Who's Afraid of Naomi Wolf?
I noticed a little story in the news the other day. A social activist of some regard was complaining about a pop star's video--in fact, calling for a major boycott against the artist.
The pop star was Katy Perry, and her new, #1 hit song and video was titled “Part of Me”. The boycott was led by a woman who is said to be the spokesperson of the “third wave of the feminist movement”.
The woman is someone whom I and the rest of the 99% have probably never heard of--Ms. Naomi Wolf from San Francisco, California--Yale graduate, and Rhodes Scholar. Wolf, a feminist author and political activist, worked in the Clinton administration and on Al Gore’s failed presidential run. Her father is a top “horror scholar,” the resident expert on all things Transylvania. Her mother, an anthropologist, wrote the book “The Lesbian Community.”
The "third wave of Feminism” is born of the children of the radical feminism of the 1970s. This latest iteration involves a lot of social activism and combines the radical feminist beliefs and tactics of old with the socialist feminist (aka. Marxist feminism) redistribution of power philosophy. Together, they attempt to break down the remaining societal infrastructure and institutions that block the feminist rise to power.
Ultimately, Naomi and her kind are not about women’s rights or equality. This group is more focused on a societal revolution that results in the creation of a special interest society dominated by a confederation of fringe interests and directed by the radical feminists.
The target of this feminist critic is a 27-year-old singer, pop idol Katy Perry. Perry has tens of millions of fans around the world, has been nominated for eight Grammy awards and, right now, has the number-one hit in the land. Perry (Katy Hudson) was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, and her parents are evangelical pastors. These two California girls come from very different upbringings. Katy is a young, successful and talented artist whose stock is rising, while middle-aged Naomi, who has also done well for herself, shows indications that she may have crested the “professional hill.”
Before calling for this sweeping boycott, Naomi momentarily hung with that grubby little blip called Occupy. Before that, she displayed an obsession with the Bush administration and what she perceived as their “fascism” playbook for destroying democracies, all the while framing these pursuits under the auspices of her first love, radical feminism.
Now, in a desperate lunge to stay relevant, the adrift Ms. Wolf is attacking a highly regarded female pop singer for doing a music video she finds “appalling.” In the video interpretation of the song, Perry’s character joins the United States Marine Corps after realizing her boyfriend is a philanderer. “Part of Me” portrays the girl in the video (played by Perry) as a feminist dream--a strong, independent, empowered young woman. The Marine imagery is just the vehicle through which to tell the story and reinforce the message. In fact, the video seems to reflect everything the former front line crusaders of the feminist movement were trying to accomplish. Naomi, who should be the video’s biggest fan, instead labels it “a total piece of propaganda for the Marines,” and therein lies the rub.
Her real beef with Katy Perry’s video has nothing to do with the video or feminism or any of the other fringe interests that Naomi and her subculture cling to. No, this is really all about her personal and visceral disgust for the United States Military, for which her former employer, the Clinton Administration, was notorious. Almost two decades since Clinton's departure, as he and Naomi fade into the background, it just eats away at her that the military today is in great standing among the American people. Almost every poll shows our military is the most trusted institution in America.
How far the self-important have fallen. First, Naomi’s beloved Occupy urban-camping initiative bored us all to tears, despite the massive propaganda effort from the media to make it seem interesting and important. That short-lived deal followed her futile attempt to become a modern-day Thomas Paine with her publication of “The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot." The centerpiece of that treatise was a Letterman-like top ten steps "fascists" take to destroy the democratic character of a nation. Unfortunately, common sense was nowhere to be found in this intellectually stymied diatribe.
So, now it has come to boycotting a pop phenom and her music video. Let me get this right; the “third generation spokesperson” for the feminist movement is so desperate for attention that the best she can do is a blurb on ET and TMZ? Come on, Naomi, you’re a Rhodes Scholar, for God’s sake, and you actually had some cache back in the day. Is this the best the third wave, collective commune cheerleading squad can do?
Ultimately, Naomi’s false call to arms will make happy-go-lucky Katy more successful, more famous, and wealthier--moving her much deeper into the 1% club of which, I would suspect, Naomi is a card-carrying member. Public opinion will all break Katy’s way and will make her song a bigger hit than it already was, while bringing a lot of great free publicity to the honorable and heroic Marine Corps.
You would think that a want-to-be revolutionary and Rhodes Scholar would know better, and she does. This is nothing more than a good old-fashioned publicity stunt--an unfortunate one for someone who worked so hard to be socially relevant and not part of the silly pop tabloid culture. But desperate people do desperate things, and Naomi and her crumbling movement are desperate.
Certainly, I took the bait and gave Naomi a moment back in the news cycle, but it was worth it. If this is any indicator of the desperation of the left then expect more of this ridiculousness. If “The Bad Sam Club” of Occupy was not weird enough, just assume a lot more hot shower material is on the way.
Naomi’s call to action ultimately fell on deaf ears. She had a party and nobody came; what a shame. I think her more thoughtful colleagues saw this as a losing and probably embarrassing outcome and waved her off reflexively. Other than this small recognition, it went almost unheard of for lack of interest.
Maybe the radical left, which has tried and died several times in the last 100 years, is just resigned to the fact that this great experiment in democracy and freedom, paid for by the hard work of capitalism and protected by the bravest of all is truly too good, too strong, and too big to fail.