succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Insert pithy title here
(I briefly considered "Goodbye Robin Morgan," but that really doesn't match my sentiment.)

Sigh. I have mixed feelings about Morgan's "Goodbye To All That (#2)." (Numerous people made sure I caught this one, so thanks.) On the one hand, she does an excellent job of outlining a few of the multitude of ways that it's still socially acceptable to say cruel, vulgar, and/or violent things about women. Indeed, imagine if someone designed a shirt, or organization (I refuse to link to Citizens United Not Timid) with Obama's face and the N word? Or Lieberman's and the K word? Maybe they just don't make as convenient anagrams.

But on the other hand, while these examples of the patriarchy certainly get my blood pumping, I don't think playing the who's-more-discriminated-against game is worthwhile or productive. It reminds me of an old anti-affirmative action joke - a blind, white man, a black man, and a black woman are sitting in a waiting area to interview for jobs. They get into an argument over who is more likely to get the job by filling some quota, with the black woman claiming that she's got two 'points' to the men's one. Then a blind Hispanic woman in a wheelchair comes in. The initial three tear up their job applications and walk out. All this sort of rhetoric does is distract us from the larger goal which we should all be working toward together - justice. Pick your adjective - social justice, economic justice. Instead of bickering over how we're going to split up our tiny pieces of a tiny pie, we should be cooperating to get a bigger damn piece of pie!

And I certainly don't take kindly to the implication that I'll have my feminist card revoked if I don't vote for Clinton.

I also think Morgan is wrong in her assessment of Obama, but as I've said here a couple of times already, to each his or her own, and certainly cogent arguments can be made as to why either is a better candidate, without ever getting into racist or sexist remarks.

On the other hand (wait, am I out of hands? Ok, on the left foot...) this is a pretty damn fine paragraph.

Goodbye to some women letting history pass by while wringing their hands, because Hillary isn’t as “likeable” as they’ve been warned they must be, or because she didn’t leave him, couldn’t “control” him, kept her family together and raised a smart, sane daughter. (Think of the blame if Chelsea had ever acted in the alcoholic, neurotic manner of the Bush twins!) Goodbye to some women pouting because she didn’t bake cookies or she did, sniping because she learned the rules and then bent or broke them. Grow the hell up. She is not running for Ms.-perfect-pure-queen-icon of the feminist movement. She’s running to be president of the United States.

I still get goosebumps over the gender in that last sentence.

So, I don't know. She does write a powerful essay. And it certainly got us talking, which is the point, really.


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