Why Feminism Is the Third Rail of Blogging

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Feminism is the third rail of blogging. This is because if you don’t say the right thing or say it the right way, you’re going to get zapped.

I reached this unhappy conclusion while following the latest kerfuffle in the feminist corner of the blogosphere, a silly debate over this photograph of Suzanne Swift that accompanies a New York Times Magazine article on how women returning home from the Iraq War have had to struggle with the violence they experienced, sometimes in the form of sexual assaults.

Swift says that she went AWOL after she was ordered to return to a unit where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted. She was photographed by Katy Grannan in a pose you might see in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. This, claim some feminist bloggers and their posses, is shameless cheesecake and sexually exploitive. I dunno. Suzanne is fully clothed, so maybe it’s because she’s out of uniform.

I’m inclined to tell these scolds to get a life, or better still to focus on the problems so powerfully elucidated in the article, but that would be violating a canon of hard-core feminism.

You see, card-carrying members of this variety of feminism set the rules of political correctness when it comes to all things women, and those who do not play by their rules do so at their own peril. This includes even testosterone-driven old farts such as myself who have worked tirelessly to level the playing field for women during a long career in journalism and blogs about women’s health issues that the mainstream media often ignores.

Incidentally, my own blog featured Suzanne’s story way back in November, long before it reached critical mass in the feminist blogosphere for all the wrong reasons. You’d better better believe that I made sure the photo I used was PC.