The bad days for feminists began around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 as it became more and more evident that the first woman president would not be elected. The glass ceiling would stay proudly unshattered. Hillary Clinton wouldn't make Herstory, but would join her fellow retirees in picturesque Westchester County, roaming the woods and holding the occasional venting session with still-bitter supporters.
The bad days got worse during Hurricane Harvey, which along with costing billions of dollars and spreading misery among millions neatly blew up one of their cornerstone concepts and exposed them, in their blogs, tweets and postings, as the petty, frivolous, self-absorbed, and distraction-prone ditzes they in now in real life have become.
"What are men good for?" they asked us incessantly, and their answer was always, "‘not much." They were good for fights, football, for harassment of women, for suppression of women, and for cheating women in a nefarious manner out of the good things they earn. "Postmortems offering rational explanations for how a pussy-grabbing goblin managed to gain the White House over an experienced woman have mostly glossed over one of the well-worn dynamics in play: A competent woman losing a job to an incompetent man is not an anomalous Election Day surprise; it is Tuesday in America," said Rebecca Traister in New York. For a long time, feminists made much of the disparities between men and women in higher-paying and high-prestige occupations without seeming to notice that the disparities in more dirty and dangerous jobs are even more striking.
The number of men sailing small pleasure boats at the height of the storm to rescue complete strangers vastly outnumbered the number of women doing the same; ditto the number of men wading thigh-high deep in water rescuing women and children, ditto the number of men taking risks. There's nothing like a crisis of the fundamental description to make masculinity just a little less toxic, and make the feminist movement that coined this obsession appear just a little more dumb.
Let's drop the pretense that the feminist movement as it exists in the moment has much of importance to say. In the face of a crisis of transcendent proportions, it hones in like a laser on what really matters, which would be Melania's shoes. En route to the plane that would take her to Texas, she was seen wearing a sleek but not dressy outfit, along with her mile-high shoes. Her critics said it wasn't the thing to wear to the scene of a hurricane, but she wore it in Washington. When she deplaned she was wearing a shirt, pants and sneakers, but the fact she had worn heels in Washington was seen as affront to the people of Texas that nothing could ever erase.
If this strikes you as the sort of airheaded logic used to mock women for decades, as either the dumb blonde or the dim little woman, you are not mistaken. It may even help to explain to you how and why this particular image took hold. "Who wears stilettos to a hurricane? Melania Trump," said Vanity Fair -- even though she didn't do it.
"The rest of her outfit was just as obnoxious," said Slate, again failing to account for the fact that she changed out of it.
What's in a shoe? The decline and fall of a once vibrant movement that long ago did some good things for women, but has drifted into uselessness and insanity long since.
Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."