It was a busy week for national politics, which in the Age of Trump means just a little more chaos than usual. There was the inability of the Republican president and Congress to keep their own government open, and an apparently coordinated attempt by GOP congressmen to portray an unseen memo as proof that Democrats were attempting a coup against the president. Plus, Stormy Daniels!
Given all this action, one could almost forgive the press for downplaying the January 20 Women’s March anniversary rallies, by all accounts nearly as massive as the ones held a year previous. As has become increasingly evident, “liberal media” outlets like the New York Times are more interested in soliciting opinions from individual Trump voters in their exurban enclaves than in the opinions of millions of anti-Trump Americans who freely offer them in public venues.
Rightbloggers were more attentive, though, and seemed to take the march personally — as if they were freaked out, in their time of train wreck, by reminders of continuing widespread and enthusiastic opposition to everything they stand for. By girls, yet!
In the days before the march, in a sort of prodrome, some prominent conservatives wrote weird anti-feminist screeds. At the Times, Ross Douthat suggested that with the #MeToo movement, “white women have effectively hijacked anti-Trumpism” from black people, “using their positions of influence in the media and elsewhere to turn what should be a ‘Get Out!’ moment into a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ moment…”
In addition to hogging the awards-season buzz, white women were “depriving Black Lives Matter…of media oxygen,” Douthat continued, “in order to focus on their own more intimate sufferings at the hands of Trump-like elite men.” In fact, Douthat suggested, thanks to white women’s oxygen-sucking interference, “the Black Lives Matter movement has receded despite Trump’s own attempts to elevate it via his campaign against Colin Kaepernick.” See, even Trump was helping BLM in his own way, but white ladies spoiled it!
Not that there aren’t problems between men and women, Douthat allowed, but that was not about sexual harassment and assault — rather, “something is badly out of joint with male-female relations, our ability to woo and be wooed, our capacity to successfully and happily pair off” — and maybe if you weren’t bitching all the time, girls, Trump could straighten that out too.
At New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan kicked off Women’s March weekend by denouncing #MeToo on the grounds that its equality ethos contradicted the “rush of energy, strength, clarity, ambition, drive, impatience, and, above all, horniness” Sullivan experienced in testosterone injections during medical treatments.
“The visceral experience opened my eyes to the sheer and immense natural difference between being a man and being a woman,” Sullivan, pupils dilated, continued. He believes his fellow males, “pinioned between morality and hormones, governed by two brains, one above and one below,” would react badly if they were “told that what they are deep down is, in fact, ‘problematic’ if not ‘toxic,’ ” which is apparently how Sullivan interprets the #MeToo message; as a result, he predicted, young men verbally oppressed by feminazis would “stumble across alt-right websites” and be easily recruited because women didn’t kiss their ass, which would be feminism’s fault.
On March Day, the brethren raged more directly at demonstrators. The National Rifle Association, which seems to have expanded beyond a pro-gun advocacy group into a diffuser of inchoate racism and authoritarianism, released a video of former Navy SEAL Dom Raso Jr. yelling at marchers for “giving speeches about how oppressed women are under our president.” Over footage of masked figures raising an ISIS flag, Raso sneered, “If you want to know what true oppression is, I suggest you open your eyes to the ideology that lurks around the globe that wants nothing more than for you to perish” in “Muslim-majority countries” where women have no rights. “Try marching with your hats over there. They’ll stone you to death for it.”
“Trump: Better Than ISIS” is apparently the NRA’s women’s-outreach message for 2018.
At FrontPageMag, Dawn Perlmutter attacked the “Mean Girls, Nasty Women & Queen Bees” who “dressed like giant vaginas” and carried “signs with the words; cunt, twat, and fuck.… They are anti-Trump protesters in pussy clothing.… Pussy hats are the quintessential symbol of the failure of feminism.… Pussyhats signify childishness not maturity.… They are political Barbie dolls in pink hats.… The women who choose to dress as giant vaginas at the marches simply have more issues than there is room to describe in this article.” I think her takeaway from the event is clear, though I imagine if she were staring at a blank wall it might not be much different.
Some tried counterprogramming. “Pennsylvania Women Voice Support for Trump on One-Year Anniversary of Inauguration,” headlined Breitbart. “Las Vegas conservative women hold rally,” offered Fox KVVU-TV in Las Vegas, “to show that they also have a voice.” (Attendance, which video suggests was in the dozens, compared badly with that of a Las Vegas Women’s March event on Sunday.)
When the day was over and photos of the hundreds of thousands of marchers were published, conservatives mostly stayed mum. Some just did the “women, amirite?” thing and waited for a high five.
“DeBlasio calls harpy march against Trump the ‘single greatest protest in American history,’ ” yukked up the Right Scoop. “Feminist Vaginas Dry Hump At Women’s March In LA,” DiceClayed Conservative Video News. “Soy Lattes Litter Streets After Women’s March,” babbled Infowars. “Interesting parallels between anti-male, hyper-feminized themes throughout march and estrogen mimickers.” (It’s a neo-Nazi thing, you wouldn’t understand.)
“Rob ‘Meathead’ Reiner had yet another epic anti-Trump meltdown at Saturday’s Women’s March,” reported Amy Moreno at Truthfeed News. “Reiner did the usual, by calling Trump a racist,’ a ‘sexist,’ and a ‘pathological liar.’ ” Yeah, I know — Donald Trump!
Trump, in a rare display of sangfroid, trolled the marchers by pretending they were actually out to “celebrate” his “unprecedented economic success and wealth creation.” Some conservatives took comfort from that. “It was his best trolling yet, honestly,” said Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds, whose go-to anti-feminist joke is “teach women not to rape.” “Trump’s tweet, while A+ trolling, is also true,” claimed RedState. “By any empirical standard, women are better off today than they were two years ago.” (Trump apparently went back in time a year before his presidency to improve women’s lives. And this is the thanks he gets!)
Let them enjoy themselves as they may; they may not have much time left to do so.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 22, 2018