By Emily Jashinsky, YAF activist at GWU
One trait that distinguishes the Left from conservatives in this country is respectfulness. There are, of course, disrespectful people on both sides of the ideological spectrum. Over the years, I’ve seen the vitriol hurled by the Left at Andrew Breitbart. I’ve read the unfathomably cruel critiques of Ann Coulter in YouTube comments. Literally, I had smelled the stench of Occupy encampments wafting through cities. Yet, never had I fully realized the intensity of liberal disrespect until GW-YAF hosted Phyllis Schlafly on April 18. The night before Mrs. Schlafly's speech, a feminist at GWU stumbled across our YAF chapter's page on Facebook advertising the event. Immediately, she expressed her disgust on the page's wall and proceeded to organize a protest. We did our best to counter their feminist rhetoric over the course of the next few hours, but were subjected to a barrage of truly ridiculous insults.Leftist Civility and Tolerance: YAFers have "a special place in Hell"YAFers are a serious minority here at GWU, so the protest garnered a sizable amount of support in the fifteen hours that separated its inception from the actual event. For members of an ideology that touts its so-called "civility" and "peacefulness," these protestors were awfully nasty. Their signs instructed YAF women to "Take your advice: Go back to the kitchen!" and informed us that there would be "a special place in Hell" waiting for us upon our deaths. As YAF members filed through the hallway to the lecture, the protestors loudly chanted "SHAME, SHAME, SHAME" in our faces. Fifteen minutes into Mrs. Schlafly's highly civil and markedly respectful remarks, nearly all thirty protestors stood suddenly from their chairs and filed out of the room. I'm not kidding. While Mrs. Schlafly was mid-sentence, they plastered smug smiles of faux-rebellion across their faces, scoffed at our guests, and walked out in a haze of unfounded self-satisfaction. Just when we thought they could have gotten no more disrespectful, upon exiting the room, they stood in the hallway and shouted "This is what a feminist looks like!" for thirty seconds against the instruction of security. I was left stunned and wondering, "How can they possibly think this is okay?”
I assume it has something to do with the inextricable intertwinement of youthful rebellion and liberal politics. They are liberal because resisting traditionalism is fashionable. Being polite and expressing a command for etiquette is not. Being Anti-Feminist is not Being Anti-Woman On the protesters’ Facebook page is preserved a series of arguments between YAF members and feminists that clearly showcases the Left's desperation. They stated matter-of-factly that I had not even a "basic" understanding of feminism nor had I ever bothered to read feminist theory once in my life. In a true display of liberal arrogance, condescension, and intellectual snobbery, one student listed at least five feminist theorists and sarcastically suggested that I read them. Of course, as an avid student of feminism, I had read all of those authors. It was impossible to these people that a woman could educate herself on feminism and disagree with what she has read. When I told them as much, the point was deflected by name-calling and other obnoxious, unfunny remarks. Their inability to present a substantive argument was astounding and frequently obvious. To quote the protest's founding member, conservatives are "famous for socialist, terrorist, Kenyan, fag, war on religion, hippie name calling." Of course, her command for grammar appears to be as poor as her grasp of reality. Ironically, they proved themselves to be guilty of the name-calling. They called us racists, bigots, and sexists among other things. In fact, I was even called "anti-woman." I am not anti-woman. The implication that women who are anti-feminists are automatically anti-woman is liberal hypocrisy in one of its most repulsive incarnations. The belief that being pro-woman entails only subscribing to feminist doctrines and cannot include those of us of who reject them is sexism pure and simple. It's placing women in an ideological box and shunning all of those who principally refuse to get inside. Proud to be a Conservative WomanThey did, at least, do us a small favor. By continuing the work that the women's liberation movement began fifty years ago, they only exposed us to the sort of disrespect, arrogance, and unfiltered rage that woman like Mrs. Schlafly have been battling for five decades. If the radical feminists don't make you proud to be a conservative woman, I can't imagine what would. Join me in collectively thanking our fearless predecessors for defending our right to choose exactly who we want to be—a right that is, perhaps, the most fundamental right of all.