Friday, July 17, 2009

go, run, young lady.

I have deliberately missed all of the Sotomayor hearings. I just can't take it. I put myself in her shoes and my chest gets tight. It's a freaking trigger for me. (I have a serious problem with authority and seeing a woman of color being bombarded with old white dude asshattery just makes me think of other panels of white men judging women of colorin history. Phyllis Wheatley, Anita Hill, dissertation defense panels, anyone?)

Anyway, it got me thinking that, sooner or later something has to seriously change. We keep waiting for these dudes to die but these old dudes cling to life like cultural vampires.

I cannot tolerate these old talking heads who are reliving the day back in 1952, when Miss Sally had the nerve to try and vote and his dinner got cold - and he's still mad about it.

(I'm talking to you, Pat Buchanan. Why the fuck are we still trotting out your blisteringly racist ass to comment on anything?)

But when I read this piece by Ellis Cose, on Sotomayor, and the persistent lie that she is unqualified - and how these lies are bruited about by men who would be called mediocre at best - this makes me even angrier.

These old dudes have to go.

They have to go.

And we have to start replacing them.

If this was a play by Aeschylus and the republic was in danger by ignorant and unworthy men, what would happen? The women would step up.

So let's start stepping up. I was kind of joking in the post below, but not really.

If we want to see the end of these racist and sexist confirmation hearings, then we have to be on the other side of those tables.
If we want to see the critical issues of women and girls addressed, and not just serviced through human care organizations - then we need to be the person sitting at the table, holding the pen, signing the bill. (I mean really. Women are flooding the social service sector, which is shot. How much more effective could we be on the other side?)
If we want to really bring an end to the racism, the sexism, the homophobia, the hate, the violence, the oppression, the poverty - then WE need to fucking do it.

THEY aren't doing it. THEY aren't doing it in Springfield, IL and they aren't doing it in Congress. And THEY can barely let anyone else do it on the SCOTUS.

So you know what? THEY can kiss our collective feminist asses.

The White House Project is having a boot camp training in Wisconsin in October. I'm revising my resume and saving the dollars to go. Who's with me?

Democracy for America (yeah, the Howard Dean group) is having a training in Chicago, in August, about grassroots organizing and campaigning. I'm signed up, I got three other women to sign up from work and we're going. Will you go?

Who else does this work?
The Midwest Academy
Wellstone Action

I'm sure I'm missing others. But these are the one ones I always hear about.

Am I telling you all to run for President or even US Senate? Nope. But I'm asking us to start filling in those seats. School boards, city boards, county seats - the smallest most local seat ever - I don't care. The old dudes sitting in them need to start fearing for their political lives.



Orange said...

When I hear a really incredible "American Idol" performance, my scalp tingles. Reading your call to arms made my scalp tingle, too. My god, you're inspiring! Let's get you on the lecture circuit! Hook you up with Emily's List to generate more and more women candidates for elected office! And then run for office yourself! I'll donate, I'll volunteer.

You have GOT to cross-post this one at BPhD. I'm telling you: tingles.

ding said...

i ain't a preacher's daugher for nothing, you know.

jeremiad was named for the screedy rantings of the prophet jeremiah, who burned an ulcer or two into a few kings of israel. he is one of my favorite old testament figures.

and i'll take your suggestion under advisement. lately, the air over at Bitch has become trollish and i just don't want to deal with the 'conversation.'

Greg said...

Not to be rain on your parade, but if you don't want to deal w/ the 'conversation' then you probably shouldn't run for office. Last I checked politics is all about dealing w/ people which whom you have serious disagreements. I think you'd be great. Set up a committee and I'll send you money. But you should go in w/ your eyes open: politicians spend way more time than us normal folk dealing with people that they really don't like. Well, the good ones do, anyway.

Thomas Jefferson thought there should only be one political party - his. He actually accused his adversaries of treason when they opposed his candidacy, reasoning that since he had the best interests of the country at heart, they must not. Ah, if only it were so simple. The truth is that while the opposite of a small good thing is a bad thing, the opposite of a big good thing is another good thing. Think Thrift <-> Generousity, or Peace <-> Justice. Politics is all about finding the proper balance between opposing good things (yes, I know, that's not obvious from recent American politics, but it's true). That's messy work. Are you up for that?

ding said...

if part of the current 'conversation' is indulging the racists, women-haters and homophobes among us, then no. i'm not up to it.

however, if we're ready for our 'conversation' to change - wherein there is no room for the racist or the homophobe or the sexist - then, yeah. i'm in.

sorry. that's just the way i see it.

white supremacy, gender hatred and the acidic hatred of gays and lesbians is far different from a mild disagreement over things like fiscal policy. those are attitudes and ideologies that Other whole populations and should *never* be allowed in civil discourse.

sure. i'll disagree with someone over the best way to address policy questions and problems. no way in hell i'm going to engage with a white supremacist.

things get really easy to see once you make that decision.

Greg said...

Fair enough. I'm not sure it's the most effective way forward, but I'm not sure that it's not, either, and in any event it's a bit much to expect you to be St. Ding :). Still, I think that we on the left tend to be almost as bad about demonizing the opposition as those on the right, and I would love to see somebody get past that. Even is there actually are a fair number of demons on the right.

ding said...

re: usefulness: engagement assumes the other person has the possibility to see things from your position, to 'buy in.'

i'm certainly not going to become a racist/homophobe/sexist; and since i'm not the Holy Spirit, i'm certainly not going to expect someone *not* to be whatever kind of bigot they are. you know?

so, again, what's the point? i don't think it's about demonizing the other side; it's about being realistic about expectations. i don't expect hardcore racists/misogynists/gaybashers to change.

but they certainly shouldn't be in charge of public policy or civic discourse.

i don't want to engage them. i want to replace them.

M. LeBlanc said...

"I don't want to engage them. I want to replace them."




I'm SO with you, ding. Didn't see this post until today.

ding said...

welcome to my revolution of 3, leblanc.

there's plenty of room.