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

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.