Sunday, September 9, 2007

Input, por favor

I suppose this is a bit unorthodox and I assure you that I will do my own research on this topic. However, I need immediate assistance from my liberal haven. I have been asked by an undisclosed source as to my opinion on NOW and whether or not they represent most American women...or are they even trying to do so. I'm at a loss on this one. So, while I am doing my own research, what are other's thoughts on the current status of NOW?

10 comments:

La Pobre Habladora said...

This question is very vague and could very well be a trick question - if you say yes, the anonymous asker will say that you mean that all women fit this person's stereotype of the type of women who work at NOW (I am going to bet the phrases 'bra burner' and 'man hater' will be invoked). If you say no, then this person will say "Even feminists say that NOW is obsolete and out of touch with American women." Actually, it is a bogus question. NOW is an advocacy group interested in the same types of issues that we discuss here - like reproductive issues, violence, lesbian rights, minority rights, and economic and legal equality for women. NOW campaigns to improve the lives of women of many different backgrounds, not to define one idea of American femininity. Of course, not all women will be 'represented' by every campaign or support every idea that NOW espouses. You will have to pin the asker down on what is meant by "represent."

Mächtige Maus said...

Ah, allow me to elaborate. By represent the asker suggests a few points at the moment (and these comments are being greatly distilled here): government sanctioned abortion on demand, representation only for women they agree with politically, economic justice as a liberal invention by big government that NOW has bought into...with the result being government interference in wages/upheaval.

The contention seems to be that by focusing on "women's issues" NOW is hindering equal rights in general and that even when trying to truly promote equal rights in general the focus is solely on liberal issues so therefore NOW is nothing more than an ineffective Democratic special interest group.

La Pobre Habladora said...

These seem like the arguments of a "concern troll" - aka. someone who has gotten on your site and feigns sympathy for your cause by asking supposedly innocent questions, but who is actually quite against the core ideas (in this case women's rights) that you are promoting. Here are some of my problems with his (or her) arguments: 1)What is meant by 'government sanctioned abortion on demand'? 'Government sanctioned' just means legal and, while 'on demand' is added to make you assume that legalizing abortion makes it a common birth control method and evokes images of long lines outside the clinics, the phrase itself actually just means freely elected by the woman. It also is an error to think that making abortion illegal lessens the number of abortions , just look at Latin America's rates.

La Pobre Habladora said...

2) How are economic equality and legal equality an invention of big government? How could these lead to upheaval? It seems we are entering the realm of libertarian jibber jabber. So I say, cut to the chase and just attack libertarianism - it is an easy enough target and it gets you off the false issue of NOW, which is not really what your troll wants to discuss anyhow.

Agincourt said...

This is somewhat a case of East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. Painful as it is to admit to bias here, I concede that were it not for the sexual orientation of said 'undisclosed source', neither myself not Maus would likely have engaged the battle. We'd be more inclined to write the person off as, if not a loon, at least a typical conservative. She/he is practiced in defending his/her stance. And is not a libertarian. Or at least is not singing the praises of Ron Paul...

It has actually been valuable for us in clarifying and distilling our own stance. Having until recently lived mostly in a 'liberal haven' (rather than experiencing it only in this little online Utopia), we're pretty much used to associating with people who share our core values and interests. To be blunt, we're talking to someone who may not (or may...?) be a dues paying Log Cabin Republican, but is definitely queer. Someone who is used to having a lot harsher criticism lobbed their way. "Self-hating Queer' is never something that would roll off my tongue, nor is it appropriate in this case. This is someone who hails from a military background. WWII and Vietnam Vets in the immediate family. And I actually think THAT is the Continental Divide.

In other words, we're just trying to hold our own. I doubt there will be any swaying of opinion.
But it is an interesting discourse. Again, we're just not used to having this conversation within the community. Personally, I thought Log Cabin Republicans were mythological beasts...

Mächtige Maus said...

For me to attack libertarianism, I would have to research that as well because I assure I cannot hold my own on that type of political discourse.

I suppose from all this I have taken away the following: NOW as a liberal feminist force has my vote because, if nothing else, they are forcing issues to the forefront and I can respect that.

I'm still waiting for others to weigh in with their thoughts because I already know where you are coming from on this LPH.

However, I feel I have received sufficient help on this so you may continue on to more specific blogging news.

La Pobre Habladora said...

I've been dismissed!

Mächtige Maus said...

Not dismissed! I simply threw down the gauntlet to others! :)

Casmall said...

Does "others" include me? Cause I'm goin to tell you what I think. I think this analogy is helpfull: Does the ACLU represent all Americans? Of course. Do most Americans agree with the actions of the ACLU? Often not. A fact which is in no way relavent when considering the value of the ACLU and its activities. The ACLU and NOW are organisations that represent people with problems, not people without problems. If you want to stay home and raise kids, on one will stop you, but if you want equal pay for equal work, tough sh*t. Thats why habla is right, this isn't an honest question and was never ment to be.

Mächtige Maus said...

Thanks casmall! I like that analogy very much and will most certainly seek to use it.