If I see one more person sympathizing with Tomi Lahren, I’m going to scream.
Over the last week or so, people have been abuzz over the news that the internet’s favorite blonde, bold conservative woman–23-year-old Tomi Lahren–was suspended and subsequently fired from her gig as young conservative loudmouth for The Blaze, a right-wing website. Tomi usually does fiery video commentary of her hot take of the day, like calling women’s rights protesters “snowflakes” or saying that Beyonce’s song “Formation” is “unfair to little white girls.” Why would someone who isn’t some alt-right, conservative, Trump loving individual even know who she is? Because her videos constantly go viral on Twitter and Facebook; the more racist, the more clicks. Even I’ll admit to hate-watching her videos whenever they popped up on my Twitter feed. The fact that she’s a conventionally attractive white woman doesn’t hurt her notoriety either. If you haven’t seen her on your feed, you might know her from her controversial appearance on The Daily Show a few months back, in which she tried to defend some of her most racist, Islamophobic comments to date.
So, why did she get fired? Because she revealed that she’s pro-choice on The View. She defended her stance by claiming that it coincides with her politics as a conservative and a lover of the U.S. Constitution: “I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies. I can sit here and say that, as a Republican and I can say, you know what, I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”
But for the audience of the conservative network she made a living off of, standing up for abortion rights is a big no-no.
If you ask me, Tomi being pro-choice–and believing that the government shouldn’t meddle in someone’s uterus–is the first good opinion she’s ever had. But just because she’s pro-choice, I’m not itching to claim her as a fellow feminist.
I use this phrase a lot, and it’s always useful: A broken clock is right twice a day. It’s true, a broken clock is right twice a day, but does that mean you should rely on that clock? No. This same concept can be applied to people too, especially ones who go about things in a way you don’t jive with. It’s fair to give someone credit where credit is due, but that doesn’t negate every awful thing they’ve done and will continue to do. So just because Tomi Lahren believes, like I do, that people shouldn’t be forced to complete a pregnancy to term–especially considering most terminations of pregnancy occur in the first trimester and usually only occur later if the health of the pregnant person is at stake–doesn’t mean that I can trust her to care about other important issues, especially other important issues.
I’m not eager to claim a woman who compares Black Lives Matter to the KKK as a feminist. I’m not eager to claim someone who antagonizes undocumented people as a feminist. I’m not eager to claim someone who calls Syrian refugees “cowards” as a feminist. I’m not eager I’m not eager to claim someone who says, “It seems the feminists are all about female freedom of expression so long as the female is overweight or transgender” as a feminist; why would anyone want to offer any fuzzy feelings of feminist inclusivity to a woman who has spent her entire career attacking feminism? She isn’t a feminist and doesn’t seem to be interested in being one either, so why should anyone waste time trying to convert her?
It’s heartwarming when women, who may disagree on almost everything, put those differences on pause to show support. Feels good. Thank you ❤
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) March 22, 2017
But that sure hasn’t stopped other people from trying to claim Tomi as a feminist in light of her pro-choice declaration, nor has it stopped them from writing think pieces about it. For example, a piece titled “An Apology To Tomi Lahren” went viral recently. In it, the author laments being so critical about Tomi, despite her political differences. She goes on to say, “as a fellow woman, I was so proud of your comment and you unapologetic tone. You are honest, raw, strong, confident, and overwhelmingly unapologetic… I pride myself on supporting other women, encouraging each other to be ambitious, strong, and to never refrain from expressing our opinions/values, and to feel empowered.”
This is on top of countless tweets from well-meaning liberals urging people to go easy on Tomi because she’s pro-choice, which means she’s… not as bad as we thought? Someone commented on her Facebook with the following: “I just want you to know Tomi that now you have been shunned by the right, our door on the left will always be open.”
Uh, no. Guys, come on.
Feminism isn’t about blindly supporting women no matter what. I know, it’s easy to reject ideological purity, but can we at least be on the same page about this? Feminism is about challenging oppression that women face and fighting the structures that disproportionately harm them. Not just the challenges of straight white women, of all women; black women, Muslim women, poor women, trans-women, undocumented women, women who are multiply marginalized, etc. There’s nothing in my feminism–the aforementioned definition–that requires or even encourages me to bring people like Tomi Lahren into the fold just because she’s a woman who speaks her mind. Sure, she believes that people have the right to an abortion, that’s nice. But she also actively supports policies that stigmatize, marginalize, and endanger women.
The day I’m thirsty to consider a woman who belittles police brutality as a feminist is the day I’ve officially lost every ounce of self-respect.
Look, I’m all about encouraging more people to find value in feminism, womanism, or whatever other ideology addresses the systematic oppression women face. What I’m not interested in doing is turning feminism into some big tent where damn near anyone is invited to identify as one. If your feminism is largely comprised of wearing a “Nasty Woman” shirt, quoting “bitches get shit done,” and not “tearing down women,” then maybe your feminism needs to be more radicalized, because a Tina Fey quote isn’t going to save us… and neither is a blonde, pro-choice conservative woman by the name of Tomi Lahren.
What do you think of Tomi Lahren? Do you think that you can be a pro-life feminist? Is feminism becoming too commodified? Tell us in the comments!