Speaking of Katha Pollitt – she made an interesting comment on the Women’s Studies list yesterday, one which is partly relevant to all this stuff about respect and worry.
Actually I think powerful women make many women quite uncomfortable.
Just look at what women say about Hillary Clinton — she’s
‘ambitious,’ “cold,” “I just don’t like her,’ etc. I’m not saying a
feminist has to vote for Hillary, but the kinds of things so many
women hold against her are quite revealing of their own discomfort
with a woman who steps out of the nice-nice nurturing deferential role.
That comment inspired me to reply, in a way also relevant to all this stuff.
Ain’t it the truth. Which is why some of us feel a kind of duty to be abrasive, brisk, chilly, sarcastic, even at times hostile and aggressive. We have to stake out that territory.
I’m serious about that. I think there aren’t nearly enough women around who step out of the nice-nice nurturing deferential role. Mind you, I would be abrasive and hostile even if there were, even if there were no such discomfort, even if I didn’t feel a kind of duty, because it is My Nature. But the fact remains that I think it is a kind of duty. I’m a longstanding fan of Pollitt’s because she is not nice-nice nurturing deferential, and I wish there were more women like her.
I got an enthusiastic reply and a new fan of B&W via that comment, so there are a few of us chilly sarcastic women out there. We do what we can…