Michele Bachmann takes a pass on calling herself a feminist.

What Women Really Think
June 29 2011 11:04 AM

Michele Bachmann Is Not a Feminist

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

I'm grateful to Michele Bachmann for many things: pretending that a small child can be rounded up to a "Founding Father," rounding up her 23 teenage foster girls to babies raised from the crib, and screeching about government handouts while making a fortune off said government handouts.  But her latest refusal to contaminate the word "feminist" with fallacious claims to be one makes me especially grateful.  Kirsten Powers, who makes a living pretending to be a feminist and a Democrat who just happens to write mainly about how feminists and Democrats are awful people, tried to get Bachmann to join her and Sarah Palin in the game of calling themselves feminists while opposing everything feminists stand for, but Bachmann wouldn't take the bait, instead calling herself an "empowered American."

Let's hope she sets a new trend with this refusal.  One of the most irritating things about the past few years of Sarah Palin's shadow has been the tedious debates over whether or not there's such a thing as a "conservative feminist," i.e., a "feminist" who opposes everything that feminists fight for, except the election of women into office.  The answer to the query is clearly no, because if anti-feminists get to be feminists too, then the word has no real meaning and we'll have to come up with a new one.  And I personally can think of much better ways to spend my time than coming up with a new word for "feminist" that means "actually a feminist instead of just a rich lady who holds office but is opposed to ordinary ladies having the rights that allow them to approach equality with men."

Advertisement

Of course, Bachmann refusing to call herself a feminist means that she has managed to say something accurate, which is so highly unusual for her that I expect her to backtrack and start claiming that she's totally a feminist and has fought as tirelessly for feminism as the 9-year-old John Quincy Adams fought against slavery when he signed the Declaration of Independence. 

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Big Problems With the Secret Service Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 12:58 PM Why Can’t States Do More to Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills? It’s complicated.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 2 2014 1:05 PM What's Wrong With "America's Ugliest Accent"
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 2 2014 12:37 PM St. Louis Study Confirms That IUDs Are the Key to Lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 1:29 PM Want to Know What Makes David Fincher Great? Focus on What He Doesn’t Do.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 1:22 PM If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would You Notice? What cyranoid experiments reveal about how people act.  
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 2 2014 12:53 PM The Panic Virus How public health officials are keeping Americans calm about the Ebola threat.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?