Saturday, January 08, 2011

I Was Wrong

Man, is there ever a lot to be sad and angry about today. And that's even after we've mourned another anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. I want to talk about it all. I will talk about it all. Here's what I'm going to say about it today:

Dear Mimi,

One day very early in the last presidential campaign we talked about whether Americans were more racist or more sexist. You insisted we were more sexist. I was more sold on Obama than on Hillary. Maybe part of me was pulling for the country to be more sexist, I don't know but I hate to think. The sad truth, though, is that I didn't believe you, not completely.

I was wrong.

I was so wrong.

I've been preparing a longer apology for this. I had other examples to talk about but it seems as though today I should just get it out here. I have a feeling we'll have plenty of reasons to talk about it in the future and I promise I will be apologizing for the rest of my life. I was stupid. You, and I, deserve better.

I'm sorry I didn't believe you. This country hates women, just as you explained so eloquently, in a way that is so deeply ingrained that we don't even notice it. It is so intrinsic to our society that when we do notice it, and call it to the fore, it's far too easy for people to tell us we're crazy. Even women tell us that. Women like me.

I was wrong. I was deeply wrong and I apologize to you, to me, to a nine-year-old girl who died today and to every woman in America...even if the ones who don't believe me.

I wish I knew what to do next.



  1. I can't say anything, I can't say it until I know more about it - why he did it, what he wanted.

    But the girl who died - I want to know who she was, why she died. Was she part of the crowd at the event? Or was she just there, maybe walking to her mom's car, or taking the cart back to the cart corral like a big girl, not even paying attention to the public event going on?

    Did she know what happened?

    How can someone spray bullets at a supermarket parking lot on a Saturday morning? I read McVeigh's chilling answer when he was asked why he targeted a day care. Have people who can do this relinquished what it is to be human beings?

  2. Aunt Snow, I've been following on Twitter and Facebook with the occasional link clicking so I'm by no means fully informed. From those sources it seems that the young girl had recently been elected to the student council so a neighbor had invited her to the event. I don't know what she was doing at the time of the shooting, where she was or what her injuries were so I can't speculate as to how things went for her. I'm sure we'll find out more as time goes on, more than we can stand. We'll have plenty of answers but never enough.

  3. I can't even *believe* what happened today.
    And I can't help but be heartsick knowing that a woman - a woman who calls herself a *feminist* - bears responsibility for inspiring it.
    The TEA Party's Frankenstein's monster has been unleashed.
    I've been worried all along It would target Obama directly.
    But you're right: this country is at least as sexist as it is racist. So It came for the women first.
    Will we learn something now?

  4. You don't need to apologize to me. You are and were not stupid. It's a complex issue. I believe racism could not exist without the patriarchy -- they are inherently linked. My point, I think, was not so much that we are more sexist than racist. We are both. But I maintain that gender privilege trumps racial privilege most of the time. Of course, if you've got both, plus money, then you're really set. If you've got neither, you may have it rough. My point was also that, historically, racial inequality has been addressed before gender inequality, and that a cursory glance at US history lead me to believe the country would elect a black president before a female president.

    As for yesterday's events, I'm sure more will come out in the next few days about the shooter's intentions. But I suspect that racism (tied to immigration) is not out of play as the possible motive, or one of many. We can both be right. Not that I'm happy about it.