By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Well, I felt frustrated here, too, over the failure of the largely middle-class base of the women's movement to protest against welfare "reform."
I have no objection to a young woman deciding that she's going to make a living on the state as a mother. I'm a rich grandmother manqué, and I'm very happy to support as many children as I possibly can with my tax pound. I'd rather pay for it than pay for the war in Yugoslavia.
I completely agree, but one of the painful things to watch in this country was that NOW remained loyal to Clinton throughout his many difficulties in the last year because he's pro-choice, while overlooking his role in enacting the most punitive form of welfare reform we could have imagined.
You know, what NOW really liked was being allowed to get close to Clinton. They really liked the illusion that they were in the smoke-filled room and that they were wielding a little power somewhere. Even though they seemed to think they were exercising this power through Hillary.
How do you feel about Hillary?
She shares a bed with the head of state, maybe, sometime. And, so what? She's an attorney. Big deal. There are women attorneys all over this country. She gets a job of huge importance . . .
You mean health reform?
Mm-hmm, and screws it up. Surprise, surprise, because that job should not have been given to someone in Hillary's position in the first place. So why is NOW so indulgent to Hillary and Bill? I just don't get it, you know. I really sympathize with Elizabeth Wurtzel [author of Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women] when she said it was a big failure of American feminists that they didn't defend Lewinsky. That they didn't see how vulnerable she was, that they didn't see her pathetic willingness to deceive herself about her relationship with the president as symptomatic of what women do all the time. And then they say, well, he's pro-choice. He's pro-abortion, in the way that every libertine is pro-abortion. And how pro-choice is he when he allows the United States to go on starving the United Nations of funds, because the United Nations is thought to support abortion programs in the Third World? There's nothing to be expected from this man. And that NOW should be pussy for him drives me nuts.
What do you think of Hillary's upcoming Senate run in New York?
I was incensed when she was allowed to address a plenary session for the U.N. Women's Year in Beijing. Every time I've been to a Women's Year Conference, we've had the wife of a head of state telling us what was what, reading a prepared speech from nowhere -- and that included, I may say, the great Imelda Marcos. And we had to applaud. And of course Mrs. Clinton. Get out of my face. Now there are women all over the world who've kept their own burrow, who should be there talking to us. Not the widows or the wives of politicians.
Well, since we're on the subject of the Clintons, you make the point in your book -- and I sort of winced when I read it -- that feminism is dishonored by its U.S. origins and its identification with the U.S. And I wonder how you think the NATO campaign affected that.
Oh, but it's all shocking and terrible. I argue seriously in my book that the relationship between feminism and pacifism is a real one. And that we shouldn't give it up. Even if we understand the equality argument about women in the military.
Yeah, unless -- and I hold this out as a very slim possibility -- there were a "military" that was truly devoted to peacekeeping. I would pick up arms for that.
Yes, except to do that, we have to put as much money into defense studies as we do into counterattack studies. At this moment, we don't have anything that could be seriously be called "defense." The only thing we can do, if someone does something that we don't like, is counterattack. And in this case, we counterattacked on a scale that was entirely immoral. Smashed a country, because it was -- some of the people in it were doing something we didn't like. So I think, like you, that we need a world force that would fight against man-made disaster and natural disaster; that would mobilize, like the fire brigade; that would come in wherever people were suffering. But we're light-years away from that. In fact, they [NATO] really enjoyed this conflict. Madeleine Albright was having a ball.
Which brings me to another point -- about aggression. In the book, you kind of blow off all the recent studies suggesting that testosterone is not so tightly linked to aggression after all. I'm more impressed by the fact that laboratory studies show there is not much difference between the sexes in aggressiveness. Remember, it's been very hard for women to express aggression without getting pounded from one direction or another. In fact, The Whole Woman bristles -- or I would say sparkles -- with a certain amount of aggressiveness itself.
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