their lives.
Sadly, these views are still all too common today amongst the more radical feminists who preach about a woman’s “right to choose” (most commonly on abortion) but who in reality despise it when a woman chooses a path that runs contrary to what they believe it should be, which translates into wanting women to be anti-male, anti-family, and anti-responsiblity when it comes to their choices.
Which brings us back to Mark Morford, who is some combination of the above – well, perhaps with the exception of the “anti-male” part … although no one can be sure, considering the self-hatred that oozes out of the pores of so many on the far left. He’s probably not anti-male, but I see he possesses a dangerously unhealthy level of misogny against conservative women, considering that not only did he attack Mrs. Bush for not being more ‘outspoken’ but because of her looks, too: she’s “[p]rim, a bit glassy, reserved, her hair some sort of ironclad helmet of awkward architecture …,” she “possesses exactly zero sexuality,” she’s “prudish” and “sexless.” Like he’d be rooting for Laura Bush if she were a buxom blonde wearing a mini-dress and sky high pumps while waging war on abortion.
What relevance does this bear as it relates to the consideration of what a woman’s ideal role is in society? None, really,when you consider that two of the women he cited as role models for the younger generation were Hillary Clinton and Teresa Heinz-Kerry. I’m not about to be catty when it comes to their looks, but neither of them come across as exuding any “sexuality” and their hairstyles are pretty much run of the mill – in other words, nothing to write home about. It’s their outspoken, boisterous nature and tendency to support and promote liberal policies that has Morford so awestruck. But if either of them were conservative women who didn’t relish their time in the limelight and chose instead to calmly go about the business of being First Lady promoting non-Morford approved non-“controversial” agendas, he’d be writing about their looks, too. He’s a classic misogynist who knows that the surest way to cut a woman to the quick is to insult her based on her looks – on top of everything else.
Robert Stacy McCain writes this analysis:
I think it goes beyond the political. I think Morford has psychological issues that involve a hostility to traditional sex roles.
Call it Post-Feminism Syndrome. Guys who don’t want to deal with the responsibilities of traditional masculinity — husband, father, breadwinner, all that stoic and steadfast stuff — tend to project this fear onto women who epitomize traditional femininity: wife, mother, homemaker, all that kind and nurturing stuff.
Post-Feminism Syndrome is the obverse of the well-noted tendency of feminist women to lash out at men who epitomize traditional notions of masculinity. And both tendencies are rooted in the individual’s personal discomfort with traditional sex roles.
Please note what I’m not saying: I’m not saying that everyone has to fit into traditional roles. I’m just saying that such over-the-top attacks on traditional roles — or on people who in some way epitomize those roles, as in the case of Morford’s attack on Laura Bush — are outward expressions of a troubled personality.
Obviously, Morford’s a f—ing far left idiot who rivals even the most radical of feminists in the way he expresses his views on women who make choices that run contrary to his standards of the “ideal woman.” He’s got the stuck on stupid act down pat, if nothing else. NOW president Kim Gandy better watch her back. She’s got some serious competition.
I’m interested in hearing from my readers about the conservative women in their lives, whether they be wives, mothers, sisters, cousins, friends, whoever. Do they fit Morford’s description of an “ideal Republican [conservative]” female? Or are you yourself a conservative female who fits his description?
Would you like to write the SF Chronicle to voice your opinion? Michelle Malkin has the contact info. Or, you can write Morford directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Jules Crittenden smacks around Morford a few times as well.