What would you do if you were working in the front office of an elementary school and a guy came in with three bags of guns and ammo? This is a story about a bookkeeper with a super power, and a lesson on the wisdom of relating to (instead of condemning) an agitated man--with or without a loaded gun.
An underlying socio(ill)logical republican premise: women are not sharp enough to make decisions for men, and not moral enough to make decisions about their bodies (which might endanger future/potential men). Women can't be trusted, they would like us to believe. It is this outrageous patriarchal infantilizing that makes me crazy. If I assert myself I am shrill, if I criticize I am a bitch, if I inquire, I am a naive child. And Mitt can't find anyone qualified? The problem isn't a scarcity of women of integrity, the problem is that qualified women avoid him like the plague. Intelligent people don't seek toxic environments where they will not thrive. The War on Women may more accurately classified as a war on dismissive privileged power. The gender gap may be a gender war by women (and other living things): A gender war.
(this is an expansion on a comment I made to Chris Andersen's October 16 diary, but the idea has stayed with me so I'm writing this as a diary)
That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as Commander in Chief."and", I so wanted him to add, "it's not what I do as a man". Because for me, the fundamental difference between the candidates is that one acts with the expansive purpose of a human being who is a member of a species that he believes in, loves and wants to protect, and the other doesn't.
An email from my dad who is a retired political scientist who studied voting patterns. He is trying hard to quit working, but is clearly having trouble doing so. Nearing 80 now, he has gone to France in order to avoid the election season in order to save his health (because he is an amazingly engaged liberal, he cannot sit still, but his family and physician have suggested he do so). So, from an apartment in Paris (where he is trying to relax) he wrote the following note to his kids, which I am copying in its entirety.
I thought it was a literally hysterical moment when Romney introduced the notion of collaboration as he yelled and spat at the president that the way to get things done is to work together and not to be demanding. The collaborative spirit is one of invitation, trust and creativity. Those aren't words that apply to the man I watched tonight.
In saying "kennedy" Obama conjures a feeling of our collective potential for being and doing good-—Ted’s life becomes the physical manifestation or embodiment of our country’s moral aspirations and identity.
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