Remember the days when feminism was honest?

Remember the days when feminism was honest? By Jennifer Oriel. I remember but only vaguely — those days ended about three decades ago.

It was too good to be true. A battle of wits between two of America’s sharpest legal minds set Democrat against Republican in a public hearing that ended in mutual appreciation.

When Democrat senator Diane Feinstein grilled supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett about her judicial voting record, her interpretation of the law and her capacity to exercise sound judgment, Barrett’s intelligence was revealed in all its glory. She cited case law, stuck to the script, never deviated from legal precedent and refused to be drawn on personal faith.

After she had been tested for four days, Feinstein remarked: “This is one of the best sets of hearings that I’ve participated in.” And then all hell broke loose.

Public reason opposition is as essential to democracy as good government. Without it, democracy descends into chaos. By recognising Barrett’s quality of mind and character, Feinstein demonstrated the kind of noble opposition that fills the spirit of democracy and deprives the lesser angels of rage.

The liberal media made its choice between nobility and rage by treating Feinstein like a class traitor for her civilised conduct towards Barrett. Within hours of the hearings ending, the media drummed up anger about her fair-minded collegiality with Republicans. Twitter filled with odious twits demanding her resignation. Her crime was being kind to colleagues whom the politically correct deem subhuman because they are conservative.

Good manners used to be an important ingredient in a successful society. They were one of the causes of success.

Before the liberation movements of the late 20th century, being courteous and exercising personal restraint signified emotional maturity and differentiated civilised society from primitive culture. When we were young, manners were taught as a non-negotiable rule. There was rarely an explanation for why common courtesy was important but falling short was met with a swift response from parents or teachers.

The decline in good manners is seen as a peripheral issue in politics, and in some circles it is celebrated. Among modern feminists, being the worst possible version of a man is proof of liberation. … The descent from lady to lout is generally viewed as evidence of a woman’s empowerment.

That Barrett has a traditional family with seven kids and made it to the top of the legal hierarchy on her merit shows up feminists. And that unspeakable truth is an unpardonable crime, “deserving” of the greatest feminist rudeness.