Friday, February 02, 2007

The Real Minnesota

Catching up post:

Windchill is at 25 below today. I'm hiding out at home. I took the day off to attend an out-of-town funeral but I've decided to not chance the trip under these conditions. My car is just not the reliable. The funeral is of a high school buddy who died at 52 years old of an unexpected heart attack last weekend. I'm getting to the age where this sort of thing becomes more common. I'm not gonna like that.

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Last Tuesday I helped set up an event for Cindy Sheehan. It was held at a progressive Catholic church and all 1200 seats were sold out ahead of time. I did not plan to stay since I had worked 12 hours and was tired. But we listened to the first 20 minutes or so. Sheehan is an interesting woman. Considering all the crap that's been thrown at her, I feel as if she's handled herself well and avoided many of the pitfalls that people make who become the focus of mainstream media.

She tried to attend one of the local vigils, but at 5 degrees, she lasted only a few minutes. She said, "I think you people are nuts for living in Minnesota in the winter. But then I chose to camp out in a ditch in Texas in August, so I'm not one to talk."

That was the kind of talk she gave: offering her thoughts and ideas in a somewhat self-depracating manner. She was funny but also passionate.

I tend to worry when the media tries to define a mass movement by focussing on one or two people because no one person can encompass the variety of people involved. Sheehan has done a better job than some, and for that I give her props.

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The discussion over at Little Light's has continued and I just realized it yesterday. I spent a while catching up and I am definitely learning a lot. I'm impressed by commenters like Holly and Piny who are willing to offer their wisdom to people who are ignorant about the lives of transgendered people.

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I read the following yesterday and it's been stuck in my mind ever since. I'm not going to cite the source because I'm not welcome there and because it doesn't really matter. Here it is:

"...feminism is about each woman, speaking her own truth. It’s about each of us, giving voice to our own reality, our own lived experiences in the world as women."

No, this is definitely not what I'd call feminism.

Feminism is when women support OTHER women. If I'm focussed on myself, I cannot help other women. In addition, I cannot see how things that occur in the world affect women who are NOT ME.

Count me out of this so-called feminism that means I spend more time on me and less time on the world that is out there fucking with me and other women.

8 comments:

Veronica said...

25 below is too damned cold.

And, I'm about tired of the "feminism is all about ME and picking at MY SCABS!" line, too.

I always thought that feminism was about believing in and working for equality. Clearly, some people have other things going on.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you know, V? Equality is so last century!

And, yes, it is definitely too damn cold.

belledame222 said...

>"...feminism is about each woman, speaking her own truth. ItÕs about each of us, giving voice to our own reality, our own lived experiences in the world as women.">

Well, see, this could work as one starting principle if she'd, y'know, apply it honestly.

given the number of -other- women that she's dismissed, condescended to, "spoken for," and flat-out ignored, in the process of speaking -their- own truths, though, i have to give that one the ol' hairy eyeball (does so). (ew).

i mean, yes, you support other women; which i am sure she swears upndown that she does; thing is, first of all you gotta be able to -listen- to what those other women want/need from -themselves.-

but hey, -saying- you do is just as good as y'know actually doing it.

anyway She's Every Woman; those words she keeps saying do not mean what you think they mean.

belledame222 said...

i gotta say, I find myself liking OLS quite a bit, in spite of everything; i hope she sticks around.

belledame222 said...

...sorry about your friend. RIP.

and yeah, 25 below is too fucking cold.

isn't Minnesota where the Ingallses lived? 'cause i -read- The Long Winter.

Trin said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. *condolences, hugs, things of that sort*

"Feminism is when women support OTHER women. If I'm focussed on myself, I cannot help other women. In addition, I cannot see how things that occur in the world affect women who are NOT ME."

I think "each woman speaking her own truth" can be part of this, if we're actually listening to those stories and supporting the people telling them.

Which she is very much not doing.

Ravenmn said...

HI all! Interesesting responses!

Belle, the Ingall's did live here. It was always fun to watch them on TV. They'd travel around Minnesota and we'd see snow-covered mountains in the background. For some reason, I can never find those mountains here!

Trin wrote: "...we're actually listening to those stories and supporting the people telling them.
Which she is very much not doing."

You're right. She only uses that line when she's saying that we need to listen to her tell us her experiences.

I need to think and blog about this a bit more. I am interested in other people's lives and stories.

I used to joke that my crappy childhood would absolve me of any charges of first-degree murder. Even a half-rate lawyer could argue I was driven nuts by my family.

But, you know, so fucking what? I do not want to exempt myself from the reality of my fellow human beings.

We've all suffered some kind of shit and just like the oppression Olympics suck, so do the personal experience Olympics.

Hmm. Guess I've blogged about it a little. Heh.

belledame222 said...

well, coming from a psych/therapy perspective here,y'understand, although this works for "consciousness raising" as well: it's a starting place. you tell your story, you listen to others. you learn from it. from there, you figure out slowly what you need to do and how to do it. it's also about community-building, and more ineffable stuff. it certainly shouldn't have to be about "Oppression Queen For a Day;" it just sucks that drama queens like Heart give the whole thing a bad taste.