Actress Kaley Cuoco, a beautiful woman with great comic timing, and now a multimillionaire star because of the hit show Big Bang Theory, was recently asked, in a Redbook interview, if she considered herself a feminist. She answered honestly.
“Is it bad if I say no?”
The answer, according to most young feminists, and too many old ones, is “Yes.”
They harp on the subject endlessly. (I would call them harpies, for that, but that might be too much. But see below.) Ms. Cuoco’s elaboration did not exactly help: “It’s not really something I think about. Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around. . . . I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.”
Now, that is interesting. Because, literally, of course she has faced inequality. She is prettier than most women, smarter than most, too. Her comedic sense was amazing. Her performance as the eldest daughter in the last John Ritter sitcom was stand-out. The show itself was pretty bad; I couldn’t bear to watch it. But I would occasionally tune in for a few moments of Ms. Cuoco.
The fallout, of course, was inevitable. The Blaze puts it like this (shocking to say, but I do not read Redbook — does any man?):
Commenters who describe themselves as feminists have been quick to attack the actress, calling her “talentless” and an “idiot” who doesn’t know what feminism is. As many of them see it, Cuoco owes her success and her salary to the hard work of decades of feminists.
Well, duh. And American feminists owe their successes in politics and out of it to the work of a band of rich slave-owners in colonial America. Without the success of the American revolution, the liberal cultural and political evolution of the 19th century would have not led to the 20th century’s [perhaps dubious] feminist triumphs. Today’s feminists heap scorn and nothing but on the American Founders’ crucial work. And yet they expect Ms. Cuoco, who is not being oppressed in any real-world way, to pay lip service to them? They are, after all, the inheritors, I would say betrayers, of the cause of the equal rights of women that allowed women in our civilization to own property, go to court on their own behalfs, live alone as well as with husbands, vote, and participate in most of the social organizations now extant.
For, while the early feminists did indeed fight for equal rights of women, and secured them, for the most part, modern feminists have other things on their mind. They have equality on their brains, specifically. And they don’t mean equality of basic rights. They mean equality of inclusion, they mean equality of wealth, they mean equality of participation wherever they demand (but not where they don’t, like in prisons) despite unequal distributions of talent, fortitude, and even inclinations.
Ms. Cuoco doesn’t need that kind of feminism. She is above us, feminists — above you and above me, at least in terms of wealth, desirability, social acceptance, and perhaps much more. What modern feminists want, and shrilly demand, has nothing to do with equal rights, which allowed the playing field to be set up in which Ms. Cuoco achieved success. What they want, now, is in many ways the opposite of that, and Ms. Cuoco is not a role model for the young feminists today.
I bet Ms. Cuoco fumes inside, knowing, belatedly, that feminists today have descended into the harpies that chauvinists feared a century ago. Today’s modern feminists are (with some exceptions, I suppose) narrow-minded bigots, moral scolds, petty totalitarians.
Ms.Cuoco may even now be figuring out the error at the heart of feminism. You cannot, without cost to clarity and integrity, call a movement putatively for equal rights between the sexes by the name of only one of those sexes. The excess of partisanship is built into the group identity. The temptation to shrill, hysterical groupthink has been built into the mindset by the very unifying moniker . . . by its inevitable temptation to distract its adherents from common sense justice, with nuanced understanding of the complexities of life, and towards a rigid, nonsensical, radicalism.
Some day a powerful, accomplished woman will answer the question, “Are you a feminist?” like this: “Of course I’m a feminist! I believe everything every feminist says! If I don’t, the bitches will kill me.”
And then, maybe, feminism can die its deserved death.