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View Diary: Dear Tim Carney: Pucker Your Silly Lips and Kiss My Feminist Ass (104 comments)

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  •  I had an encounter yesterday (31+ / 0-)

    with the beautiful young woman who cuts my hair.  

    We were chatting about various things, particularly my impending visit to The Klan in the deep south this summer.  I mentioned how difficult that might be to be there during a presidential election year.  (Been there, done that, so I know.)

    She then asked me why I'm so passionate about political issues.   She said in previous hair-cut visits, I had intimidated her with my "passionate" commentary.   That she, herself, is "more quiet", thinks "they're all corrupt so why bother", etc.

    Then she mentioned something that really made me sit up in the chair.   She said on a recent flight to D.C., she was sitting next to Jennifer Granholm [emphasis added].  

    She didn't know who Gov. Granholm was, so when they struck up a conversation, she just asked the Gov, "and what is it that you do?"   (I started laughing at this point in the narrative.)   Gov. Granholm mentioned that she had been a governor of Michigan and also had a TV show on Current TV (which my stylist had never watched).

    They discussed various political issues during the flight, especially issues affecting women in our country.   Gov. Granholm was interested in hearing this young woman's views on reproductive-freedom issues, in particular.

    What got me the most about this conversation in the hair-cutter's chair yesterday was that even after she had met and interacted with Jennifer Granholm, she still has a "why should I bother, who cares?" attitude toward political activism in this crucial election year.   A young woman of child-bearing years, too.   Who relies on Planned Parenthood, since she has an active romantic life.  (She told me this, and to Gov. Granholm, too.)   An intelligent and otherwise well-informed person with her own business.

    So how do we reach these disillusioned, jaded young women who are neither Democrat or Republican (professed independents?), who don't understand how dire the stakes are in this election for women's rights and freedoms?   In this case, my "passion" was seen by her as a negative!  (And I'm sure I've always been polite and respectful!  I'm about as "passionate" as the average Kossack, for instance. ;)

    "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

    by sockpuppet on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:41:44 AM PDT

    •  The $64,000 question (20+ / 0-)
      So how do we reach these disillusioned, jaded young women who are neither Democrat or Republican (professed independents?), who don't understand how dire the stakes are in this election for women's rights and freedoms?
      Wouldn't we all love to have an answer to that?  One thing that I think matters is public attention to our issues.  I'm old enough to remember when issues like daycare and sexual harrassment were in the public discourse.  

      I once had the privilege of attending a small group discussion with Senator Sanders.  This was deep in the Bush years and the thing I remember most was him saying, "people don't see themselves when they watch the news."  No doubt your stylist wouldn't see herself if she watched.

      Take my vote for granted at your peril.

      by VetGrl on Sat May 12, 2012 at 10:52:22 AM PDT

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    •  You can't fix stupid...I'm sure she's a fine human (8+ / 0-)

      being, but ignorance is truly bliss. Once you open your eyes to what goes on around you, it's impossible to close them again. So people stay dumb. It's easier and usually keeps you happier that way. And based on how I feel about November, sometimes I wish I didn't know any better.

      There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

      by Irixsh on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:11:31 AM PDT

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      •  You can't fix stupid (10+ / 0-)
        You can't fix stupid...I'm sure she's a fine human being, but ignorance is truly bliss. Once you open your eyes to what goes on around you, it's impossible to close them again. So people stay dumb. It's easier and usually keeps you happier that way.
        Bingo!  That's exactly how I feel about the "they're all corrupt, they all do it, why should I bother?" factions.

        And apparently it comes through in my "passion" when speaking about today's political issues.  I think that's what she's reacting to around me.   It's hard to keep the exasperation with teh stoopid outta my voice, hard as I try.

        Even during this conversation in the chair (she's the one with the scissors, after all!), I felt myself getting steamy-edged but kept quiet, except to inject a guffaw now and then at this report of a conversation with Gov. Granholm.  (I couldn't help but laugh at my friend's incredible ignorance of this major political figure as they talked.)  This was a cross-country, 5-hour flight.  So that's a long time to have a scintillating conversation with the illustrious Ms. Granholm.  Whaddan opportunity!

        Well...this vignette speaks directly to the Obama campaign.  What can you do to wake up the willfully ignorant who aren't "in the bubble" with wingnut Rethugs?  Once we get 'em all onboard with the realizations of what's at stake for their own well-being, maybe it'll waken a sleeping giant, at last.  Especially women.

        "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

        by sockpuppet on Sat May 12, 2012 at 11:30:50 AM PDT

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        •  Maybe you're being a bit too harsh (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, Womantrust, JayRaye, sockpuppet

          Even people who are up on the issues they care about may not know who Jennifer Granholm is or recognize her by sight.  On the latter, I'm not sure I would.

          Why don't you try listening to her, figure out the things that are important to her, then introduce the political from that vantage point?  

          Take my vote for granted at your peril.

          by VetGrl on Sat May 12, 2012 at 12:12:34 PM PDT

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          •  I don't think I'd recognize her by sight. Even (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VetGrl, Aunt Pat, Em, sockpuppet

            though I've seen her on Current (and watched a million ads with her hawking her show on Current TV).

            Of course once she told me who she was I'd be psyched.

            The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

            by CTMET on Sat May 12, 2012 at 02:41:59 PM PDT

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      •  I think it is unfair to call this woman "stupid" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VetGrl, Aunt Pat, sockpuppet, a2nite

        uninformed, weak, frightened, but please don't do that and call her stupid.

        •  I didn't mean to imply that my (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VetGrl

          friend and long-time hair cutter (as a guy, I don't think of her as my "stylist") is "stupid".  She's actually quite bright and intelligent.   It's her attitude and apparent willful ignorance of the depth of important issues facing our country that is "teh stoopid" to me.  And obviously it shows that I feel that way, because she admitted she's been on the defensive around me about politics ever since...when, maybe the last presidential election??

          But I've read what the Kossack women (like yourself) have had to say in response, and it's been a good discussion all around of the issue I raised.    I appreciate all the feedback.  It helps!  :)

           

          "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

          by sockpuppet on Sun May 13, 2012 at 09:56:09 AM PDT

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      •  More disconnected & disaffected than stupid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet

        Hard to blame a sideline observer of today's politics for not knowing how to or not wanting to engage with its complicated nastiness. Though arguably if such a lucky convo with Gov. Granholm was not a wee bit un-jading, hard to see what would be, other than perhaps a personal/peer example of positive engagement.

        Keep WA-Gov Blue -- Help Jay Inslee beat Rob McKenna. Go Inslee!

        by Em on Sun May 13, 2012 at 04:06:04 AM PDT

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        •  Especially... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet

          When you take into account all the false equivalencies and unchallenged lies, it's not that hard to see why someone would choose to stay out of politics altogether.

          Take my vote for granted at your peril.

          by VetGrl on Sun May 13, 2012 at 05:16:29 AM PDT

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        •  a lucky convo with Gov. Granholm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VetGrl
          Though arguably if such a lucky convo with Gov. Granholm was not a wee bit un-jading, hard to see what would be...[]
          My point exactly.  A "wee bit unjading"??  I woulda been over the moon over such an opportunity to talk with Gov. Granholm for 5 relatively intimate hours on a flight!!  (I recall how star-struck I was at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, watching my then-prominent-Democrat sibling pal-ing around with luminaries I had only seen on TV.   I was slack-jawed when I saw her casually arm-in-arm with Madeleine Albright, for example.  Maybe I'm just easily impressed...)

          The thing that made me feel "steamy" while she relayed her encounter with Ms. Granholm to me was that fact that she still felt so justified and comfortable in her "I'm-just-so-jaded-about-politics-why-do-you-care" attitude.    I just wanted to shake her!

          But I appreciate all the feedback I've gotten here about this dilemma I feel after this conversation in the salon chair.   Perhaps another woman would've been able to get through to my friend better than I did, in the moment.   :)

          "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

          by sockpuppet on Sun May 13, 2012 at 10:11:16 AM PDT

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          •  Agree, and think peer model best (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sockpuppet

            I too would've been super thrilled to chat with Gov. Grandholm on a plane trip. But thinking about the people at my local haircutting place -- young, independent, heavily tatooed, counterculture, artistic, working-class craftspeople -- she could in fact have come across to their eyes as a bit conforming, corporate, not to mention being an actual politician, and altogether therefore inherently to be viewed a bit skeptically. Just a hypothesis, and not a justification.

            If you unpack "jaded" it may be a combo of fatalistic, turned-off, and willfully disconnected from system-think (y'know, "indie"), as much as it is lazy, ignorant, or uncaring. Also, just being focused on day-to-day survival is a factor for so many people. I think if someone you know or can relate to becomes meaningfully involved in electoral or advocacy politics, that is the most persuasive entry point.

            Keep WA-Gov Blue -- Help Jay Inslee beat Rob McKenna. Go Inslee!

            by Em on Sun May 13, 2012 at 11:33:57 AM PDT

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            •  Good observation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Em
              But thinking about the people at my local haircutting place -- young, independent, heavily tatooed, counterculture, artistic, working-class craftspeople -- she could in fact have come across to their eyes as a bit conforming, corporate, not to mention being an actual politician, and altogether therefore inherently to be viewed a bit skeptically.
              I see what you're saying.   That does seem to describe her attitude, pretty much.  Thanks for the clarified perspective!

              "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

              by sockpuppet on Sun May 13, 2012 at 11:55:42 AM PDT

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    •  She feels beaten down, that is what they do, (6+ / 0-)

      they try with all their power to beat woman down, until finally you don't have th strength to fight back. Their problem is we will not retreat, we will not be beaten down any longer, we have to be strong for the woman who can not be like this hairdresser. Passion=Strength, and they are afraid of that strength.

    •  Too funny (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VetGrl, a2nite, sockpuppet

      I actually had a similar encounter the other day with the woman who does my nails. We got into a discussion about this that ended up involving 2 of the other manicurists and the lady who was sitting next to me. It brought me to tears, the lack of understanding or concern about the fight we are in.

      I wish I had an answer, but I find myself just as stumped as you are. These women just don't get it. I know I was traumatized into feminism, and I don't wish that upon anyone but sometimes I wonder if that's the only way for some people. They need to have it affect them directly.

      You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Sat May 12, 2012 at 03:53:20 PM PDT

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      •  On the upside... (4+ / 0-)

        I was at the salon Friday with my regular stylist.  We were chatting about some political stuff and she said, "I love how you explain things.  You make it make sense."

        No, I don't have much of a point.  This thread just seemed wanting for some kind of bright spot.

        (Unrelated, I'm beginning to wonder if going to the salon is the blogosphere's version of the syncing of female roommates' periods....)

        Take my vote for granted at your peril.

        by VetGrl on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:01:37 PM PDT

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        •  I think that's actually a very good point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VetGrl, sockpuppet

          we need to find ways of talking about this that appeals to women outside of our own ranks, and obviously you have figured out a way to do that. I'm occasionally able to break through to people who aren't political, but often my anger and frustration gets the best of me. I don't have a lot of patience.

          (and LOL at the syncing of salon visits :P)

          You must work-we all must work-for a world that is worthy of its children. - Pablo Casals. Please support TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3) for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:05:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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