You know the phrase "a disaster waiting to happen?" For over a decade now I've been waiting and watching, knowing that the National Organization for Women would inevitably have a very public nervous breakdown brought on by the pressures of using women's issues to further the misogynist leftist agenda.
The only questions were when it would happen and how public the collapse would be. I now have my answer--October 2010.
After years of slouching into obscurity, NOW finally got some attention last week, much like car wrecks do on the freeway. By now you all know the details--a week ago California NOW endorsed Jerry Brown for governor within 24 hours of him (or the obligatory "someone associated with him") calling his opponent, Meg Whitman, a "whore."
But that endorsement wasn't sloppy or bizarre enough for California NOW president Patty Bellasalma. On Thursday, Bellasalma doubled down and told a reporter she thought Brown's use of the word "whore" was a "poor choice," but "the description was accurate."
Great. I suppose that translates to, yes, what an awful word, that shouldn’t really be used against any woman, except, well, Meg Whitman. -- And probably other women who aren’t real women because we say so and also therefore deserve to be called “whore.” Or something.
With that rather remarkable position, Bellasalma manages to expose the rank absurdity NOW has become. At the very least the dozen or so women who still support NOW have found out why they're the only ones left in the room.
When you think about it, where was Patty when Bill Clinton needed her? Bill could have used this "Sure, women we don't like are whores" spin to explain the victimhood that strikes all men who wander around without pants. Or the trauma Men Without Pants with Interns in the Oval Office experience. Maybe Patty is just taking a page from the feminist Clinton years when the first response to the Lewinsky allegation was an attempt to cast that 20-year-old young woman as an obsessed stalker whore.
And where was Patty when Obama needed her? Maybe even more of the "Bros Before Hos" (Hillary the "Ho" of course) T-shirts worn by Obama supporters during the 2008 primary season would have been sold...to women!
NOW, of course, hasn't been taken seriously by anyone of consequence for at least a decade. The problem here is not NOW's impact on the election, but the message to a new feminist generation which, up until now, has had nowhere else to look for authentic feminist advocacy on behalf of women; an activism that's based in respect for women, our success, and making sure all of us are free to make the choices in life that best suit us an individuals. -- NOW claims to be that entity, but Bellasalma's comments should confirm for everyone that their agenda has nothing to do with improving the quality of women's lives and everything to do with promoting the so-called progressive agenda as operatives for the Democrat party.
During my time in NOW I knew Patty Bellasalma. She was a new activist and an up-and-coming lawyer. She saw what was happening in NOW and I felt she was smart enough to see through it and resist the inevitable pressure to abandon truly feminist principles in the name of establishment liberalism.
I resigned from NOW over a decade ago because I refused to have my commitment to women twisted into an agenda determined to increase victimhood and mainstreaming misogyny.
The Patty I knew in the 1990s would be appalled at the idea of participating in the denigration of another woman to promote the career of a man simply because he’s The Democrat.
NOW, of course, has never shied away from trying to destroy women who do not conform to their agenda. It's usually pro-life Christian women NOW feels don't qualify as real women worthy of support. The group's commitment to the leftist agenda is apparently now all consuming, as this remarkable attack on the pro-choice feminist Whitman -- whose monumental crime is that she chose to be a Republican -- confirms.
Make no mistake--I'm not suggesting woman are off limits when it comes to calling them out for their actions or engaging in whatever political fight that comes with this territory.
I have and will continue to be aggressive in taking on women I disagree with whom I believe are harming our nation. Women in business and politics are adults who have enough agency to understand this and know how to respond.
The problem with NOW's pathetic decline into mainstreaming misogyny is the message it sends to the next generation of young women and men--that using sexist slurs is an appropriate way to respond to women who stand in the way of something you want.
Bellasalma and everyone associated with California NOW should be ashamed of themselves. If Patty has any self-respect left, she should resign. If she doesn’t, national NOW leadership, which has shown signs recently of not simply toeing the leftist party line, should demand her resignation.
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host. She is also the former president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW. For more visit TammyBruce.com.