Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Top 10s from Robin Morgan - MUST READ!

Well if you're not awake this morning already, this one will wake you up. Robin Morgan has a new piece just up (remember Goodbye to All That #2?) over at the Women's Media Center. In "When Sisterhood Is Suicide and Other Late Night Thoughts," Morgan is at her absolute best.

She begins by offering 10 nice things first, as follows:

Ten Nice Things to Say About Sarah Palin:

  1. She’s a lifelong NRA member and crack rifle-woman, but hasn’t yet shot a single person in the face.
  2. She’s so unafraid of power that a majority-Republican legislative committee is investigating her abuse of it.
  3. She’s broad-minded, willing to have evolution taught alongside creationism.
  4. She gives “the personal is political” new meaning: Axing the public-safety commissioner for not firing her ex-brother-in-law (Trooper-gate); firing “foes” suspected of “disloyalty” (Library-gate).
  5. She knows how to delegate, involving “First Dude” husband Todd in more governmental decisions than any male politician’s spouse has dared since Hillary tried to give us healthcare in 1993. (First Dude’s defying a subpoena from those meanies mentioned up in #2.)
  6. She has executive experience: As mayor of Wasilla, then-constituency 5,000 souls, she presided over a population almost as vast as that of some urban high-schools.
  7. She’s an existentialist: Bridge-to-Nowhere-gate, Highway-to-Nowhere-gate. She never “focused much on Iraq”—after all, “the war is part of God’s plan”—and she dismisses McCain’s reluctance to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as being like “Eastern politicians” about environment. (Check out Wasilla’s dead-Lake-Lucille-gate.)
  8. She brings home the earmarked bacon—plus moose, caribou, wolf, and any other animal stumbling haplessly across her rifle-sight as she leans out of the ‘copter on another heli-hunt. But! Does she rely solely on godless government for her $500 million U.S.-subsidized natural-gas pipeline? No! Last June, at the Pentecostal Assembly of God Church, she declared, “God's will has to be done to get that gas line built!”
  9. She displays refreshing curiosity, as when she asked, “What is it exactly the VP does?” (Don’t scoff: Are you smarter than a 5th grader?)
  10. She’s multi-talented—studied journalism, tried sportscasting, can slickly scan a teleprompter (unlike her running-mate). She’s a jock (Sports-Complex-gate.) She was a beauty queen (as all of McCain’s wives were; how ‘bout that?) She’s patriotic—well, except for attending that secessionist Alaska Independent Party conference during the seven years when First Dude was a party member pulling down DWI convictions on the side. Best of all, she’s a born-again feminist, a “feminist for life.” Which I guess makes me a feminist for death.
Morgan then offers "Ten Blunt-Crayon Hints for the Media"--including tips like "Do investigate Palin’s opposition to listing polar bears and other animals as endangered. Do not call her one: no chick, bird, kitten, bitch, hen, cow. Also no produce: tomato, peach, etc." And finally shares her list of:

Ten Reasons You CANNOT Support McCain-Palin

  1. Yourself. Do not cut off your womb to spite the Democrats. (Also do not sit this election out or play write-in-vote games. And tempting though it may seem, do not blow a vote for the Green Party.)
  2. Iraq. McCain’s been a hawk since evolution made raptors.
  3. The Economy. For years McCain chaired the Senate Banking Committee that brought us the current financial meltdown. He opposed the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have made it easier for women and other workers to pursue pay-discrimination claims. (Come to think of it, why the focus solely on equal pay for equal work? Whatever happened to equal pay for comparable worth?)
  4. The Supreme Court. McCain vows to stack the court with “clones of Alito and Roberts.” There goes . . . well, everything.
  5. Choice. McCain has lodged 125 anti-choice votes. He boasts he’ll overturn Roe v. Wade. And as for the claim that if Roe is overturned it will “merely” throw reproductive rights back to the states, understand that McCain supports a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion outright, nationwide.
  6. Realism. If you’re a young feminist, do not get disillusioned by Obama’s drift to the middle—depressing but standard for winning. Do consider running for office—politics is not a spectator sport. And if you still can’t grasp why older feminists zealously backed HRC, please read Susan Faludi‘s brilliant “Second Place Citizens” for context. It’s crucial.
  7. Old Wounds. Remember that McCain’s answer to a supporter asking him about Hillary, “How do we beat the bitch?” was “Good question!” Remember that at the Sturgis motorcycle rally, McCain mortified his wife by saying she should enter the Topless Miss Buffalo Chip contest. Remember that, responding to a comment Cindy made about his thinning hair, he guffawed, “At least I don’t plaster on makeup like a trollop, you c**t.”
  8. Palin. McCain’s pick of Palin demonstrates contempt for American women and insults the intelligence of anyone who supported Hillary, since Palin is her (melting) polar opposite. It denigrates qualified Republican women (Senators Snow, Collins, Dole, and Hutchinson must be suffering silent apoplexy). It’s actually abuse of Palin herself, a sacrifice tossed to the ravenous fundamentalist base, now the butt of public humiliation for her abysmal lack of qualifications.
  9. Feminism—remember that? McCain-Palin politics are antithetical to every feminist policy most U.S. women support. Palin is an anti-abortion-rights, pro-“abstinence only” enemy of sex education and stem-cell research who denounced as “outrageous” the state supreme court’s decision to strike down Alaska’s parental-consent statute; who believes survivors of sexual assault and incest should be forced to bear the attackers’ fetuses to term; who let Wasilla charge survivors for rape kits and forensic exams; who cut funding for teen-pregnancy services; who stated she’d oppose abortion for her daughters even if they’d been raped; who’s against same-sex marriage (because such love is “curable”) and against gun control—but apparently all for shotgun weddings (poor Bristol’s gonna marry that dork, like it or not).
  10. Settling for Greatness. Sure, we wanted to vote for the right woman. Sure, we’ll have to wait a bit longer for her. Meanwhile, in Obama we can have a chief executive who reflects our politics, and who—especially since he may have both houses of Congress behind him—just might turn out to be one hell of a great president.
...and ends with "Five Ways to Still Make History." Read the whole sassy thing, here, and pass it on!


Courtney said...

Did you really think she was at her best D? You know I love me some WMC, and I thought it was chock full of interesting details, but I'm not sure this is a terribly effective way to communicate. Seems like a terribly effective way to alienate. And make the converted chuckle.

Deborah Siegel said...

Ok Court, you made me read it very closely again. I found objectionable parts:

"Bottom line: Obama’s book title: Dreams from My Father. McCain’s book title: Faith of My Fathers. Patriarchy? You think? Neither one gets it.  BUT. One doesn’t not get it much more than the other."

I think of it differently.

And I think this line is a bit of doublespeak:

"HRC campaigned intrepidly. But her campaign was unworthy of her—and that’s her fault."

If it's her fault, then it's her fault. Just own it.

And this line:

"We must never again collaborate in our own invisibility."

Not sure I agree with Morgan that that's what happened in the primaries.

But other than that, I did think the piece--full of vitriol, yes, and sure to piss off the nonconverted--was effective in terms of pulling together a lot of what I've been thinking about the Palin-McCain ticket and hence in rallying a base. I do think outrage is called for in the face of McPalin. And I agree it's not exactly a bridge-building kind of piece. But tell me more C -- what specifically turned you off? The tone? The format? The content? I wanna know.

Courtney said...

You pointed out lots of the things that irritated me, but even more than that, I just find Morgan's overall tone so alienating. It's like, and I feel bad writing this but it's really how I feel, a feminist Dowd...too clever and snarky and sarcastic to really communicate from the heart. Maybe I'm just cheesy, but my favorite writers get at the HEART of politics. I feel like she's missing heart. (I'm also, totally admittedly, still angry at the way she characterized young feminists in her last controversial piece.)

Colibri429 said...

I love this discussion... I also have felt alienated by Robin's words & tone at times, and I appreciate when awesome feminists challenge it. A feminist Dowd? That's brilliant, and totally it!

Deborah Siegel said...

Thanks for your comment, Colibri! I think I'm going to post this stuff in a post...

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