The Corner


The Unlikable Elizabeth Warren and Selective Charges of Sexism

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass.) speaks to reporters after announcing she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, outside her home in Cambridge, Mass., December 31, 2018. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Do you find a particular female politician unlikable? You just might be a raging sexist.

That’s the latest accusation making the rounds in left-wing circles, following Monday’s news that Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren will compete for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Though the progressive scolds have shown no particular love for Warren herself — surely not the kind they’ve shown for failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, at least — they’re rallying to her side for the sake of the feminist cause, insisting that anyone who unfavorably compares the Democrat to Hillary Clinton must merely despise empowered women.

As usual, this selective application of feminist principles reveals just how devoid of principle the modern feminist movement is. Where, for instance, was the left-wing cheerleading brigade when Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn was running to be the first female senator from Tennessee last fall?

They were busy trying to elect her opponent.

And why shouldn’t they? It is their inflexible rulebook, not ours, that deems it sexist to reject a female politician.

But they do it all the time. In fact, third-wave feminists reserve particular vitriol for conservative, and especially pro-life women. When we fail to wholeheartedly embrace the progressive agenda, we are not only deemed wrongheaded but are dismissed as gender traitors. Look no further than the aftermath of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight, when moderate Republican senator Susan Collins was pilloried for voting in his favor, or the aftermath of the 2018 midterms, when Democratic commentators denounced white women who voted Republican.

Time and again, the Left’s politicians and media class deride the GOP for failing to elect women, but when Republican women run for office, they are opposed mostly by white, male Democratic politicians — and our feminist thought-leaders cheer to see them lose. And when a Republican woman escapes their clutches and makes it into office, she spends her career facing onslaughts from liberals who accuse her of betraying the sisterhood.

Theirs is an opportunistic feminism, wielded by a faction of the left that co-opts pro-woman rhetoric as a means of forcing us all to accept a rigid progressive worldview. It is as disingenuous as it is incoherent.

Surely these Warrenistas know that conservatives would thrill to see Nikki Haley run for office once again, just as they know that the Left would roundly condemn her. Conveniently ignored, too, are instances of conservatives finding male Democratic politicians unlikable, or levying critiques against female Democrats that have nothing to do with their lack of charisma.

It is but one tactic in the ongoing effort to flatten meaningful distinctions and rob individuals of the ability to evaluate candidates and politicians on their merits. As is so often the case with the modern Left, when it comes to Elizabeth Warren, their motto is feminism for me, but not for thee.

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