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The Wrong Kind of Woman?

NOW's crusade against Sarah Palin.

12:00 AM, Aug 31, 2008 • By KENNETH G. DAVENPORT
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Tammy Bruce knows a great deal about the strict orthodoxy of the feminist movement, and understands first hand what someone like Palin is up against. A controversial author and talk radio personality, Bruce is a self-described "openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush authentic feminist." Bruce served as president of the Los Angeles Chapter of NOW from 1990 until 1996, but she has since been excommunicated from the "movement" by virtue of her outspoken, irreverent views. "The feminist establishment wanted people to be like stupid, submissive, noisy parrots", she's written, which includes hewing to a straight political line on issues. "I spent the whole of my activist career compromising myself, my individuality, and my sense of right and wrong in order to belong."

The desire to stamp out individualism and dissent among feminist groups makes for a very small ideological tent. Bruce was pressured to resign as president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW when she made public statements critical of the overwhelming focus on race in the O.J. Simpson trial, to the exclusion of the issue of violence against women. It seemed a reasonable position for a women's organization to take, but NOW national president Patricia Ireland believed it "blotted NOW's otherwise impressive record of committed activism in the fight for racial justice and equality" and was insensitive to "people of color". All this from an organization focused on the right for women to be "heard".

Such is the state of feminist politics on this country. If you are a woman of high accomplishment, a wife and mother of five kids who believes passionately about the goodness of this country, you aren't woman enough for the NOW crowd if you aren't pro-choice and don't support feminism's leftist goals. And even if you have an even-money chance to break the highest glass ceiling in America, it still is not enough. Orthodoxy trumps gender. Every time.

Kenneth G. Davenport is a management consultant who writes for the Colorado Citizens Alliance at