One Feminist Condemns Another’s Military Empowerment

Radical feminist Naomi Wolf is calling for a boycott of pop superstar Katy Perry in the wake of the latter’s latest music video, in which she transforms herself a là “G.I. Jane” into a U.S. Marine.

In the storyline of the video for her power-pop single “Part of Me,” Perry is seen ditching an unfaithful boyfriend, then being inspired to enlist by a bumper sticker reading, “All women are created equal. Then some become Marines.” This is just the sort of female empowerment Perry’s emotionally wounded character needs. We follow her through hellish basic training: scaling rope ladders, hiking in full gear, jogging with a cadet on her shoulders, crawling through barbed wire in rainy darkness, linking arms with fellow cadets on the beach as the waves roll over them, and finally storming a beach. The video closes with her dancing and singing triumphantly in camouflaged fatigues under a starry, billowing canopy that seems to suggest a waving Stars-and-Stripes:

Throw your sticks and stones
Throw your bombs and your blows
But you’re not gonna break my soul
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

“This is one of the most aggressive videos I have ever done,” Perry said. “It is an affirmation of strength, so I wanted to go the strongest route I could.” And “the strongest route” means Marine boot camp. One would think that a prominent feminist like Wolf would appreciate a woman promoting the strongest possible path to female strength and paying particular tribute to the tough, courageous women of our Armed Forces.

But feminists of the left aren’t about female empowerment. If they were, they would devote more time and passion denouncing, say, Islam’s misogyny, female genital mutilation, and honor killings; instead, they are more focused on the politics of personal destruction of female conservative politicians like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann, who more successfully embody the have-it-all goal of feminism than Wolf and her ilk (Wolf penned a shocking defense of the Islamic veil and Muslim sexuality, and attacked Palin, rather creatively, as “the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal”).

No, progressive feminists are focused on the same radical goals as other progressives: the disintegration of the family, the dismantling of America’s military strength, and the destruction of capitalism (last year Wolf was arrested – unlawfully, she claims – in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement). Wolf is the author of, among other books, The Beauty Myth, which posits that standards of beauty are false social constructs that the “patriarchy” uses to keep women under its thumb, and The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, which likens the post-9/11 Bush administration to the fascism of Nazi Germany.

Thus, Wolf addressed the followers on her Facebook page about Perry’s “propaganda” and “glorification of violence”:

Have you all seen the Katy Perry Marines video? It is a total piece of propaganda for the Marines…I really want to find out if she was paid by them for making it…it is truly shameful. I would suggest a boycott of this singer whom I really liked — if you are as offended at this glorification of violence as I am . [ellipses in original]

Of course, the video isn’t a glorification of violence; it’s first and foremost a metaphor about women empowering themselves, but it’s also an unqualified, respectful salute to our servicemen and –women. There is a difference between glamorizing war and honoring our nation’s defenders and the sacrifices they and their families make on our behalf, in defense of the freedoms that we and Naomi Wolf enjoy.

“Naomi Wolf is a living, breathing contradiction,” said Hollywood publicist Angie Meyer, offering a powerful rejection of the feminist and unusual – for Hollywood – high praise for our military:

Her anti-military sentiments against the men and women fighting to defend the freedoms she exercises regularly, speech and protest, is absurd and disturbingly disgraceful. What an enormous slap in the face for our servicemen and women. Naomi Wolf’s blatant disrespect for the United States Military, and her political irreverence should be completely disregarded, and her rants and writings, boycotted.

Another PR professional – Glenn Selig, founder of The Publicity Agency – suspects that Wolf’s boycott call will backfire:

It’s hard to believe that Naomi Wolf’s view of the video will resonate with the public at large because most people will view her comments as completely absurd and a ridiculous attempt to make a big deal out of nothing.

But it isn’t “nothing” to Naomi Wolf. Katy Perry is the new queen of the music industry hill. She has tied Michael Jackson’s all-time record for most number one songs from a single album. She is the only artist to spend over 52 consecutive weeks in the Billboard magazine top ten. She’s been nominated for eight Grammy Awards and named MTV’s “Artist of the Year” in 2011. She has sold nearly forty million digital tracks in the U.S. and more than eleven million albums worldwide.  Virtually everything Perry wears, says, does and tweets exerts an influence on her many millions of fans, and impacts pop culture accordingly. Wolf realizes this and understands the influence Perry’s music video could have in terms of creating a positive image of our military among the nation’s youth. And that is an image that women like Wolf and her Code Pink admirers cannot afford to let stand, lest America’s unbridled, imperialistic warmongering continue.

I’ve written about Perry before, when she caught hell from Israel-haters in the Twitterverse for tweeting an innocuous message of prayer support to an Israeli fan. In response to that controversy, she backed down a bit and tried to play it neutral as the Switzerland of pop stars. Hopefully she won’t backpedal on her pro-Marine stance now.

  • Ken

    Naomi Wolf is just uber-Left blowhard who is jealous of anyone getting the spotlight but her. Also, as a Progressive, she cannot stand any woman not towing her ideaological line and doing something original and empowering. Last time I checked, this is still America, and Katy Perry has the right to express herself through her art any way that she wants. Who the HELL is Naomi Wolf to say it is wrong and call for a boycott?!? IF anything, she should be boycottted for trying to force women to conform and and being a blowhard!!!

    • Tom Davis

      Nomu who?

    • johnnywoods

      Naomi who?

  • UCSPanther

    Who cares what this washed up leftist has to say?

    • Ken

      Good point, Panther! Spot on, as usual!!

    • intrcptr2

      Isn't washed-up leftist a tad redundant?

    • 123asd

      I care what she has to say. I don't know if she is jealous of other in the spotlight, but her remarks about the Katy Perry video have sparked dialog, and Naomi Wolf does have a right to express herself. She may be calling for a boycott, and you are on the attack calling her names? Naomi wants YOU, KEN, to pay attention to the way Obama, Bush, the Senate and the House have dismantled the United States Constitution reducing it to toilet paper!!! The Federal government has boycott the Constitution of the United States before your very eyes, and youre watching KATY PERRY!!!

  • Rifleman

    They say honoring the US Marines in a music video is shameful, but I'm supposed to believe the left loves the USA and our troops.

    • 123asd

      I think Naomi's point in opposition to this video is to add narrative, and question what the U.S. Marine is representing in the World today, the Corporate Capitalist Aggressor's Interest. From what I understand, the U.S. Marine is not defending the U.S. homeland, as much as protecting the global imperialist's interests in foreign resources.

      I love the Constitution, Independence and Freedom from oppressive forces. I have compassion for the American boys who are trying to do good, stay alive and make a living. Katy Perry is doing her job, having fun, and being sexy. Naomi is doing her job too.

      • dsa321

        " … the Corporate Capitalist Aggressor's Interest."

        Nice use of capital letters, bozo.

        "From what I understand … "

        There is the source of your life's problems, right there.

        " …the U.S. Marine is not defending the U.S. homeland, as much as protecting the global imperialist's interests in foreign resources."

        Go back to distributing your Ron Paul literature, chump.

      • Rifleman

        Thanks for illustrating my point. It's the same thing I've heard from the left since the '60s, when I was too young to understand it. Yall hid it for a while, but I could always tell the feeling was there.

        You're wrong, the USA doesn't possess the characteristics of an empire. We don't steal resources, we buy them, and historically, we've paid better than anybody. Nor do we demand tribute. We pay it, even when we are under no obligation or have no need to do so. If one of our so called subject nations asks us to leave, we leave. If anything, we're the anti-empire.

        • PDK

          As I recall, the liberals claimed for many years W went to war to steal Iraqs oil. I say break it out. Never do we need stolen oil like when a liberal, anti American, anti capitalist, pro socialist, pro Islamic, Messiahnic POTUS is in reign.
          I know we went to war to steal their oil because not only did liberals make this charge continuously but, they never apologized, and I know if we did not steal Iraqs oil, liberals would have apologized for their error. Right liberals. Thank you.

        • PDK

          According to the liberals W Bush engaged the Iraq war to steal their oil. For years I had to listen to this illusion they forced upon me. So I say to the liberals now, break it out bro, we need greatly this oil we stole because you liberals won`t let us drill our own.
          Liberalism is immaturity, immaturity denies reality and chooses a prefered illusion to replce reality.
          One and done. Nobama 2012, vote republican. Thank you.

          • Rifleman

            They've moved past that "narrative" to "we stopped that evil theft," though they can't say how. Neither "narrative" ever had a leg to stand on, and the truth made for a quick change in tact, which you could always point out before demolishing their next argument with the truth.

            They've been using that war for oil nonsense since Vietnam, and they never have a problem with a marxist country drilling or pumping anything, anywhere, in any way. The Vietnamese called the soviets and chicoms "Americans without dollars." They might be building engineering marvels and automobiles like the South Koreans by now if the dp hadn't left the RVN twisting in the breeze (like they do every ally or group the USA gives our word to defend).

            These American leftists never can explain why we shouldn't buy it or any other resource, and help others protect and get a mutually agreeable and beneficial exchange for their resources. They can't come up with an explanation for how we're stealing anything, because we aren't

      • Rifleman

        What are those evil corporate capitalist aggressors conspiring to do, give the world jobs and raise their standard of living? How dare them. Capitalists don't benefit if I or anyone else is too broke to buy whatever they're selling. Only socialists seem to want people broke and unable to support themselves. North Korea is what happens when they get their way, South Korea is what happens when they don't.

        That's not a narrative, it's reality. The brief opening of the soviet archives, the opening of the satellite archives, and Venona proved conclusively what tools the Western left were, and still are, for any who hadn't already figured it out. In any case, if your calling or job is disparaging or discouraging the honoring of the US military, "May posterity forget you were our countrymen."

    • Jim_C

      I don't know if I'm "the Left," but I think Naomi Wolf is obnoxious.

  • tagalog

    Obviously, from the feminist point of view, you can't just empower yourself as a woman; you must do so in the properly circumscribed way, so that you follow the dogma of empowerment. Dogma of empowerment…wait, isn't that a contradiction? Oh well, to paraphrase: contradiction is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    By the way, is Naomi Wolf pretty? And does she use makeup?

    • 123asd

      I've never heard of the Dogma of Empowerment, but I do know that Katy Perry is at the pinnacle of the music entertainment corporate machine; she is a mouthpiece for the structure that is keeping the global music industry pumping the same tunes out to mass media across the country and world. The heads of the music industry conglomerate are also invested in the military market. Katie Perry is doing her job, being sexy, acting and singing. Naomi Wolf is doing her job by speaking out against war and creating some dissent around the idea that being an aggressor in war is the kind of empowerment men and women are seeking in their lives today in America … via mtv or the internet. I think killing people in war as an aggressor, as just as bad as killing your neighbor. What was it that Jesus said, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." The point is Katy Perry has people talking. And Naomi Klein is a beacon of warning, as the United States Constitution is being dismantled by the very same mass media corporate conglomerate that control war; the soldier is their paw, who's life matters not.

      • Western Canadian

        For a pompous blowhard, you are managing to control you rants fairly well. Picked up your meds on time, I assume.

      • Toa

        Naomi Wolf (not "Klein") recently wrote an article about how wonderfully sexy it is to be a Muslim woman. Like any good Feminist, she is only against violence when it is perpetrated by American white males. Don't try to tell us she is a woman of integrity.

      • Rifleman

        It's always been crystal clear to whom the American Soldier's life matters not, and the fact that saddam didn't comply with the GWCFA for the war he initiated made him the aggressor. If you and your crew had your druthers, no hostile party need uphold their end of treaties with the USA. That's been clear since Vietnam as well. Niomi and the rest of the left doesn't speak out against war, they speak out against any resistance to world socialism. Even marxist and jihadi illegal combatants waging terror war get a pass.

        Niomi trying to 'splain how sexy it is not being able to show your face in public without getting raped or having acid thrown on it was a real hoot, until you realize how sad and depraved it is. Don't yall ever get embarrassed by such absurdity?

  • anyone but BHusseinO

    naomi wolf = Lim [n -> Infinity ] ( yenta )^n

  • אדם מאושר

    .ברוך אתה השם, אלוקינו מלך העולם, שלא עשני בן זוג לנעמי וולף

    • Not Ovenready

      The above in Hebrew SEEMS to read something like " Blessed art thou, G-d, our Lord, King of the Universe, who has NOT made me a son of Naomi Wolf" . Excellent, I say.

      • http://callofthepatriot.blogspot.com HermitLion

        A partner / husband of Naomi Wolf :)

  • Cibess

    Naomi Wolf is a hypocrite has-been who had 15 minutes about 20 years ago. I saw her interviewed on BBC and destroyed by a British interviewer who wasn't taken in by her appearance. She was described in the UK as a woman who "never met a plate-glass window she didn't love.'

  • pierce

    You know, I am ashamed to admit it, but I have never heard of Naomi Wolf. Is she anything like Hanoi Jane?

    • MethanP

      She wishes she was.

    • tagalog

      She was an advisor to Al Gore during his presidential campaign. She told him to wear clothing that had more earth tones. It didn't help.

  • clarespark

    I wrote about Naomi Wolf and feminism in general here: http://clarespark.com/2012/01/07/feminism-and-its…. Wolf was never part of the second wave of feminism, but she did her Ivy League education proud by going with the anti-imperialist wave of left-wing feminism. Her book The Beauty Myth is unreadable, the kind of book you want to toss through the window because it is so boring, repetitious and reminiscent of Betty Friedan's equally boring The Feminine Mystique. Is there sexism? Of course. But the situation for women today is infinitely better than it was before the civil rights movement. Now women should learn what it takes to be a citizen by studying the subjects where men have traditionally excelled, including military history, economics, and diplomatic history.

  • mrbean

    Oh yes, by all means, let us empower women and demasculinize all the men. Read the "War on Boys" by Christine Hoffman Sommers and you will no longer wonder why the feminists and their castrati omega males are pushing for pu$$y on patrol c&*t in combat in the armed forces as part of their social engineering agenda. We now have don't ask don't tell revoked and an active agenda to recruit cornholers and muff divers as a priority. What is next? Recruiting transgenders and she-males. It looks like combat readiness is a distant second to social engineering? As for Naomi Wolf, she needs a good alpha male to give her regular orgasms to "straighten" her out.

    • tagalog

      No civilization that calls itself truly civilized would allow its women to be routinely placed in combat roles in the armed forces. Equality be damned; in this context, equality is just a sham excuse anyway. No man worthy of his masculinity would willingly allow it.

      • johnnywoods

        Hey tag, I heard somewhere that Israel used to place women in combat along with men but when they were captured by mooslims they were so brutalized that the Israelis changed their minds and stopped the practice. I guess if enough American women get raped and tortured to death then maybe some common sense will again prevail. One can only hope.

  • Schlomotion

    It is amusing that Tapson deifies a mindless pop star who rose to fame on a lesbian club anthem (I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It) as a "feminist." Naomi Wolf makes a lot of money marketing dissent as a pop-cultural product too, enough so to anger the neocons into doing a BDS campaign against her. But raising Katy Perry to the status of feminist icon is really a stretch of the imagination. Defending her honor with a paean article is just plain sick spectacle.

    • 1.6180339887…

      schmo's pathetic life is comprised of envy of Jews. Period. The sad schmo spectacle, in its entirety, is a tiny perturbation on the universe that has no effect on ANYTHING. No one will remember that he passed this way – even the stench will waft into nothingness.

    • johnnywoods

      Hey Schlomo, I believe the article is more to do with Naomi the Wolf than with Perry.

  • http://oneroughdiamond.blogspot.com/ Diamond Mair

    As a former Woman Marine {that WAS the term used for us back then}, I found Katy Perry's video reminiscent of one of the best times in my life – too bad hindsight always seems to be 20/20. I was the first woman in my field in the USMC, so one can imagine the reception of the male Marines with whom I worked. Ah well, as a wise woman once said, well-behaved women seldom make history ………………………………….. Ms. Perry now has a 55 year old fan …………………………………… ;-)

    Semper Fi'
    DM

    • KarshiKhanabad

      G-d bless the Marines always!

      But… please don't hate me for this, but I remember when Women Marines were known in the Army as BAMs, and I will say no more.

      ;^)

    • "gunner"

      semper fi, young lady. "once a marine, always a marine".
      usmc 1955/59, e3, 0331

    • RonCarnine

      Dear Diamond, change is hard for all of us but sometimes things need to change. Thank you for your service to our country. Know this, that there are many of us who are very proud of our woman warriors. You are not a "Woman Marine" rather you are a Marine period. I'm 58 and I am amazed at all the thing that have changed in our lifetimes. Would I want my grand daughters to be Marines? If that is what they wanted to do, you bet! I would be very proud

    • tagalog

      Well-behaved men seldom make history either.

  • MethanP

    A leftist is a leftist is a leftist. (And I liked the Video).

  • bearone7777

    WOW A so-called POP star that I can really rally around. Nothing like that funny looking jerk of a human being called "LADY–GAG"!!!! his young lady is so refreshing in what she portrays in the vid. HOO-RA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    young lady. Tell the other thing to go soak her head in the sand.

    • "gunner"

      that one? i call her "lady gagamaggot". katy perry has much more class, and talent. as for naomi wolfe, "null programme, does no compute".

  • Ghostwriter

    I think Naomi Wolf is wrong on this one. If Katy Perry wants to do a music video honoring the Marines,I say she should do it. Who is Ms. Wolf to say that she can't do it? What Ms. Perry should do is probably respond in a classy way like "I'm sorry that Naomi Wolf thinks I shouldn't pay tribute to the Marines. Well,I'm going to do it anyway despite what she thinks AND I'm going to give some of my proceeds from this video to the Wounded Warrior Project so they can help our veterans rebuild their lives."

  • Michael

    I think Katy Perry is so incredibly beautiful!!!

  • chuckereno

    She's already donated the proceeds from this song to Musicares. Wounded Warriors would have been better but still not bad.

  • paul

    And after all this fuss, the US armed forces will just carry on doing the tremendous job they do day in day out.God bless the American military.

  • John

    Feminism is just another kind of submission. Instead of submitting to the man they submit to the cause.

  • PDK

    Again my post must be cleared by someone somewhere, why bother.
    After reading amused and scholmotion I really wonder why my posts must be cleared.

  • Petunia

    I didn't like the video, but I have no desire to prevent others from seeing it.

  • nevilleross

    If Perry was truly serious, then she would give up her career and join the Marines in the same way that Pat Tallman gave up his sports career and joined the U.S. Army (and also died in Afghanistan.) A lot of the celebrities who supported this war should have also done so (Britney Spears, Kid Rock, Tony Keith, I`m looking at you!)