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Hullabaloo


Friday, January 24, 2014

 
Ladies charging the citadel

by digby

I'm sure most of you of a certain age recall the battle royale over the admission of women to The Citadel back in the 90s. It was a slap in the face to freedom, Southern tradition and everything good about America. I seem to even recall that they were afraid that all the lady parts were going to drive the boys wild and if they didn't is was just because all the female cadets were obviously lesbians.

So, with all the talk about sluts and feminazis and other issues of women and war, this piece by Corey Robin is especially interesting.  He notes that Lindsay Graham is being challenged from the right by a Tea party candidate. A woman Tea Party candidate.  A woman Tea Party candidate who also a graduate of The Citadel.

Robin writes:

And now we have Nancy Mace complaining that Lindsey Graham is too liberal.

Once upon a time, conservatism derived its edge, its sense of will and adversity, from the fact that many of its most illustrious leaders had been outsiders. From Benjamin Disraeli to Phyllis Schlafly, the movement understood its work as the volition of the upstart. “I was not,” hissed Burke at the end of his life,

like his Grace of Bedford, swaddled, and rocked, and dandled into a legislator; “Nitor in adversum” is the motto for a man like me….At every step of my progress in life, (for in every step was I traversed and opposed,) and at every turnpike I met, I was obliged to show my passport, and again and again to prove my sole title to the honour of being useful to my country, by a proof that I was not wholly unacquainted with its laws, and the whole system of its interests both abroad and at home. Otherwise no rank, no toleration, even for me.

Nowadays, we get stuff like this:

In the summer of 1996, The Citadel opened its doors to women and Nancy took a bold step—she simply hopped in her car and drove to The Citadel to pick up an application. The next day, she submitted it.

A few days later, Nancy was accepted as one of the first women ever to enter the Citadel’s ranks as a “knob.” Nancy took the plunge and joined the Corps of Cadets, eager to follow in her father’s footsteps.

It's a little bit of progress for the world. But needless to say, progress is the last thing conservatives really want. As Robin quips, "this doesn't bode well for the movement."

I do love the idea that The Citadel just "opened its doors to women." Not exactly. The doors had to be hit repeatedly with a battering ram, by some brave women the Tea Partiers of the day did everything in their power to degrade and demean in the ugliest fashion possible. And they'd do it again today without a second thought, probably led by Nancy Mace waving a bloody shirt. Consistency isn't their strong suit ...


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