Monday, October 25, 2010
Defend Christine O'Donnell against sexism, Attack Christine O'Donnell for Sexism
First, before I get into the meat of it, I have to thank Brother Boyd for most of the "heavy lifting" when it comes to this blog. As a collaborative project, I don't think I've really been holding my end of the collaborative process. We owe him a big debt of graduate.
Now, own with the post...
Although I am Canadian, I have been following the twists and turns of the recent elections, especially the "extremist" GOP candidates who have been nominated, chief among them is Christine O'Donnell.
I think that J.R. is 100% right when he says that defending people who are victimized deserve support, for whatever reason. This should be a principle for action for all progressive people in struggle for a more just world. That being said, it's important that in defending peoples against oppression, that does not mean support for that person. Our defence needs to be as critical as it is resolute.
In Christine O'Donnells case, we have to fight against the people who think that she is unfit to be political because she is a women, at the same time, we must attack her for her positions that actively dis-empower women, LBGT* peoples, working people and immigrants.
In 1997, O'Donnell took to C-SPAN to complain that the government was spending too much money combating AIDS. She voiced concerns that a drag queen ball "celebrates the type of lifestyle which leads to the disease." She also objected to calling those with AIDS "victims" and said the disease was a consequence of a certain "lifestyle." She opposes abortion rights, even in the event of rape, incest or the health of the mother. She wants troops on the nation's northern and southern borders, walls and no amnesty for illegal workers.
O'Donnell and Palin like to portray themselves as "feminists". The problem is that they are women who are directly opposed to women's rights and the steps forward women have made the last 100 years. Their brand of feminism is one that women play a very specific role in society counter to the wider goals of mainstream feminism and completely alien to the radical, revolutionary syndicalist feminism we hope to help develop.
So yes, feminists should defend Christine O'Donnell, and at the same time attack her for sexism, homophobia and hate.