Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist
best known for "The Vagina Monologues", wrote the following about Sarah
Drill, Drill, Drill
I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was
a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of
drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular
thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness
or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one
in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so
comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.
I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life
trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against
them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin
choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this
choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.
But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical
to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the
earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options,
opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.
I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous
choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates
the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas
that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the
impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately,
this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept,
the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.
Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor.
In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets
better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting
of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution
and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to
take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in
Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the
bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."
Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women
who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should
have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.
She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I
imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many
babies that makes.
Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she
has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with
people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of
ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well
be the next president of the United States . She would govern one of the
most diverse populations on the earth.
Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting
rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot
hundreds of wolves from the air.
Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private
right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when
war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in
his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the
undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.
I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this
election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the
future not just of the U.S. , but of the planet. It will determine
whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever
uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards
dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence
through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we
go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in
alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will
determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we
build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether
America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear,
fundamentalism and aggression.
If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your
power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall
after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when
I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of
domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless
repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent.
I think of pain.
Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the
floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between
nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we
September 5, 2008
at 3:59 PM