Cross-grained Lara seemed bent on self-destruction until two unlikely rescuers intervened
I’ve decided to continue the exploration of the unspoken history of our country as seen through political cartoons and messaging. I’m not doing this as an exercise in hopelessness. It’s easy to fall into that trap when seeing so many of the same themes over and over. But along with the recurring issues, I see the battles that have been won, even when the “war” is ongoing. For me, remembering the past gives me courage to fight for our future. I hope it will do the same for our Village.
This week, I wanted to focus on the misogyny in our history, but the topic was so broad, it became unmanageable. Since I have no desire to do a dissertation, I chose the suffrage movement as the exemplar of the patriarchy in our midst. The images today are mostly postcards from the early 1900s, as well as political cartoons.
I had originally intended to recount my experiences at the Michigan Democratic state convention in this post; an experience that was personally negative, even while positive overall for the future of the party in the state. However, now that I’ve had time to process the whole experience (with the help of Villagers here and on Twitter), my viewpoint has changed. Because I promised though, I will include an overview of the events that impacted my experience.
I’m full-on, foaming at the mouth “irked” as I write this. Start with this: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/how-to-beat-trump/515736/ The Very Serious David Frum decided that us liberals need instructions on how to protest properly, so that we “scare” Trump. The premise is weak in and of itself if 45s Twitter feed is any indication; I think we’ve scared him already. But this was the paragraph which raised my ire:
Don’t get sucked into the futile squabbling cul-de-sac of intersectionality and grievance politics. Look at this roster of speakers from the January 21 march. What is Angela Davis doing there? Where are the military women, the women police officers, the officeholders? If Planned Parenthood is on the stage, pro-life women should stand there, too. If you want somebody to speak for immigrants, invite somebody who’s in the country lawfully.
I read this and heard the white male condescension loud and clear. I heard the dismissal of women, particularly women of color. (You know, the women who are the base of our party.) I heard the assumption that patriotism is the sole purview of the Right. I heard the call for the Left to play by rules made by male Republicans who know better by virtue of being…male Republicans. He apparently wrote this without any sense of irony; without any sense that what he is calling for is exactly what we are protesting against. Mr. Frum, I have a suggestion for you: less writing, more listening. That’s the polite version; I’m sure you all know what I’m actually thinking.
Oh, and by the way, here’s what Mr. Frum thought we shouldn’t hear:
And now for some bonus tweets:
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) February 6, 2017
We think Lady Gaga was actually singing about Donald Trump last night pic.twitter.com/kR0gAA6xpR
— Hamilton Electors (@HamiltonElector) February 6, 2017
8 measures to restrict protesters' rights have been introduced in state legislatures. If any of them are signed into law, we'll sue. https://t.co/4epeHpjQhg
— ACLU National (@ACLU) February 6, 2017
And saving the best for last:
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 7, 2017
Sometimes a newsfeed story leads to an Internet search and an unexpected gem.
That happened this morning.
NPR linked to a story in The Guardian about a group in Sweden which is passing out a book to every 16 year old in the country:
Less than a month after it was revealed that the UK is planning to drop feminism from the politics A-level, every 16-year-old in Sweden is being given a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to arms, We Should All Be Feminists.
The essay, adapted from Adichie’s award-winning TED talk of the same name, is being distributed in Swedish to high-school students by the Swedish Women’s Lobby and publisher Albert Bonniers. Launching the project at Norra Real high school in Stockholm this week, they said they hoped the book would “work as a stepping stone for a discussion about gender equality and feminism”.
Here is the TED talk.
“Some people ask: ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest,” Adichie continues. “Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded.”
“Aren’t the Internets great?”
– me to my Moose peeps this morning
An article in the New York Times yesterday about the “Women of the Young Lords: The Revolution within the Revolution” panel at the Bronx Museum, included the rare link-out to a web site for some biographical information on one of the speakers, our own Denise Oliver Velez.
Much to my delight, that was a sub-page on a larger site about a film entitled “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”.
The trailer explains what it is about:
With women’s reproductive freedom under attack in the states and in the Republican controlled Congress and in the courts, when one of our major political parties is already loading up the testosterone cannon and aiming it at the woman who is the front-runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, when right wing groups are attacking Planned Parenthood … a group that saves women’s lives, it is a great time to remind ourselves of our past, the fights we won, only to lose again, and the battles we will face in 2016 and beyond.