Light bulb jokes seem to have fallen out of fashion because, well, I’m tempted to say it’s because light bulbs—at least light bulbs that work—have fallen out of fashion. But that’s a post for a Green Weenie Award, and this is a post about feminism, though I have to admit, the prospects of annoying environmentalists and feminists with one joke is an irresistible temptation.
Few jokes are more politically incorrect than “How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?” You remember the answer: “THAT’S NOT FUNNY.” But doesn’t this joke require an update? Something like: “How many feminists does it take to change a compact fluorescent light bulb?” Answer: “How dare you! CFLs contain mercury, and if we dropped it, the mercury vapors in the bulb would harm the unborn children we aren’t going to have! Make Larry Summers change the damn bulb!”
Laugh at your own peril. The humorlessness of feminism is an old story, but it is interesting to see a backlash building in mainstream America and not just among conservative critics. The most interesting recent story you may have missed concerns Rebecca Walker, the daughter of the celebrated feminist author Alice Walker, who, according to her daughter, is an egregiously awful human being because of her feminist views. Here’s a few short excerpts from “How My Mother’s Fanatical Feminist Views Tore Us Apart”:
My mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.
In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from ‘enslaving’ me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late - I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck. . .
My mother may be revered by women around the world - goodness knows, many even have shrines to her. But I honestly believe it’s time to puncture the myth and to reveal what life was really like to grow up as a child of the feminist revolution. . . I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.
All of this is preface to taking note of my old pal Christina Hoff Sommers’ short new book, Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today. Christina—my favorite feminist fatale—actually rescues feminism from the feminists (sort of like what needs to be done with environmentalism for that matter). Now, I could write some pithy prose about it here, but why not let her explain it herself in this short (2:30 long) video.