Hillary Clinton’s defeat is wreaking havoc in the sisterhood. Celebrity feminists are especially distraught. “Girls” star Lena Dunham developed hives and fled to Sedona for spiritual renewal. Katy Perry took to Twitter to declare “THE REVOLUTION IS COMING.” For feminist icon Robin Morgan, the election is proof that “a diseased patriarchy is in a battle to the death with women.”
But less excitable analysts are drawing more sober conclusions: Perhaps the women’s movement is too elitist and out of touch with ordinary citizens, especially working-class women. That seems right, but I would go one step further. Today’s feminism is not merely out of touch with everyday Americans; it’s out of touch with reality. To survive, it’s going to have to come back to planet Earth.
First of all, it’s time to stop calling the United States a patriarchy. A patriarchy is a system where men hold the power and women do not. Women do hold power in the United States — they lead major universities and giant corporations, write influential books, serve as state and federal judges and even manage winning presidential campaigns. American women, especially college-educated women, are the freest and most self-determining in human history. Why pretend otherwise?