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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I wish I had Robin Morgan's ovaries.

An award-winning writer, feminist leader, political analyst, journalist, editor, and co-founder of the Women's Media Center, Robin Morgan has published 21 books, including six of poetry, four of fiction, and the now-classic anthologies Sisterhood Is Powerful, Sisterhood Is Global, and Sisterhood Is Forever.

Her work has been translated into 13 languages. A founder of contemporary U.S. feminism, she has also been a leader in the international women's movement for 25 years. Recent books include A Hot January: Poems 1996-1999; Saturday's Child: A Memoir; her best-selling The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism, updated and reissued in 2001; and her novel, The Burning Time. Her nonfiction work, Fighting Words: A Took Kit for Combating the Religious Right, came out in September 2006.

Goodbye To All That (#2)
by Robin Morgan
February 2, 2008

“Goodbye To All That” was my (in)famous 1970 essay breaking free from a politics of accommodation especially affecting women (for an online version, see

During my decades in civil-rights, anti-war, and contemporary women’s movements, I’ve avoided writing another specific “Goodbye . . .” But not since the suffrage struggle have two communities—joint conscience-keepers of this country—been so set in competition, as the contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) and Barack Obama (BO) unfurls. So.

Goodbye to the double standard . . .

—Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden who’s emotional, and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.
—She’s “ambitious” but he shows “fire in the belly.” (Ever had labor pains?)

—When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our national dishonor.

—Young political Kennedys—Kathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr.—all endorsed Hillary. Senator Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed, pundits would snort “See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the forward-looking generation backs him.” (Personally, I’m unimpressed with Caroline’s longing for the Return of the Fathers. Unlike the rest of the world, Americans have short memories. Me, I still recall Marilyn Monroe’s suicide, and a dead girl named Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick.)

Goodbye to the toxic viciousness . . .

Carl Bernstein's disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.” Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid” (check the capital letters). John McCain answering “How do we beat the bitch?" with “Excellent question!” Would he have dared reply similarly to “How do we beat the black bastard?” For shame.

Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs. If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged—and they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.

Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!” Shame.

Goodbye to Comedy Central’s “Southpark” featuring a storyline in which terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s vagina. I refuse to wrench my brain down into the gutter far enough to find a race-based comparison. For shame.

Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny. This is not “Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman-hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison. Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?

Goodbye to the news-coverage target-practice . . .
The women’s movement and Media Matters wrung an apology from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for relentless misogynistic comments ( But what about NBC’s Tim Russert’s continual sexist asides and his all-white-male panels pontificating on race and gender? Or CNN’s Tony Harris chuckling at “the chromosome thing” while interviewing a woman from The White House Project? And that’s not even mentioning Fox News.

Goodbye to pretending the black community is entirely male and all women are white . . .Surprise! Women exist in all opinions, pigmentations, ethnicities, abilities, sexual preferences, and ages—not only African American and European American but Latina and Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Arab American and—hey, every group, because a group wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t given birth to it. A few non-racist countries may exist—but sexism is everywhere. No matter how many ways a woman breaks free from other discriminations, she remains a female human being in a world still so patriarchal that it’s the “norm.”

So why should all women not be as justly proud of our womanhood and the centuries, even millennia, of struggle that got us this far, as black Americans, women and men, are justly proud of their struggles?

Goodbye to a campaign where he has to pass as white (which whites—especially wealthy ones—adore), while she has to pass as male (which both men and women demanded of her, and then found unforgivable). If she were blackor he were female we wouldn’t be having such problems, and I for one would be in heaven. But at present such a candidate wouldn’t stand a chance—even if she shared Condi Rice’s Bush-defending politics.

I was celebrating the pivotal power at last focused on African American women deciding on which of two candidates to bestow their vote—until a number of Hillary-supporting black feminists told me they’re being called “race traitors.”

So goodbye to conversations about this nation’s deepest scar—slavery—which fail to acknowledge that labor- and sexual-slavery exist today in the U.S. and elsewhere on this planet, and the majority of those enslaved are women.

Women have endured sex/race/ethnic/religious hatred, rape and battery, invasion of spirit and flesh, forced pregnancy; being the majority of the poor, the illiterate, the disabled, of refugees, caregivers, the HIV/AIDS afflicted, the powerless. We have survived invisibility, ridicule, religious fundamentalisms, polygamy, teargas, forced feedings, jails, asylums, sati, purdah, female genital mutilation, witch burnings, stonings, and attempted gynocides. We have tried reason, persuasion, reassurances, and being extra-qualified, only to learn it never was about qualifications after all. We know that at this historical moment women experience the world differently from men—though not all the same as one another—and can govern differently, from Elizabeth Tudor to Michele Bachelet and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

We remember when Shirley Chisholm and Patricia Schroeder ran for this high office and barely got past the gate—they showed too much passion, raised too little cash, were joke fodder. Goodbye to all that. (And goodbye to some feminists so famished for a female president they were even willing to abandon women’s rights in backing Elizabeth Dole.)

Goodbye, goodbye to . . .

—blaming anything Bill Clinton does on Hillary (even including his womanizing like the Kennedy guys—though unlike them, he got reported on). Let’s get real. If he hadn’t campaigned strongly for her everyone would cluck over what that meant. Enough of Bill and Teddy Kennedy locking their alpha male horns while Hillary pays for it.

—an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.

—the notion that it’s fun to elect a handsome, cocky president who feels he can learn on the job, goodbye to George W. Bush and the destruction brought by his inexperience, ignorance, and arrogance.

Goodbye to the accusation that HRC acts “entitled” when she’s worked intensely at everything she’s done—including being a nose-to-the-grindstone, first-rate senator from my state.

Goodbye to her being exploited as a Rorschach test by women who reduce her to a blank screen on which they project their own fears, failures, fantasies.

Goodbye to the phrase “polarizing figure” to describe someone who embodies the transitions women have made in the last century and are poised to make in this one. It was the women’s movement that quipped, “We are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” She heard us, and she has.

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.

Goodbye to the shocking American ignorance of our own and other countries’ history. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir rose through party ranks and war, positioning themselves as proto-male leaders. Almost all other female heads of government so far have been related to men of power—granddaughters, daughters, sisters, wives, widows: Gandhi, Bandaranike, Bhutto, Aquino, Chamorro, Wazed, Macapagal-Arroyo, Johnson Sirleaf, Bachelet, Kirchner, and more. Even in our “land of opportunity,” it’s mostly the first pathway “in” permitted to women: Representatives Doris Matsui and Mary Bono and Sala Burton; Senator Jean Carnahan . . . far too many to list here.

Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide . . .
Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous “Obama Girl” flaunting her bikini-clad ass online—then confessing Oh yeah it wasn’t her idea after all, some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said “made me feel like a dork.”

Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten thestatus quo), who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her. Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands—if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”

I’d rather say a joyful Hello to all the glorious young women who do identifywith Hillary, and all the brave, smart men—of all ethnicities and any age—who get that it’s in their self-interest, too. She’s better qualified. (D’uh.) She’s a high-profile candidate with an enormous grasp of foreign- and domestic-policy nuance, dedication to detail, ability to absorb staggering insult and personal pain while retaining dignity, resolve, even humor, and keep on keeping on. (Also, yes, dammit, let’s hear it for her connections and funding and party-building background, too. Obama was awfully glad about those when she raised dough and campaigned for him to get to the Senate in the first place.)

I’d rather look forward to what a good president he might make in eight years, when his vision and spirit are seasoned by practical know-how—and he’ll be all of 54. Meanwhile, goodbye to turning him into a shining knight when actually he’s an astute, smooth pol with speechwriters who’ve worked with the Kennedys’ own speechwriter-courtier Ted Sorenson. If it’s only about ringing rhetoric, let speechwriters run. But isn’t it about getting the policies we want enacted?

And goodbye to the ageism . . .
How dare anyone unilaterally decide when to turn the page on history, papering over real inequities and suffering constituencies in the promise of a feel-good campaign? How dare anyone claim to unify while dividing, or think that to rouse U.S. youth from torpor it’s useful to triage the single largest demographic in this country’s history: the boomer generation—the majority of which is female?

Old woman are the one group that doesn’t grow more conservative with age—and we are the generation of radicals who said “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Goodbye to going gently into any goodnight any man prescribes for us. We are the women who changed the reality of the United States. And though we never went away, brace yourselves: we’re back!

We are the women who brought this country equal credit, better pay, affirmative action, the concept of a family-focused workplace; the women who established rape-crisis centers and battery shelters, marital-rape and date-rape laws; the women who defended lesbian custody rights, who fought for prison reform, founded the peace and environmental movements; who insisted that medical research include female anatomy; who inspired men to become more nurturing parents; who created women’s studies and Title IX so we all could cheer the WNBA stars and Mia Hamm. We are the women who reclaimed sexuality from violent pornography, who put childcare on the national agenda, who transformed demographics, artistic expression, language itself. We are the women who forged a worldwide movement. We are the proud successors of women who, though it took more than 50 years, won us the vote.

We are the women who now comprise the majority of U.S. voters.

Hillary said she found her own voice in New Hampshire. There’s not a woman alive who, if she’s honest, doesn’t recognize what she means. Then HRC got drowned out by campaign experts, Bill, and media’s obsession with everything Bill.

So listen to her voice:

“For too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words.

“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls. It is a violation of human rights when woman and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small. It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war. It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide along women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes. It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.

“Women’s rights are human rights. Among those rights are the right to speak freely—and the right to be heard.”

That was Hillary Rodham Clinton defying the U.S. State Department and the Chinese Government at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (look here for the full, stunning speech).

And this voice, age 21, in “Commencement Remarks of Hillary D. Rodham, President of Wellesley College Government Association, Class of 1969.”

“We are, all of us, exploring a world none of us understands. . . . searching for a more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating mode of living. . . . [for the] integrity, the courage to be whole, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. . . . Fear is always with us, but we just don't have time for it.”

She ended with the commitment “to practice, with all the skill of our being: the art of making possible.”

And for decades, she’s been learning how.

So goodbye to Hillary’s second-guessing herself. The real question is deeper than her re-finding her voice. Can we women find ours? Can we do this for ourselves?

“Our President, Ourselves!”

Time is short and the contest tightening. We need to rise in furious energy—as we did when Anita Hill was so vilely treated in the U.S. Senate, as we did when Rosie Jiminez was butchered by an illegal abortion, as we did and do for women globally who are condemned for trying to break through. We need to win, this time. Goodbye to supporting HRC tepidly, with ambivalent caveats and apologetic smiles. Time to volunteer, make phone calls, send emails, donate money, argue, rally, march, shout, vote.

Me? I support Hillary Rodham because she’s the best qualified of all candidates running in both parties. I support her because her progressive politics are as strong as her proven ability to withstand what will be a massive right-wing assault in the general election. I support her because she knows how to get us out of Iraq. I support her because she’s refreshingly thoughtful, and I’m bloodied from eight years of a jolly “uniter” with ejaculatory politics. I needn’t agree with her on every point. I agree with the 97 percent of her positions that are identical with Obama’s—and the few where hers are both more practical and to the left of his (like health care). I support her because she’s already smashed the first-lady stereotype and made history as a fine senator, because I believe she will continue to make history not only as the first US woman president, but as a great US president.

As for the “woman thing”?

Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.


Frair John said...

It is so nice to be told how I really feel since Ms morgan knows me so well ...

Do you know how deeply insulating and condescending I find this rant? Do you know how hurt I am to be lumped in with all kinds of other people who do and say disgusting things because I like another candidate better?
Her reverse ageism is breath taking. I was expecting for her to tell us to go back tot he pay ground and never dare to question the Boomer consensus again. of course being a woman of her generation and her vast experience she MUSt know my generations mind so much better than we do.

Frair John said...

I'm sorry. That was unworthy of your posting. I'm just feeling .. angsty and vulnerable. I'm very sorry to have lashed out.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

"Insulting? Angsty and Vulnerable?"

I think Ms. Morgan's work here is done.

We all have our own default positions, don't we FJ? Mine is sexism. Yours is agism. I don't think she was talking to you or to people of your generation, necessarily - except, perhaps, to let you know what it's been like - continues to be like - to be a woman in this culture.

But, what she writes rings absolutely true to my own experience as a woman in this world. Layer onto that heterosexism and homophobia and you know, there are some days I wonder how I get out of bed, much less get anything done.

Sorry if I sound like a "Boomer" (ya gotta know how insulting THAT feels), but I'm speaking the truth from my own experience.

Thanks for appreciating and honoring that perspective.

PseudoPiskie said...

It took awhile before I understood that HRC referred to Hillary. I have a gold and blue HRC sticker on my car. It has nothing to do with Hillary tho I suspect she supports that campaign as well.


Re: Ovaries ... you do

Re: Robin Morgan ... she totally rocks

Thanks for posting this ... I think I've gotten it via email from at least a dozen different sources over the last few days. It deserves the widest possible circulation ... Brava!

Frair John said...

I came in from a meeting at Church where I was informed of how I felt. I'm serious, when I objected to something I was told that I couldn't actually hold an opinion like the one I had, and if I did I was to refrain from sharing since she (the speaker) knew the mind of my generation better. She then rattled off a bunch of stuff I didn't recognize. I was HOT when I came home.
I grew up thinking of age as a purely subjective thing. In my extended family, I had a Great-Great Uncle who died at 107 and lived alone until three days before his death. I also watched recently as a cousin died at 38 from ALS. I work with High school kids and they have amazing ideas (both good and bad but always breathtaking) about a variety of topics and they tend to be the victims of (hopefully) well meaning adults who make decisions based on what they "want" and need but tend not to pay them the time of day.
In all of these things, I've come to find that one of the biggest mistakes we can make is to speak to another’s experience with out examining wither or not we are actually speaking from our own to the exclusion of the other.
If I could give an example of where there is a misconnection, it would be the Religious life in general and Nuns in particular. The anger, contempt and disgust I have seen evidenced in the behavior towards Nuns by “liberated” women and men is breath taking. I mean some of the most openly misogynistic things I have been a witness to recently was the way several women priests acted behind the back of a Nun. If they had heard a man saying those sorts of things they would have been going to the bishop with complaints! A Nun in habit is even more of a target. When I took one to task for her behavior I was told to (quite literally) “shut up.” I just “didn’t understand” how much “damage” the religious were doing to women. Men in habits often face as much hostility and nastiness as nuns.
Women involved in vocational discernment have been heard to say “Why do you *JUST* want to be a nun? Why not a priest or Deacon?” which is sort of like saying “just a nurse” and “why not a doctor?” I am gob smacked every time I see this. And if you (speaking generically) don’t see it, maybe it is because you are unable to. “Liberation” must look like X but never Y and in no ways could it be z. I see some of that kind of reasoning in the essay. Motivations must be as the, privileged by liberation, viewer are. No other explanation can exist. Anything that deviates from the way it was decided they should be is “bad.”
I don’t pretend to understand sexism, but I do see it. To say that it trumps any other form of discrimination privileges a victimization. Internalized forms of it lashing out in incomprehension is also counter productive. Justifying the fight against one by engaging in another is also counter productive.
Am I making any sense?

David said...

dar Friar John
Might I suggest that you, Elizabeth+ and Robin are saying is essentially the same thing: to be denied one's humanity is a terrible, painful and often debilitating thing.
It only gets messy, confusing and even hurtful when we 'dress up' our pain with terminology or dogma.
Not knowing me, you might find it strange to know that literally cheered this morning, when reading Robin's essay- without necessarily agreeing with every word, but as one blessed to be gay,I know in m bones that much she bore witness to is the lived experience of too many women.
Likewise, your pain and frustration at being propritorially censored registered with me from too much personal experience.
In each case, judgement has taken place- an act which is implicitly objectifying.
Proving my point is as easy as presuming to re-cast Elizabeth+'s 'default position' into 'defining woundedness.'
Sitting here for some time after reading and re-reading all of you, I can't help but feel how close the three of you really are. I wish I might be able to introduce the three of you in person- and then sit down and listen to you share and grow in appreciation for your common experience.
Only two conditions for the meetings tho: all terminology gets left at the door, and I get a hug from each of you on the way out as thanks!

Bill said...

I think everybody is carrying around too much psychological baggage. Just step back and forget for a minute that you are black or white or male or female or Catholic or Jew. Take a deep breath and ask yourself what does this country need right now. Right now after seven plus years of idiocy. Right now after being stuck in another God awful war. Right now when the lines between church and state have been blurred. Right now with yet another deficit. Then go out and vote with your heart and your head. What we don’t need is a male vs. female issue – or a black vs. white issue. We need a competent leader. Maybe even someone who can spell competent.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

So, Elizabeth---as an out-loud feminist (in the Bible Belt, even!) am I required to support Hillary?

Seems like you don't leave any room for those of us who are passionate about feminism, but don't choose to support HRC. Will NOW be sending someone along shortly to repossess my Feminist Card if I vote for Obama?

Bottom line---I don't trust Hillary. I deplore the crap she takes from the media, but unless there's been some change in the definition of feminist to include "must vote for all women candidates, no matter what," I am not required to vote for someone I don't trust, even if she DOES have ovaries.

Both you and Robin Morgan might consider that women do have minds of their own, and might even have solid reasons to vote for someone other than HRC---reasons that are not rooted in sexism or self-hatred.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Doxy and Bill - no one is saying anyone has to vote for Hillary and if they don't they should burn any membership card in any politically correct organization. Not Ms. Morgan. Certainly not me.

Ms. Morgan is boldly reporting her experience. Disturbing? You bet. If you haven't lived it, well, you have no idea. And if you have, well, you may not like it, you may have made your peace with it, but you can't deny that she's telling the truth.

Carrying around too much psychological baggage?
It's not about the past so much as it is the present. Don't believe it? Well, even in the Diocese of Newark, the highest paid rector who is a woman is still making far, far less than some of the men who are in "lesser sized" congregations.

This has obviously touched some nerves. That's exactly what Ms. Morgan does and what I wish I had the ovaries to do - more often, at least.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

My dear FJ - Yes, you do make a great deal of sense. We each come at this from our own experience. Internalized oppression - aka "oppression sickness" is probably the worst to see, as you have observed.

I don't know how many RC nuns do it - unless you are someone like Sr. Joan and can carve out a forum for your own voice. That does not justify in any way, cruelty in any form. That's called 'oppression sickness.'

That doesn't mean that there ought not be righteous anger expressed when injustice occurs. That must be expressed judiciously if it is to be effective. I posted this because I think Ms. Morgan is not only intelligent and articulate, in my experience, she says the things I wish I had the courage to say.

Weiwen Ng said...

Robin raises excellent points.

but, at points, it sounds like she's ranking oppressions. being a woman is more oppressive than being Black.

I'm a feminist. one of the things that I, at least, learned in women's studies is: there is no ranking of oppression.

Hillary Clinton is a strong, competent stateswoman. but I will not vote for a woman because I am a feminist, any more than I will vote for a person of color because I am a person of color.

and I will not trust her to get us out of Iraq. John Kerry came back after Vietnam and essentially admitted he, and many other American soldiers, was guilty of war crimes. he said that the war was killing our soul, and that it should end. I'm not sure he really lived up to that spirit.

mind you, I'd trust Hillary to stop the war much more than I'd trust, say, McCain (who I do respect deeply). but Presidents of both parties have a long tradition of committing crimes against humanity and walking away scot-free. whether it's Hillary, Obama, or McCain, they will have to be held accountable, and Americans concerned about peace will have much work to do to make sure the next generation gives up their warmongering ways.

Mark said...

I generally don't carry psychological baggage. I open it up and strew it around the room. No point in leaving everyone else out.

Frair John,

I am sorry that happened to you. I never cease to be amazed at and despair over a civilization that constantly says "You're in group x, so you think y and z. Thank you! Next!"

Mike in Texas said...

Hmmmm .... Interesting reactions to Robin Morgan's essay. But none of them seemed to address issues like the nutcracker versus the tap-dancing doll.

I've just posted my thoughts about this lack of attention to detail on my blog. It probably isn't a popular position ... but it's mine.

And Obama Wept

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

MiT: I have been astounded by the sense of personal attack that some have felt about this. Either that, or they hear a nefarious campaign plug. This is my blog - a place where I can express my opinion or explore the data while forming one. Just because I feel a certain way doesn't mean that anyone who holds a different opinion is wrong or lacks the 'perfect feminist credentials'. Yo! Where the hell is THAT coming from?

The other reaction, of course, is the 'high holy' ground of 'social evolution'. What gender? What color? People my age don't see that.

Yeah, right. That's the most dangerous position of all. Even Jesus knew a Samaritan from a Galilean and a woman from a man.

And, as we learn in this Sunday's lectionary, even Satan can quote scripture.

Your essay "And Obama Wept" will get you in the same trouble this one has gotten me. Whatever. It's your blog. It's your intelligence. As long as you use both to "think out loud" and let others listen in as you do so, you'll find yourself in some sort of trouble.

Welcome to hot end of the Baptismal Water.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Elizabeth--I don't know how any literate person could read Morgan's piece and not come away with the impression that, if you are a woman (especially one who claims to be a feminist), you have an obligation to vote for Hillary.

I'm tired of the "if you are a REAL ________ you will vote for ________" crap. It's that kind of thinking that kept Bush in office in 2004.

That said, I share Mike's concerns about Obama-mania---and Morgan's about the deeply misogynist attacks on Hillary. We are in new territory here, and I think it's a big mistake for us to fire on each other.


Mike in Texas said...

It surprised me as well, Elizabeth. To me the the Robin Morgan essay is more like a reality check (as is the "Obama Wept" article). I don't see either of them as attack pieces.

It's a shame that this sort of animosity is developing between fans of the various candidates. Considering what we've had for the last 8 years, I would consider either one of the Dems to be a great blessing, even though I do happen to think one of them is a bit more qualified than the other.

Suzer said...

This piece almost gave me pause to reconsider my vote for Obama. And should Clinton become the Democratic nominee, I will definitely cast my vote for her.

My problems with Hillary have nothing to do with her gender, but are with her record. Supporters of Hillary seem to forget the past 6 years she has spent courting the right wing, voting (with seeming enthusiasm, if memory serves) in support of the war in Iraq, and attempting to cozy up to evangelical Christian voters. I used to be an unabashed supporter of Hillary -- heck, 6 years ago I would have voted for her with no hesitation.

Unfortunately, over the years, she seems to have drifted toward becoming a moderate Republican -- even on social issues. Doesn't anyone remember the LOGO forum back in August, where she advocated that equal marriage rights for GLBT people should be a state's rights issue? Remember how that worked with slavery, folks? GLBT supporters of Hillary seem to forget her comments on that day, and frankly, those comments frightened me. Sure, it might not be so bad for those of you in states that are moving forward toward civil unions and marriage equality, but for those of us stuck in a Red State, the picture is not so rosy (and at times is in fact downright scary - my state voted enthusiastically for Huckabee, the wannabe theocrat). I tried searching on her website to find anything about GLBT issues, and I couldn't find her current stance. It's not included under "issues" and I couldn't find it anywhere else.

GLBT equality, while of course important to me, is not the only issue I am voting on. Over the past 6 or so years, I've felt betrayed by almost every statement that has come out of Hillary's mouth. What she says NOW that she's campaigning for President makes me feel a little better about her, but I can't get over my sense of distrust and betrayal.

I also share much of Friar John's frustration at the reaction of Hillary supporters to other Democrats who support another candidate. Her supporters are quick to call those critical of Hillary misogynist or even self-hating feminists, but seem loathe to engage regarding Hillary's track record on the issues.

I suspect Hillary will be the nominee, and I'll support her at that time and hope for the best. But won't hold my breath waiting for her to keep any of her promises to women, the GLBT community, and the poor and otherwise marginalized.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, Doxy, I am a literate woman and I did not come away with that impression at all. I also don't see strong words coming from an obvious place of truth to be "firing" on each other. Speaking the' truth in love' is holy work, requiring persistence and courage.

Read Matt 15:21-28 for one example from scripture, wherein Jesus is confronted not only with his own sexism and racism, but by the narrowness of his own understanding of his vision for his mission and ministry.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

No one - including Robin Morgan - ever said that Hillary is perfect. Just pointing out that, as a woman, she's facing the formidable forces of sexism.

As a member of God's Rainbow Tribe, I have been disappointed by both Clintons' track record on issues that concern us. I have also watched her court the Religious Right and posture herself as a moderate. While it's caused me pain, I understand this is what is required of political ambition.

If Obama is nominated, I will not hesitate to cast my vote for him. Whoever wins the nomination, I hope they are both wise enough to seek the other as Veep.

Mike in Texas said...

And then there's this ...

MSNBC's Chelsea comment angers Clinton

SEATTLE - A distasteful comment about Chelsea Clinton by an MSNBC anchor could imperil Hillary Rodham Clinton's participation in future presidential debates on the network, a Clinton spokesman said.

In a conference call with reporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson on Friday excoriated MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting the Clinton campaign had "pimped out" 27-year old Chelsea by having her place phone calls to celebrities and Democratic Party "superdelegates" on her mother's behalf.

Wolfson called Shuster's comment "beneath contempt" and disgusting.

"I, at this point, can't envision a scenario where we would continue to engage in debates on that network," he added.

MSNBC said Shuster, who apologized on the air for his comment, has been temporarily suspended from appearing on all NBC news broadcasts except to offer his apology.