Nasty women, move over. There’s a new band of women in town. They’re called “problematic women,” and they’re appearing everywhere from the workplace to the White House.
“Problematic women” is a term broad enough to include any conservative or right-leaning lady, but a quick Google search will surface names like Megyn Kelly, Kellyanne Conway, Theresa May, and Ivanka Trump. Not to be confused with feminist icons who overcame stereotypes and sexism to land successful careers, these women are problems who need to be fixed.
Armed with reason and born with a uterus, problematic women are dangerous and difficult to dismiss. Problematic women are known to speak their minds and resist the “nasty women” narrative, rejecting a culture that’s anti-male and obsessed with victimhood. Instead, problematic women tend to favor a more traditional approach to women’s empowerment, in which they embrace biology and consider themselves a “product of my choices” rather than a “victim of my circumstances.”
We Love All Women, Except for Those Women
At times, problematic women, too, fall prey to sexist stereotypes and attacks, creating an uncomfortable scenario for those sporting the pink p-ssy hat. Do they defend her? Do they ignore her? Or do they continue criticizing her, at risk of getting called out? This inconvenient reality creates a conundrum for those pushing the “nasty woman” narrative, which supposedly stands for tolerance, equality, and victimhood for all.
In order to address this pesky problem, one brave writer at Elle so bluntly asked, “How Do We Criticize Problematic Women?”
“No matter what she did at NBC, it would have been a mistake to make a feminist hero out of Megyn Kelly,” Sady Doyle begins. “When we saw [Megyn] Kelly primarily as a victim, she was framed as a blameless heroine, and her actual and ignominious track record was overlooked. When we see Kelly now as primarily a conservative propagandist—which is what she is and always has been—that victimhood is mostly erased. The truth is I, too, would have loved to watch Kelly’s feminist awakening. But that hasn’t happened, and a woman can of course be problematic and be a victim of sexism. Both lionizing Kelly and dismissing her abuse are ways to avoid this central truth.”
“In fact,” Doyle continued, “Kelly is part of a flotilla of unsympathetic ladies who have been thrust into prominence during the Trump administration. There’s the Instagram feminism and message-tested complicity of Ivanka Trump—who is often cast as a spoiled bimbo, rather than the canny and ethically bankrupt opportunist she appears to be. There’s Melania, a long-time apologist for her husband’s birtherism. There’s Kellyanne Conway, and the Internet’s brief yet fraught debate about what feminism owes her.”
Don’t waste your sympathy, Doyle suggests. An attack on a woman’s physical attributes is justifiable when her politics are wrong.
“We should not weep for Theresa May or any other conservative woman whose policies contribute to the continued oppression of women and minorities,” she concludes. “Even the most moon-eyed believer in feminist sisterhood must realize it’s all got to stop somewhere. Any harm done to Kellyanne Conway by calling her ‘Skeletor’ is vastly outweighed by the harm Conway has done, and intends to do, to the American people.”
Speak Your Mind (Unless It Disagrees With Me)
Speak your mind, the feminist sisterhood likes to say. March for your beliefs. But if those beliefs don’t fall in line with the far-reaching feminist left, don’t expect the sisterhood to defend you.
The idea that being born a woman means there’s only one way to vote is as reckless as it is irrational. Whereas standing up for your principles used to be admirable, women now tell each other to get in line.
Strangely, the notion that women must think and believe in perfect unison doesn’t hold true when paired against the feminist movement’s own history books. On controversial issues such as abortion, feminist leaders have again and again disagreed. But today, discussions and civil discourse have long disappeared, erased and replaced by the pulpit of the pink hat.
“Problematic women” a la Megyn Kelly, Kellyanne Conway, Theresa May, and Ivanka Trump can’t be reasoned with, let alone defended. These women are problems that can only be overcome. Some women might be tempted to resist this new name, but instead, they should wear it with honor. Being a problem, after all, is how this whole feminism thing got started. So make room, nasty women. Your problems have just begun.