Monday, August 25, 2008

Low tolerance for nonsense

I intended to post a frustrated and angry comment about the legion of people who still have their panties in a knot because Hillary Clinton isn't going to get the Democratic Nomination for President. I was going to to vent about my low tolerance for nonsense and how it's being tested now. I had a whole rant planned that centered on the points Rebecca Walker has already made quite effectively about the many reasons why my college students flat out refuse any association with (or any thorough understanding of) the feminist movement.

But then I sat down with my husband just before the first day of class at the university where I teach, with my two sweet babies asleep upstairs, and listened to Michelle Obama. The commentators wrestled about whether or not the speech was "inspired" or "moved the ball forward". They talked a lot about her efforts to repair damage from earlier in the campaign. But I realized that I didn't need her to do a lot of repair work. I know that her family is like mine; that she and her husband come from families that were imperfect and got their crap together anyway. Who are these people who need a black woman in America to say that she loves her country? I mean, isn't it common sense that ALL black people have a complicated relationship with the country? Yeah, okay, I know that common sense ain't so common . . . .

I agree with the talking heads that the speech wasn't earth-shattering. It was a nice speech delivered by a woman who is stunningly smart, erudite, and stylish. It was moving and warm, even while she pushed the same messages she's pushed for over a year. In the middle of it, though, it came to me that she was setting the table, not serving the meal. So, she didn't need to come out with guns blazing. And she didn't need to prove anything to me. So, fine.

Here's one thing that I have to say about Michelle Obama's speech: Her bringing together the two anniversaries--women's right to vote and Dr. King's dream speech--will, I hope, serve to remind all of those feminists who think HRC got the shaft that they are not the only women in America. They don't get to high-jack women's issues or concerns. Race and gender intersect, and pretending that only gender matters is a bunch of bull stinky. So, all of those women (or men) who have joined together to form PUMA have totally exhausted my nonsense tolerance. You are willing to give away everything that you say you believe in just to pitch a hissy-fit? Where exactly is all of the unfairness you are crying about? What's the specific gripe with the actual nominee? Why refuse to vote for your own party's nominee? Isn't this really about something else?

Well, the rant came out a little anyway. And I think that I'm a little worked up because this may not be the most coherent composition. In any case, I'm wondering what else there is to say about Michelle's speech and about the havoc HRC supporters are trying to reek.

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