Monday, March 17, 2008


So, I went to Mississippi to canvass voters last week. This is what I saw on the way into Natchez.

It's a restaurant called Mammy's Cupboard.

And, shockers, I know, but not only are we not postracial, we're also not postpatriarchal either. I spent two whole days, walking mile after mile, knocking on doors and handing out leaflets, and I got sexually harassed the whole time. Men whistling, yelling, honking their horns (my previous street harassment post about living while female is here).


E said...

Was the food any good?

NOLA radfem said...

I didn't eat there, although I have to admit I was dying to see what the interior looked like. It was on the way into town and I needed to get into Natchez and get to work. I read a review of it online and they say it's good.

I was there to do campaigning, so it was all work and no play. Natchez is really nice, and I want to go back as a tourist. I did have some out of this world ribs at "The Spirit and Soul Kitchen" in Natchez.

You obviously have true New Orleans blood, since your first thought was, "Yeah, but is the food any good?" LOVE IT!

E said...

I've driven through Natchez before as well, it's a cool little town.

Thanks for the campaign work, blah blah blah.

I can't believe you didn't check out the inside and sample the goods!

Oh well. Next time.

Leigh C. said...

Actually, E's from Philly - but he lives here and has done so for many years. A thoroughly naturalized NOLAn.

Natchez is also the site of a gorgeous synagogue that is now a satellite of the Institute for Southern Jewish Life. Its members held out for a verrrry long time, but their advanced age and the fact that no new blood was coming in caught up with them. I'm glad that the building is being preserved, at least.

And, if patriarchy were TRULY dead, women would have equal pay, there'd be no such damn thing as a glass ceiling, and we could all walk the streets with no fear whatsoever of having ourselves violated in any way. That day ain't here yet. Good on you for trying to advance its coming any way you possibly can.

NOLA radfem said...

Hi, Leigh, I'm a little slow today...does this mean the synogogue is no longer functioning? Is it like a museum?

Amen about the end of the patriarchy. One of the things I find most distressing about the inequality between men and women is that I can never, ever walk down the streets and be left alone with my own thoughts. It's so distressing to be thinking about your own stuff and have someone suddenly honking at you (and, no, I sure as hell don't wear revealing clothing, although even the wearing of revealing clothing doesn't make anyone deserving of harassment). You jerk to alertness, your heart starts to pound. For a second, you think maybe you stepped towards traffic and are about to be hit by a car. And then you realize it's just some dood being an asshat. Long after he's driven on and probably forgotten about it, you're still trying to get your heart rate back down. And you never forget the days it's happened to you. I mean, the doodz honking in Mississippi the other day won't remember what they did. It was meaningless to them. But, for me, that hostility and sense of being unsafe are a permanent part of my memory of campaigning that day.

I would like to live in the right body in the right culture such that I could simply walk down the street unmolested. Is that really SO much to ask?

Geez, it's not just I'm asking for a Mercedes or something.

To quote Andrea Gibson:
bury me in a blue blanket
so their god doesn't know i'm a girl
cut off my curls
i want peace when i'm dead

Leigh C. said...

The synagogue is indeed a museum, but I think some services are still held there on special occasions.

And, once again, maybe if things were ESPECIALLY equal, WE'D be whistling at the hot (and maybe not so hot) dudes passing by. Perhaps somebody taught US the wrong things to do....

...and, in that way, everybody's composure could be equally blasted out on the streets. ;-)

I just finished reading Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History", so excuse those kinds of crazy thoughts like the ones I just expressed....

NOLA radfem said...

I haven't read that, Leigh. Sounds like my kind of thing though.

I'm glad you told me about the synagogue. I want to see it when I go back.

You know, I'm only now remembering that I did hear something while I was there about a center for Jewish history in Mississippi. I remember now because I had to think about that for a minute - Jewish - Mississippi - hmmm - okay, right, of course.

I just found the center I was thinking of - it's actually in Jackson.

NOLA radfem said...

Oh, my God, that center in Jackson had a logo on its website that says, "Shalom, ya'll." My therapist has a sign that says that above her desk. I love it so much that it's almost a distraction! I want one!

I do have a bumper sticker that says, "New Orleans, oy, what a home." I want to collect the whole series and have them all on my car, you know, proud to call it home (which I had but it finally fell apart), proud to crawl home, proud to swim home...

E said...

Philly has been named America's fattest city recently enough.... lol.

NOLA radfem said...

Philly? I had no idea. I knew south Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas were pretty bad in that regard, but I didn't know Philly too.

I really want to visit Philly someday. So many historical sites I want to see there.