I’m sure that it’s not as black and white as all that—I’m sure that these women would tell me that I’m not right about that. And maybe I’m not. But the impression that all three of these women make upon me as pertains to their ideas of feminism and womanhood more generally is one of an almost fascist view of what it should mean to be a feminist based entirely upon what they themselves see as the correct mode of life for women and, by extension, feminists. Mama Grizzlies with big families who value fossil fuel burning, monogamy, and guns are Palin’s "feminists.," and anyone who would dare raise a voice against them can't be part of their club. Heterosexual conservative firecrackers who don’t, apparently, need to be very up on their facts or education because of the strength of their personalities seem to be the "feminists" Bachmann is interested in. And Wolf? Well, her crew seems to be comprised of feminists willing to swallow everything she says hook, line, and sinker, up to and including that pornography is bad for all women and all people all the time and that feminism can be legitimately coopted by anti-Muslim, anti-pornography, anti-abortion (ahem, anti-freedom-of-choice) totalitarians.
These women all seem much more inclined to react to other people’s ideas and actions with violent opposition, thus, as Wolf says, using powerful emotional rhetoric to gain momentum, than to spend time or effort considering their validity and attacking them on solid rational grounds. They say that personal freedom is important to them, that women should be allowed to make the choices they want to make, but seem to find it completely untrue that women might have real and legitimate reasons for making decisions different from their own. Freedom is only freedom if it allows for personal decision-making based on a variety of motivations, personal creeds, and often wildly disparate backgrounds. Yet Bachmann and Palin seem to want everyone to have their freedom to act in a specific set of preapproved ways. And if one steps out of line with these approved modes of behavior, then those with the freedom to do so will rip you down.