Paradigm shifts don’t happen very often in a person’s lifetime. What causes that internal shift is a mystery. It’s different for each person. For some people it might be a single event like 9/11. Or an unexplainable religous conversion. Or the wilding of Sarah Palin.
Like for most feminists, it was a no-brainer for me to become a Democrat. Liberal men, not conservatives, were the ones devoted to women’s issues. They marched at my side in support of abortion rights. They were enthusiastic about women succeeding in the workplace.
As time went on, I had many experiences that should have made me rethink my certainty. But I remained nestled in cognitive dissonance — therapy jargon for not wanting to see what I didn’t want to see.
One clue: the miscreants who were brutalizing me didn’t exactly look Reagan-esque. In middle and high schools, they were minority kids enraged about forced busing. On the streets of New York City and Berkeley, they were derelicts and hoodlums.
Another red flag: while liberal men did indeed hold up those picket signs, they didn’t do anything else to protect me. In fact, their social programs enabled bad behavior and bred chaos in urban America. And when I was accosted by thugs, those leftist men were missing in action.
What else should have tipped me off? Perhaps the fact that so many men in ultra-left Berkeley are sleazebags. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t hear stories from my young female clients about middle-aged men preying on them. With the rationale of moral relativism, these creeps feel they can do anything they please.
Not a huge fan of Sarah Palin myself, but I am appalled at her wilding. And it’s always fascinating to track a paradigm shift!