Monday, September 15, 2008

dear john

Dear John McCain:

We're not that stupid. Sure it would be nice if the women of America believed that everyone with breasts and a vagina believed in equality. But it ain't so. Women have differing views -- just like men.

Some like beer; some like chardonnay. And some prefer AA. Some like automatic weapons; some don't. Some think every pregnancy is sanctified; some don't. Some think presidents should be qualified for office; some don't care.

But to take the struggle for equal rights that has gone on for two centuries and embody it in the person of Sarah Palin is not just misleading but abusive. Charging rape victims for rape kits is a travesty of equal rights. Insisting that government impose your own views of abortion on others is anti-equality. Cutting funding for black teenage mothers is anti-feminist and racist. Lying to the electorate about your record is insolent. Do you think we're too stupid or indolent to check?

We have checked. You are lying and so is she. But you must think that a big lie repeated over and over becomes the truth. And it seems that many Americans are with you on that.

You are so good at the bold-faced lie that you even seem to believe it yourself. When Barbara Walters and Joy Behar accused you of lying on "The View," you claimed you weren't.

I guess your handlers have decided that after eight years of Cheney-Bush saying one thing and doing another, truth no longer has any meaning. Say it often enough and we'll believe anything -- like the good commercial-watchers we are. So, prep Sarah to sound like Hillary -- and we'll be fooled.

It remains to be seen how many will.

But one thing is clear. You have reached a new low in your regard for the public. You have blown your credibility. Usually politicians wait to be elected to do that.

It's fascinating to watch you and your party try to co-opt the idea of change, the idea of equal rights after eight years of being in total control and trashing the country for women, for workers, for taxpayers and for anyone who earns dollars.

Do you really think we're that stupid? Apparently you do.

Tax cuts for the rich have produced trickle-down unemployment. You want to try that again? We don't. The private sector has not policed itself. Failing banks and mortgage companies prove that. The deficit has swelled. Insurance rates for health care have swelled. Women are joining the ranks of the poor faster than ever.

Play it again, John?

As Sarah Palin said, lying about her lust for earmarks, "Thanks but no thanks."

Erica Jong


Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Jong,

According to the most recent tracking polls, you all are indeed that stupid. Or to put it another way, there are plenty of women who are a) not liberals, but still very much like the idea of a woman in the white house or b) are more liberal than Palin (i.e., want government programs to help them make ends meet), but are low-information voters and don't realize that Palin would deprive them of said programs.

Furthermore, why do 300 year-old feminists cling to the hoary notion that their movement belongs to a New Left paradigm anyway? Their obsession with cultural conflicts of the 1960s is almost as as acute as mine. News Flash: modern feminism was not mainly an ideological revolution (as it was, say, during Mary Wollstonecraft's day), but rather a manifestation of the family structure seeking to adapt to changing labor markets which were in the process of tossing the male bread-winner family into the dust bin of history (i.e., middle-class families couldn't keep up with the Jones if only dad worked). Remember feminism took root at the exact same time that the modern conservative movement began to take over the government. You might even say that both feminism and movement conservatism were unexpected outcomes of stagflation.

Well, I hope I answered your question, Ms. Jong.

John McCain.

Liv Moe said...

Well John you are a much bigger smarty pants than I thought you were.

While I agree with certain aspects of your sharp and insightful analysis/criticism of the past, what four decades(?), of feminist theory I feel that on a much larger level they oversimplify where we are today and how we got there.

I agree that the "modern" feminist movement you are referring to was a distinct reaction to a nuclear family structure. Following the seventies, however, feminism has broadened it's focus to a more global view. To suggest that "both feminism and movement conservatism were unexpected outcomes of stagflation." is an oversimplification of the past 40 years.

The reason that I have reposted both Steinem and Jong's sentiments on these issue are two fold. For one I don't take umbrage with these two women the way some do, I respect them deeply for the balls they set in motion within the feminist movement as we understand it today, and I agree with many of the views that they have voiced in reference to the current situation. I also believe that as long standing leaders in the feminist movement their views during this history making time in our nation are valid.

Finally, as someone who has identified herself as a feminist for many years, worked in feminist action, founded a NOW chapter on my college campus, volunteered as a clinic escort, etc. etc. I will say that my number one frustration with the feminist movement has been and will remain it's tendency to attack itself.

Oh wait, I forgot... I'm talking to John McCain here not a fellow feminist.

Liv Moe

Anonymous said...


Did you see the photos of me Jill Greenberg took? She made me look scary. You can see one here