Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Alegre goes to her first feminist sell-out conference

and Riverdaughter plays the fool.

Not in the mood for garbage. And not surprised by all the e-mails coming in complaining about Alegre and Riverdaughter.

First, the conference is garbage and it's a damn shame some of the participants don't have a little more knowledge.

Alegre plays the fool here. Alegre, some of the same women duping you pulled that little stunt in 1976 at the DNC convention. Know your history or you're doomed to repeat failure.

Knowing your history includes knowing your recent history. Riverdaughter means what by this:

Kim Gandy from NOW will be there. Ooohh, to be a fly on that wall. Go get'em, Alegre! Someone needs to ask these women what they got for their endorsement of Obama when a woman was running who would have met all of their needs. And if the answer was they were afraid she couldn’t win, then they need to have their feminism credentials stripped.


Since Riverdaughter championed Hillary and did little for Cynthia McKinney (maybe a little more for Sarah Palin, but Palin -- like Rosa Clemente -- was running for v.p.), it most likely means that Hillary was the "woman [who] was running who would have met all of their needs". Operating under that belief, the question becomes, "Why the hell are you on Kim Gandy's case?"

Seriously. Call out Kim for many things -- she deserves to be called out for many things (and I know and like Kim) -- but know what the hell you're writing about.

Kim Gandy personally endorsed Hillary. Not only did Kim but so did NOW Pac. Eleanor Smeal? She endorsed Hillary as well. Gloria (not at the conference but another example of a woman who's been slammed for not endorsing Hillary in recent weeks) endorsed Hillary.

By all means hold Kim, et al, accountable for not calling out the sexism aimed at Sarah Palin and for frequently launching their own sexist attacks but know the public record: Kim Gandy endorsed Hillary. Kim Gandy campaigned for Hillary. During the most recent presidential primary, Kim Gandy supported Hillary.

The fact that someone could not know that indicates that their feminism is more 'topical' than reality based and that would certainly explain why, with all the vast problems facing women in this country and around the world, certain 'feminist' bloggers can't cover any of the topics that matter beyond who posed in their underwear and is some one gaining weight?

'Topical' awareness may also explain this comment:

riverdaughter, on February 3rd, 2009 at 6:33 am Said:

I realize it’s kind of late to join in here but what was misogynistic about that analogy? The Wizard of Oz is about a mythical kingdom ruled by powerful women and one weak man who pretends to have power. The protagonist is also female.
If the story was all about females, and not a single male character, we would have just said that the battle between Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West was just the typical battle between good and evil. And what’s wrong with that? It’s part of the collective Jungian archetye landscape.
Well, anyway, that’s the way I read it. I don’t think the people making this remark meant it in any other way. I guess they could have said Dumbledore vs Voldemort but it wouldn’t have been more of a forced analogy.

No, it is never acceptable for a PIG to call a woman a "witch" and it's a damn shame that Riverdaughter -- and the woman who wrote the post Riverdaughter's commenting on -- are so damn ignorant of Scott Horton's work or Harper's magazine. Find the female blogger at Harper's? She does not exist. Find the women regularly published by the magazine? She does not exist. Count the number of women listed on the masthead. By any measure -- topics, writers, etc. -- Harper's is one of the most sexist left magazines today. Long after the election, the magazine's publisher was STILL attacking Hillary in his Providence Journal columns. Considering the magazine's opinion of her, a blog post comparing Hillary to a witch -- good witch or bad witch -- is not ever going to be a good thing.

Explanations for Riverdaughter's attack on undocumented workers? There are none and that's the sort of the right-wing strand running through PUMA that leads so many to see them as nothing but Republicans.

Alegre tells you of the conference:

[Kim] Gandy brought up the whole cock-up (not her words - mine) with the stimulus bill and Medicaid funding last week, and tried to explain in more detail what happened. So I saw that as the perfect opportunity to ask her (and everyone else) how we work with the new (and friendlier) administration but STILL challenge them when they fall short or let us down (or sell us out - though I didn't exactly say that bit). I noted that the language would still be in the package if it hadn't been for the request from the White House, and Henry Waxman cutting the language from the House bill in committee. Gandy went to Waxman and Pelosi's defense and said they couldn't exactly tell the WH to go to hell (my words - not hers) and that Pelosi's very committed to getting this passed as a bill in its own right. The bloggers on the panel though were very clear in their feelings about what happened - not happy.

The discussion got rolling and I stopped taking notes for the most part, but the main take-away is that the bloggers wanted the advocacy groups to use us as the bad cops. We can say things that NOW can't but if they get talking points to writers like us, we can push the envelope (or that all-important Overton Window). Now I know the advocacy groups try like hell to control the message, but as we get to know each other and trust that we're going to do right by one another, we may be able to get past that reluctance - at least that's my hope. As long as bloggers make it clear that we're speaking only for ourselves and that we're not connected with the groups working the phones and walking the halls on Capitol Hill, this might work.

"We can say things that NOW can't"? Excuse me? That's a bunch of bulls**t. The National Organization for Women was created to say just those things. The idea that they need someone to hide behind is crap. They are not some government source needing a journalist to feed info to. (NOW as Deep Throat? Who would ever have guessed!)

To suggest otherwise is to lie or be lied to.

What's actually going down was documented by Veronica Geng in "Requiem for the women's movement" (Harper's magazine, November 1976). The same group (I'm not referring to Riverdaughter or Alegre) are again attempting to tap down on feminist dissent. 1976 was actually damaging. 1972 left scars (DNC conventions), but 1976 left damage and those who cannot grasp why a vibrant movement shut down in so many ways (feminism never dies, even when its own leaders try to kill it) need to study what went down in 1976. The same self-appointed 'leaders' wanted women to know that they could only expect so much. The same message the b.s. crowd is again handing out today. Again, Veronica Geng charted all of this decades ago.

Knowledge is power.

Knowledge includes never praising -- pay attention, Alegre -- Ellie Smeal as a blogger. Ms. magazine has no online presence because of Ellie. She got rid of Christine and then she was going to be the big blogger. But blogging was hard and Ellie lost interest quickly. (Carol Leaf also briefly blogged following Ms. purging of Christine Cupaiuolo.) Ms. has no online presence. It once had message boards. It stopped those. And now Alegre wants to show up (either not knowing this history or ignoring it) and claim that maybe female bloggers can do the heavy lifting for NOW and the Feminist Majority Foundation?

Nonsense. They don't want to do the work and they don't want women leading the charge. It's very much top and down. If you doubt it, grasp that nothing prevents Kim from offering message boards at NOW.

We're supposed to be as taken in as Alegre is and think, "Oh, these poor feminist leaders like Ellie and Kim. Having to go to DC and do that. How awful." Buy a damn clue. There's no place they'd rather be. You have a Democrat in the White House. DC is a party town. They get to feel important and special.

Ms. Pathetic

What their lies do is prove that Barack should never have made the cover of Ms. If Barack truly is a feminist (he's not), then NOW and Feminist Majority Foundation should be able to spend less time in DC and more time with the grassroots. Think about it, after 8 years of Bush, at last they can work with their membership because feminist Barack's in the Oval Office and we can all breathe a little easier, at least long enough for 'leadership' to reconnect with the base, right?

Please, it's bulls**t.

And Alegre bought into it.

Read the nonsense and it's 'Oh, they took our questions. Oh, they replied.' You're being bought off with access, buy a damn clue. Alegre writes, "The internet's tailor made for women - it allows us to find each other and share ideas without prejudice. Apparently, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony would have loved blogging for the freedom it allows women in this exchange of ideas and the advocacy it helps facilitate." If true (and I'd argue it is), that's only more reason for NOW and the Feminist Majority Foundation (Ms. magazine in most people's eyes) to have an online presence. They have none.

Alegre writes (without thinking -- she's on autopilot), "Glennda Testone works with the Women's Media Center and spoke about their training program for progressive women's voices. It helps women become spokespeople and get more women's voices out there into the mix by giving them the tools, practice, and confidence they need to go before the media and get their point across effectively and forcefully. It takes women's involvement to a whole new level. We can't ignore the traditional media - but we have got to use the new outlets as they emerge and develop." "Into the mix"? "More women's voices"? Into the mix?

So they can say the same exact damn thing? That's what (Democratic) Women's Media Center promotes and lives by. Only when a number of us repeatedly called them out on their silence regarding Cynthia McKinney's campaign (yes, "Women's" Media Center ignored Cynthia's run) loudly and repeatedly did they manage to write about Cynthia right before the election. Ignored her over and over and over and over while filing one article after another on Barack.

So why do we need more voices at WMC if they're all going to say the exact same thing? We don't. Greens are part of the left and a so-called 'progressive' outlet for women should damn well recognize that and should damn well follow the only all-women ticket in the presidential race -- Cynthia and Rosa -- and do so without prompting.

The conference was garbage on the 'top'. They want to control and that's what the conference was about for NOW and Feminist Majority Foundation and others. And shame on any woman -- after all that went down in 2008 and the stabs in the backs from 'leaders' -- who allows her space online to become a way for Kim Gandy and crew to funnel talking points they're too pathetic and chicken to voice themselves.

It's not just the 'leaders' that need to grow the hell up, it's some of the ones in the ranks as well. (And crack a book while you're at it.)

The 'leaders' that showed did so out of fear of New Agenda and other emerging organizations. They were present in an attempt to co-opt. The lack of awareness on that -- the refusal to even entertain it as a possibility -- goes a long way towards explaining why we keep re-inventing the wheel, generation after generation.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com. (And this was a dictated entry.)