On Stilettos, Golf, and Genghis Khan Feminism

Call me Genghis.

Has a ring to it. The Mongol invader took no prisoners, and possibly invented shabu shabu. Now people are using his name to deride feminists. Golf, shoes and food; so often at the center of these debates. Interesting, isn’t?

“In Her Shoes” just went live this morning in a blog called, The Glass Hammer. My article was prompted by the comments on feminism, Hillary and an interesting conversation with a friend who’s a young associate at a law firm about golf. I find it fascinating that choice of footwear and hobbies both figure prominently in so many of these discussions. (see the sensible shoes comments in Ms.JD, linked on Glass Hammer’s home page.) Golf and shoe keep coming up.

In New York Magazine’s article “Hillary and the Feminist Reawakening”, one of the comments linked to The Glass Hammer, leading me to their (earlier) article on Hillary and the spillover effect.

Follow all that? Hard to do in stilettos, I know. Sorry. Remember, Ginger did it all in heels and backwards but Fred got most of the credit.

The NYMag and The Glass Hammer comments show that sexism is alive and well. As if the question were open. Well, I had hoped we were entering the “post” era of feminism, that our work was someday going to be done. I knew better, but a girl can hope.

When Eric Cartman said “Get in the Kitchen and make me some pie!” we laughed because we think this little turd is playing tough, posturing with his outdated sexist crowing. Then we learn about thousands, multiple thousands, of men who signed on to a website about Hillary and sandwiches. Then you realize we only hoped Cartman was a throwback. Ouch.

Do pop over to TGM or NYMagazine, take a look; wade into the debate. Already the dialog has included some blame-the-victim thinking, some denial, some good stuff. Some younger women want to forget those who opened doors for them, to the golf club, to the board room. Dismiss them as “Genghis Khan Feminists.” Others want to take the “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist” tack. Good luck, it doesn’t work, but knock yourself out.

I just hope these young professional women aren’t surprised when they protest exclusion from the big deals because they can’t hang at the strip club with the boys. Or, if they’re dismissed with a “Whatever Hillary” comment by a male co-worker and don’t like it. Just don’t look for us older girls, the Genghis Khan Feminists, to get your back. We might be too busy baking or buffing our sensible shoes. Or, we might be out dancing in our stilettos. Just give us a little credit, most of us are still fighting the good fight. For all of us.

1 Response to “On Stilettos, Golf, and Genghis Khan Feminism”


  1. 1 Fumiko Church April 22, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    A good and thought provoking piece, Jackie. As I read it, I thought of the young woman, Grace Wang, at Duke Univ., who would dare speak up, only to be jeered and shouted down by those who felt obliged to speak up for China, but not for Tibet. I know nothing about women’s struggles throughout the history of China, but what I hear in bits and pieces about it sounds ugly and stubbornly entrenched. She says even her parents in China are in danger, because of her overt actions displayed at a U.S. campus.

    While if she were a male in that situation, how differently the same crowd would have acted? In the current environment with strong sentiments on both sides of the issue about the Olympic Games in China, it’s hard to know.

    Today is the day of PA primary. These are extraordinary times in many senses. If a woman as brilliant as Hillary is gets knocked down, it would be a noteworthy chapter in our history. Our fight goes on.


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