Culture Beat / July 11, 2018

Feminist Writer: Stop Calling Kavanaugh ‘A Good Dad’

Apparently, being “a good dad” loses its luster when a conservative jurist is nominated to SCOTUS.

Men Really Do Get Less Sexist When They Have Daughters.” So declared Emily Peck in the Huffington Post on May 2, 2017. According to Peck, “For many men, having a daughter is a wake-up call to a notion most of us are already on board with: Women are human beings, just as capable as men.” She goes on to fawn over how “President Barack Obama, the father of two girls, was the first president to actually, explicitly call himself a feminist.” At the top of the article is an image of Obama alongside his two daughters. Peck clearly intended to portray Barack as being a good dad.

Apparently, though, being “a good dad” loses its luster when a conservative jurist is nominated to the Supreme Court. This week, Peck published another commentary under the contradictory headline, “Playing Up Brett Kavanaugh As A Good Dad To Girls Is Shameless.” Despite the fact that Kavanaugh “spoke on Monday about coaching his girls’ teams and even bragged that the majority of his law clerks are women,” and even though “the whole enterprise pushes the narrative that this man is a friend to women. Maybe even a feminist,” Peck nevertheless suggests his good-dad credentials are fraudulent.

The conservative darling wants us to know he’s just a nice guy who is nice to girls. He interacts with women, therefore he is a friend to women. It’s an argument with fragile logic. … If Kavanaugh’s nomination goes through ― and there’s little reason to think it won’t ― he will be the fifth conservative on the court. And in this role, he will likely be very not nice to women. Indeed, he is likely to gut reproductive rights for women. As an appeals court justice, he has already ruled against Obamacare birth control provisions and signaled a willingness to curb abortion access. He’s a favorite of conservatives, and anti-abortion groups have already signaled their pleasure about his selection. Playing up Kavanaugh as some kind of gentle, good dad seems to be a fairly transparent effort to sidestep all this stuff. To try to make this man less terrifying by reassuring women that he’s a nice daddy.

Who knew that desiring to save girls in the womb amounted to being “not nice to women”? Peck implies that Obama is a good dad expressly because he supports feminism and abortion and other so-called reproductive rights. In last year’s piece, Peck opines that “raising a girl isn’t always a game-changer for men.” Kavanaugh no doubt fits that narrative. In Peck’s estimation, he’s surely a sexist father because, even though he’s probably gentle and kind to his daughters, he doesn’t subscribe to the Left’s secular worldview. Which makes him an imposter. Speaking of imposters, we can’t think of a better term to describe dignity-deficient feminists like Emily Peck.

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