Monday, April 21, 2008

The Beat Goes On...and On...

Just read a post over at the Mother Jones blog called "Throwing Clinton Under the Bus To Spite Mom." Really? I mean, really? This conversation is going nowhere fast. In the post, Debra Dickerson trashes (to dredge up a dread practice from the 1970s) Courtney Martin and Amy Tiemann, then concludes:
We'll stop saying aloud that you don't know what you're talking about if you'll stop believing that you know everything already. Deal?
Here's what I posted in comments to Dickerson's post, and here's how I feel:

Deborah Siegel here - a young(ish) Hillary supporter who feels pained at the way some young female Obama supporters are getting flamed. I don't care how it started, or who said what about whom. Time to start focusing on beating McCain. I hope this is the last post of this tone that we'll be seeing for a while. Goodbye to all THAT, I say.

Quick sidenote: Feminist history is full of intergenerational division, as I write about in my book. Important to remember that young Alice Paul and older Carrie Chapman Catt shared a goal (suffrage) but disagreed on tactics. "Libbers" and the older Betty Friedan disagreed on whether politics meant what you do in the bedroom or what happens at city hall. Together albeit in different ways they made the momentous change that became the 1st and 2nd+ waves.

Difference today is that we have blogs and online media, where it's easier, it seems, to write snarkily and quote each other out of context. If I've been guilty of it too, mea culpa. Let's move on. A Democrat in 2008. Deal?


Gloria Feldt said...

I couldn't agree more with your suggested course of action to defeat McCain together. That's the job #1 of all feminists for sure.

At the same time, I want to put in a good word for engaging the debate even when it is with gloves off. I suggest that what women need most is to learn how to engage vigorously and constructively without being turned off or frightened off.

Like you, I believe we shouldn't trash each other, but (probably because I've had lots of experience with hardknuckle conflict and know that one lives to tell the tale--and even learns and grows stronger from it), I think we need to clear a space for arguing about the issues together with the goal of not just understanding but making concrete plans to go forward on matters like winning the general election.

Every generation has to speak in its own tongue. We don't have to be angry with one another to air our differences.
Gloria Feldt

Deborah Siegel said...

Thank you for your comment, Gloria! I'm down with engaging the debate, it's the snarkfest-filled tone and underlying anger that's ticking me off so much. But maybe, too, I need to work on embracing controversy a little bit more - and I am lucky to have you in my life to count as my guide! I so value your ability to ... wait a minute. I'm going to just say this in a post :)

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