Jessica Valenti revealed a new standard for liberal feminists on Tuesday: Driving women out of restaurants is wrong, unless they’re a Republican. If that woman is named Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen, the behavior is not only acceptable — it’s to be applauded.
The situation began when the head of the D.C. branch of Democratic Socialists of America tweeted the restaurant name and exact address where Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sat down for dinner. The dinner came after a very public day for Nielsen, who defended the Trump administration’s decision to fully enforce U.S. immigration laws against all who illegally cross the border — a policy that in some case results in separating children from their illegal immigrant parents due to a settlement entered into in 1997 by the Clinton administration.
The protesters marched through MXDC Cocina Mexicana uninterrupted for 11 minutes, screaming things at Nielsen such as, “Shame, shame, shame,” “Fascist pig,” ‘End Texas concentration camps,” and “No borders, no walls, sanctuary for all.”
Nielsen sat there listening to the protesters — never once shouting back — until she was eventually driven out of the restaurant.
DHS Secretary Nielsen just got driven out of a Mexican restaurant here on 14th Street by activists. DSA, I believe. pic.twitter.com/lTKutryXBO
— Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) June 20, 2018
The protest was supported by many on the left, including an editor at The Washington Post and Valenti, a feminist writer who recently penned a New York Times op-ed telling conservative women they can’t be feminists. Valenti, who supposedly stands for the championing of women, described the harassment of Nielsen “VERY satisfying” to watch.
“She should never be able to show her face in public again,” she said.
As for the obvious hypocrisy of a “feminist” encouraging the targeted harassment of another woman, well, there’s an explanation for that. Harassment is wrong, Valenti tweeted, but not when there’s a good reason.
To the folks replying ‘it’s not feminist to harass women.’ That’s true! But it is absolutely feminist to hold powerful people accountable – no matter what their gender, no matter where they are – for the crimes they commit against vulnerable children.
Valenti is right — “feminists” of all perspectives can and should hold the powerful accountable — characteristics such as gender, race, and sexual orientation are irrelevant. But that’s not what happened to Nielsen on Tuesday night. Protesters could have confronted Nielsen inside her workplace or outside the restaurant on the public sidewalk, but instead, they chose to invade her during a private dinner in order to send the message: “You’re not safe here — or anywhere — so long as you think that way.”
If feminists think this behavior is justifiable, where do they draw the line? Are Republicans justified in harassing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during a private dinner because of her unrelenting support for sanctuary cities? How about Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose administration got us into this mess in the first place. Do they deserve to dine alone?
Cheering on and encouraging mob rule is not just bad politics. It’s bad for civil society. No matter how egregious the situation, we don’t teach our children that it’s ever acceptable to bully others. So it’s strange feminists would change the standard and argue the opposite — that bullying is justified, so long as you have the right reason.