Derrick Jensen talks a lot about toxic mimics. Rape, for example, is a toxic mimic of love and/or pleasurable, consensual sex. Identification with Diane Sawyer and Britney Spears is a toxic mimic of belonging to a community. You get the idea.
I've been thinking about the Republican Party's embrace of Sarah Palin, working mother, and I keep thinking "toxic mimic." The Democrats run Hillary Clinton, a woman, wife, mother, experienced lawyer and stateswoman. The Republicans show up at her speeches carrying banners that say: Iron My Shirts. They complain about everything from her "whine" to her "cackle" to her "cleavage" to her tearing up when emotional. They say she only won her Senate seat because Americans felt sorry that her husband cheated on her. (OK, Matthews said that. He's a Republican in my book.)
And then McCain gets a wild hair up his ass over being told "NO" by his staff when he wants to pick Joe Lieberman, a toxic mimic of a Democrat, and, all unvetted, selects Palin for his VP candidate. And all of a sudden, the Republicans scream sexism over and over and over again when legitimate questions are raised about Palin's experience, history, preparation.
One thing a toxic mimic can do, absent great care, is to cheapen and destroy the original archetype, concept, thing. It's a large part of their purpose. Thus, someone who's been raped may never again experience uninhibited love and/or sex. Sitting in your living room, watching tv, and feeling a connection with Diane Sawyer, brought to you by GE, keeps you from getting out into your real community and making bonds with real people. People for whom you'd stand up. Running Palin, who has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by feminism while deliberately trying to destroy it, may seriously undermine the progress of feminism.
Of course, we live in a culture soaked in patriarchy. So the "good" choice is to vote for Barack Obama, who thinks women shouldn't be "entitled" to abortions for "mere" mental health reasons, who picks Joe Biden, who shit all over Anita Hill, for his VP, even though a v large group of Democrats were obviously hungry for a female VP. The "good" choice is to vote for the Democrats, who picked Harry Pro-Coat-Hanger Reid for speaker, the same Reid who called Palin's speech "shrill."
But that doesn't change the toxic mimic nature of Palin's candidacy. She wanted to ban books in the library of her small Alaska town. She's pro-coat-hanger. She's anti-science. She's against teaching science in schools. She belongs to a church that wants to "convert" gays. She's a walking, talking, living, breathing, breeding toxic mimic of feminism.
What are you going to do between now and November to keep her from being one 75-year-old melanoma away from the White House? Do it for Hillary Clinton. Do it for your daughter, niece, friend. Do it for feminism. I love this movement too much to surrender it to its toxic mimic.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."