Thursday, February 14, 2008

Eve Ensler on pro-Hillary Ultimatums

Ensler compares some recent "with us or against us" comments by some feminists to George Bush's similar comments following 9/11. Says V-Day founder Eve Ensler:

While paying respect to those women who carried the banner for so many years, these young women have reminded us that feminism is not static but evolutionary, changing in content, scope and tenor as new generations elevate their concerns and aspirations. And while we agree that this "either/or" brand of feminism fails to capture the imagination and hopes of countless numbers of women who refuse to entrust this capital into the hands of a candidate just because she is a woman, we think it important to add that this is not simply an intergenerational difference at work here. At issue is a profound difference in seeing feminism as intersectional and global rather than essentialist and insular. Women have grappled with these questions in every feminist wave, struggling to see feminism as something other than a "me too" bid for power whether it be in the family, the party, the race or the state.

For many of us, feminism is not separate from the struggle against violence, war, racism and economic injustice. Gender hierarchy and race hierarchy are not separate and parallel dynamics. The empowerment of women is contingent upon all these things. Despite the fact that we know that identity does not equal politics -- especially an antiwar, social equity and global justice politics -- we are led to believe that having a woman in power is the penultimate accomplishment. And even when the "either/or" feminists back off this claim in general, we are told, it is true in the case of the particular, Hillary Clinton. Experience and judgment go hand in hand, we are told, but one has to wonder how is it that so many ordinary citizens who were outside the beltway instinctively sensed what would come with the war, but the female candidate running for President did not?

For us, the choice at hand is actually quite simple. It is not about the woman candidate vs. the Black male candidate.
It is about the candidate who works to dismantle the bomb, rather than drop it;
the candidate who works to abolish the old paradigm of power, rather than covet and rise to its highest point; the candidate who seeks solutions and dialogue rather than retaliation and punishment. more

Thank you, Ms. Ensler. Back when Hillary Clinton voted for this war, I was protesting in the streets (the photo above is me, with the purple purse, with the kidlet, protesting the war, in front of the federal building in New Orleans). Some of us were at Camp Casey in '05:

Why wasn't Hillary Clinton one of "us" then? Why won't she at least join Kerry and Edwards in saying the war authorization vote was a mistake? Who is my sister?

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