Fem 2.0

The ink from President Barak Obama’s pen had barely even dried on the newly minted Lily Ledbetter law before the illustrious leaders of the radical feminist movement were back on task: decrying perceived injustices and devising new demonstrations of misandrism. This past Monday approximately three hundred of the far-left’s lovely ladies met at George Washington University for a strategy meeting titled Fem 2.0. The stated mission of Fem 2.0 was “to bring together…the leadership of major women’s advocacy organizations and online women’s communities to further the connection between today’s issues and women’s voices.”  In a demonstration of unity the leaders of the National Organization of Women (NOW), Feminist Majority, Care2, Women’s Media Center, Momsrising, Feminista, the American Association of University Women (AAUWW), a slew of other acronyms and feminist bloggers came together to organize and coordinate. That morning, my co-worker Riva and I (sacrificing our high heels, make-up and perfume) dressed down for an interesting day at GWU. The goal: feminist convention infiltration and resultant opposition research. Five showers and a lot of Advil later I have surfaced to report our findings.

                  After the initial shock of arriving at what could best be described as the cantina scene from Star Wars, it was quite clear that, despite their radicalism, Riva and I were in the midst of a veritable juggernaut of political influence, made more powerful by a Democrat legislature and the ascension of Barak Obama to the presidency. All the usual suspects were there, from Eleanor Smeal (President of Feminist Majority) to Elisa Page (Co-founder of Blogher), Kim Gandy (President of NOW) to Tedra Osell (Editor of Bitch PhD and disgraced John Edward’s presidential campaign web designer).

                  The convention was an all day affair of lectures and panel discussions devoted to examining the relationship between the feminist blogging community and the institutional radicals-who have also gone digital. (In a memorable panel discussion, two of the movement’s beloved elders, Eleanor Smeal and Kim Gandy argued who got a web page first, both claiming to have done so in 1995. Eleanor Smeal won the tech-savvy competition with the knock out revelation that she was on Twitter. Alas, Gandy suffered a tragic defeat). The internet has been a priceless tool for these radicals who, as merely a small segment of the population, have been able to assert their influence from afar. Case in point, currently the biggest project underway at the Feminist Majority is an effort to enlarge and organize their constituency on college campuses across the country. There are not enough radicals to personally perform these initiatives; yet, the internet has become an indispensible proxy bra-burner. With views far to the left of the American mainstream, these women have found an effective means of political and cultural manipulation: blogging and organizing online.

The technological connectivity of these women was on full display throughout the day. In addition to a flamboyant interpretive artist, who with crayons and markers drew the content and feelings described during panel discussions, the presentations held in the main auditorium featured a large screen broadcasting a “Twitter-feed.” All through the conference, attendees were able to voice their thoughts via the scrolling “Twitter-feed” in the background. Full disclosure: in the midst of all the inanities appearing for the whole room to see, Riva and I fantasized about submitting thoughts absolutely antithetical to these women’s cause and watching the audience reaction. “This convention stinks, I’d rather go home and bake some cookies for my boyfriend!” Terrible….We know.

One of the (VERY) few men at this assemblage of irate ladies demonstrated the strength of these online feminists. Stanislas Magniant, a representative from Linkfluence (a research firm which specializes “in mapping, monitoring, and measuring trends and opinions on the social web”), gave a presentation on the “Impact of Women’s Issues and Feminist Bloggers on the Political Web.” Magniant provided multiple charts and maps to visually demonstrate the total political activity occurring online, both liberal and conservative. In the liberal region of his maps the portion carved out by the feminist community was quite large and dark (i.e. strong). In other words, the feminists are heavily connected to each other and sites devoted to liberal causes. Further the number of self-identified feminist blogs is quite plentiful. Most striking in this demonstration was the fact that while Mr. Magniant showed the conservative movement’s online property, there was no online community of conservative women to which he could point as primary opposition. A member of the audience at one point jeered “are their any [conservative feminists]?”   

The hardcore feminist lobby has and is harnessing the power of the internet, specifically the blogosphere, to promote themselves and their ideas. To be sure, anyone can find a blog on any  topic online- from bow-tie connoisseurs to sky-diving pug lovers, the difference is, however, the volume and strength of any given blogging community. And these feminists are a tightly woven, unapologetically loud group. What is most disturbing is the notion that these women are wiggling their way into the political mainstream. Unsuspecting and relatively mainstream sights such as the Huffington Post and Salon.com link to many of these activist blogs, thus bringing these embarrassingly dim actors (…well actresses) closer to the mainstream.

                  Extreme feminists are communicating, organizing, and strengthening online. It is incumbent upon America’s conservative women to make their own moves toward online organization. Women with level heads must begin the process of uniting online with more alacrity and moxie than the womyn of Fem 2.0. The blogosphere is the new battlefield and, unfortunately, the feminists have a head start. It is time for us, conservative ladies, to put on our proverbial boxing gloves and head into the arena. There are more of us than there are of them, we can and will win!

 

 

 

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