Holding feminists to their own objectionable standards is a worthy pursuit. Disingenuously embracing those standards is not.
Sen. Cory Booker's, D-N.J., pompous, self-satisfied rant at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during her testimony on Capitol Hill this week was rightfully held up as an example of behavior progressive feminists would refer to as "mansplaining" – obnoxiously and arrogantly condescending to a qualified woman. The point of doing so, of course, is to illustrate how feminists (some of whom celebrated Booker's exchange with Nielsen) administer charges of mansplaining selectively, only when the beneficiaries of those complaints are their ideological comrades.
There is no question that Booker's approach to Nielsen would have been interpreted and covered differently were their political parties reversed. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel made that point well many times over in a Thursday morning interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo. She should have stopped there.
Instead, however, McDaniel embraced "mansplaining," arguing not just that Booker violated the standards of his fellow progressives, but implicitly confirming those standards were valid.
"He was disrespectful to her as the secretary of Homeland Security, and he was mansplaining to her," the chair maintained.
I don't particularly want to live in a world where charges of "mansplaining" are coming from the lips of the chair of the Republican Party.
Does McDaniel really believe Booker was being sexist? Because to make that argument, you have mimic radical feminists in dropping the bar for what constitutes sexist behavior far lower than where it should be.
I get it; I really do. The double standards of the women's movement (and its allies in the media) are glaring and absurd. And sexism is real and can sometimes come in the form of condescending lectures from dudes. But insincerely stooping to the basement-level antics of progressive feminists is not the answer to the problem. Conservatives should be better than that.