Posts tagged Robin Morgan

Re: Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.

The original “Goodbye to All That” is one of my favorite short essays in the world. So it’s a bit disappointing to see someone who once wrote this:

Goodbye to those simple-minded optimistic dreams of socialist equality all our good socialist brothers want us to believe. How merely liberal a politics that is! How much further we will have to go to create those profound changes that would give birth to a genderless society. Profound, Sister. Beyond what is male or female. Beyond standards we all adhere to now without daring to examine them as male-created, male-dominated, male-fucked-up, and in male self-interest. Beyond all known standards, especially those easily articulated revolutionary ones we all rhetorically invoke. Beyond—to a species with a new name, that would not dare define itself as Man.

… We are rising, powerful in our unclean bodies; bright glowing mad in our inferior brains; wild hair flying, wild eyes staring, wild voices keening; undaunted by blood we who hemorrhage every twenty-eight days; laughing at our own beauty we who have lost our sense of humor; mourning for all each precious one of us might have been in this one living time-place had she not been born a woman; stuffing fingers into our mouths to stop the screams of fear and hate and pity for men we have loved and love still; tears in our eyes and bitterness in our mouths for children we couldn’t have, or couldn’t not have, or didn’t want, or didn’t want yet, or wanted and had in this place and this time of horror. We are rising with a fury older and potentially greater than any force in history, and this time we will be free or no one will survive. Power to all the people or to none. All the way down, this time.

… is now drawing on her legacy and turning her talents to churn out endorsements for a triangulating pro-war corporate liberal candidate for President of the United States. I fear that the bottom of “all the way down” has become rather more shallow than it once was.

Re: My brief appearance on “His Side with Glenn Sacks”

A couple further questions:

  1. Why marginalize or abandon Robin Morgan? Of course, everyone has a mind of their own and people shouldn’t have to answer for every wack thing that another person who shares their political convictions says, but it would be a serious mistake to suggest that Morgan—who played an instrumental role in founding New York Radical Women and WITCH, putting on the Miss America protests, organized abortion speak-outs and put together Sisterhood is Powerful, and has been a formative influence on outlets such as Ms. Magazine—is some kind of nutty fringe figure. She’s a radical figure, yes, but “radical” isn’t necessarily a term of criticism, and radical feminism has always been an absolutely essential part of Second Wave feminist theory and practice. Any story of the movement that doesn’t centrally involve her in her role as an organizer, writer, and editor has got to be a seriously distorted one.

    And—let’s put the cards on the table after all—I can’t think of a single quote by Robin Morgan that the Men’s Rights bully-boys drag out that actually has anything at all objectionable in it. What specifically is the point on which she shouldn’t be defended against her accusers?

  2. While we’re at it, what is supposed to be wrong with man-hating, anyway? If some feminists do hate men, would that mean that there is something wrong with their position?

    I, for one, hate men. Not all of them, but lots of them. And I hate them precisely because they act like men are supposed to act. I.E. because they are controlling, exploitative, rude, callous, and/or violent, just like they were brought up to be. I hate men who act like that and I hate myself when I realize that I’ve acted that way. I don’t think it’s because I’m a neurotic bundle of self-loathing or because I’m aiming to become one; it’s because I think that all of us men have a long way to go to break ourselves out of habits and beliefs that keep us from acting like decent human beings as often as we should. We grow up thinking that we have the right to do a lot of fucked up stuff and then we usually go on to do it at some point or another. Often at many points throughout our lives.

    There are many men that I love and mostly trust but I love them and mostly trust them for the demonstrable steps they’ve taken away from the way that men are normally expected to act. And I’m doing what I can to help the efforts to change those expectations and those actions—in myself, and in others when I can reach them—but I can’t say I blame a woman at all if she doesn’t like most men or doesn’t necessarily trust our motives straight off the bat.

    That doesn’t strike me as unreasoned bigotry; it strikes me as a rational response to the empirical evidence.