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NOW-NY doesn’t speak for me either

Posted by pocochina on January 29, 2008

but I still wanna talk about this.

First off, Senator Kennedy has every right to endorse whoever he wants. He of course would deserve heaping (though better-written) scorn for endorsing a Republican or similar lunatic, but he still may endorse whoever he wants. And NOW-NY has every right not to be happy about it, but they shouldn’t have expressed it the way that they did, it was politically harmful.

What I’m more interested in is the hubbub surrounding the letter. “THIS is why the menz hate feminism!” “THIS is why girls don’t want to identify as feminists!” “THIS is why everyone thinks we are hysterical!” NOW-NY fucked up, big time, if only as a political tactic (again, perfectly free not to like something Senator Kennedy does), but the anticipation that feminists must never do anything wrong or even vaguely embarrassing, ever, and if one does we have let all women down, and WILL SURELY DIE. Every fucking thing we do, apparently, has the potential to discredit feminism.

I wish it weren’t sort of true – people who hate women will do anything to discredit feminists. And women will be blamed for things other women do, particularly feminists. Particularly during a political campaign, and especially at a time in American history where women are more truly present in national politics than we have ever been – the misogyny will eventually get better, but it will almost certainly get worse first. But many, many people on that thread were just so angry about what was clearly a stupid mistake, because it would MAKE FEMINISTS LOOK BAD, without stepping back to remember that out of the hundreds of chapters of feminist organizations there are across the country, we will all be judged by this one stupid letter – we must ALWAYS be on our guard about seeming hysterical! Always! Even if it means savaging our own! Yes, that letter can be used to portray all feminists as psycho man-haters, but the people who were going to think that think we are psycho man-haters anyway, and they will always think we are psycho man-haters no matter how many moderated, cool-headed press releases national feminist organizations churn out every day. By all means, be angry at the Stupid, I am too. But I think it is short-sighted to blame the constant demonization of feminism on one stupid mistake. People will fuck up from time to time, and should rightfully be taken to task for it, but to blame the misogyny of all human history on a few silly mistakes is simply ridiculous.

Now of course there will be unfair implications, especially for Senator Clinton – who would never have called for such a stupid attack on Senator Kennedy, for Chrissake. ONE VAGINA SAID IT SO THEY ALL MUST SAY IT, will say the Mainstream Political Establishment. Case in point: the Politico printed the letter and confirmation of its authenticity (but I still wanna talk about this [http://feministing.com/archives/008495.h

tml#comments].

First off, Senator Kennedy has every right to endorse whoever he wants. He of course would deserve heaping (though better-written) scorn for endorsing a Republican or similar lunatic, but he still may endorse whoever he wants. And NOW-NY has every right not to be happy about it, but they shouldn’t have expressed it the way that they did, it was politically harmful.

What I’m more interested in is the hubbub surrounding the letter. “THIS is why the menz hate feminism!” “THIS is why girls don’t want to identify as feminists!” “THIS is why everyone thinks we are hysterical!” NOW-NY fucked up, big time, if only as a political tactic (again, perfectly free not to like something Senator Kennedy does), but the anticipation that feminists must never do anything wrong or even vaguely embarrassing, ever, and if one does we have let all women down, and WILL SURELY DIE. Every fucking thing we do, apparently, has the potential to discredit feminism.

I wish it weren’t sort of true – people who hate women will do anything to discredit feminists. And women will be blamed for things other women do, particularly feminists. Particularly during a political campaign, and especially at a time in American history where women are more truly present in national politics than we have ever been – the misogyny will eventually get better, but it will almost certainly get worse first. But many, many people on that thread were just so angry about what was clearly a stupid mistake, because it would MAKE FEMINISTS LOOK BAD, without stepping back to remember that out of the hundreds of chapters of feminist organizations there are across the country, we will all be judged by this one stupid letter – we must ALWAYS be on our guard about seeming hysterical! Always! Even if it means savaging our own! Yes, that letter can be used to portray all feminists as psycho man-haters, but the people who were going to think that think we are psycho man-haters anyway, and they will always think we are psycho man-haters no matter how many moderated, cool-headed press releases national feminist organizations churn out every day. By all means, be angry at the Stupid, I am too. But I think it is short-sighted to blame the constant demonization of feminism on one stupid mistake. People will fuck up from time to time, and should rightfully be taken to task for it, but to blame the misogyny of all human history on a few silly mistakes is simply ridiculous.

Now of course there will be unfair implications, especially for Senator Clinton – who would never have called for such a stupid attack on Senator Kennedy, for Chrissake. ONE VAGINA SAID IT SO THEY ALL MUST SAY IT, will say the Mainstream Political Establishment. Case in point: Politico printed the letter and confirmation of its authenticity. What’s the one tag?

“Hillary Clinton.”

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