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Friday, September 12, 2008

Eve Ensler on Sarah Palin

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 call life?

Eve Ensler

September 5, 2008


lupingirl said...

I agree with everything you have said here. The feminist choice - the rational choice - in this election is the all male ticket. To put Palin up there as the best that women have to offer is incredibly offensive to me.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and really like what I see.

Excellent summery. I agree with everything you have said and for the very same reasons. I find her offensive as well as she belittles everything that makes sense to uphold. She certainly does not represent me as a woman in any way.

incurable hippie said...

Thank you both for your thoughtful comments. They were Eve Ensler's words, not mine, but I too couldn't agree more.

I'm not in the US but am watching on from across the pond in horror at what may happen.

We had Thatcher here. If any proof were needed that women can destroy other women, she is it.