Tuesday, June 17

legacy


Last night I watched American Experience: Eleanor Roosevelt on PBS. Each time I see something on her or read about her life I think the same thing: Now THERE was a feminist. And more – a humanist. Last night I sat and wondered what she would have thought of this primary election cycle and the general election to come.
I sat there wondering where her legacy was. I wondered what she would think about Michelle Obama being reduced to a ‘baby mama’ by Fox News and all the so called feminists staying utterly silent. I wondered what she would think of McCain calling his wife a c*nt and women saying they were going to vote for him rather than a Black man.
I don’t think she’d be surprised. Saddened and angered but not surprised. This is after all, a woman who braved death threats in order to help organize labor and racial protests in the 40’s. She faced down the Klan with nothing more than a pistol on the seat of her car when she was in her sixties, but we shouldn’t expect women to go on air and call Fox News out on their degrading and insulting coverage of Michelle Obama. Would Eleanor be surprised that the women who kept lists of the slights and insults that Hillary suffered would all of a sudden have turned blind, deaf and dumb? No – because these are the daughters of the women who worked so hard to get (white) women the vote and then thought they were done. The world was just for them so it was just for everyone. Eleanor moved on, covering over 40,000 miles in one year, working with and for the poor, the disparaged, and the needy. She was called ‘traitor to her class’ on a good day and worse than anything Cyndi McCain has dealt with from John on a regular one. She didn’t stop at advocating for women who were like her – she represented the US at the first assembly of the United Nations and oversaw the drafting of the Declaration of Human Rights.
She stood up - at great personal risk, over and over again, with no political gain for herself other than a love of the work. She stood up, she fought hard, with dignity and purpose. In her mid seventies Eleanor was serenaded by a young Frank Sinatra on a special he did. He asked her what one word she would say the 25 million watching if she could only say one. Her answer: Hope.
To the ‘feminists’ willing to use any arrow in the quiver against Obama in support of Hillary, to the women who will vote for McCain ‘out of solidarity with Hillary’, to the feminists who rake in money off of columns and books but were nowhere to be seen when the appalling statistics on rape in the military broke (or dozens of other issues) I would like to ask you to do one thing – go read about Eleanor. Go read the third most extensive FBI file ever, read a biography, read her own memoirs, speeches and articles. Here are some My Day columns for you.
Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.
I hope.

18 Comments:

Susan said...

Has no one seriously said anything to force them to be like "oh, my bad"?

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Amen!! She was truly the embodiment of the Proverbs 31 woman (I wish I knew of the prototypical women in other religions) that I try to base my womanhood on. Actually Ms Roosevelt, and women like her, should be the prototype for young women today everywhere, not just Americans. Not these myopic feminist like Hillary who often use there womanhood as way to guilt people into giving them a chance.

She is an American Woman in history who we don't look to often enough or invoke. Thanks for the link!

-OG

WNG said...

Not one person.
They immediately put out a statement calling the incident 'regrettable'. But for me it's not even about that any more -it's just where are these women? These women who were so vocal during Hillary's campaign. Who were supposedly so fired up. Who supposedly cared so much about women's issues. Where the hell are they?

WNG said...

OG she's one of my heroes. My daughter (if I ever have one) will be named Zora Eleanor...or Eleanor Zora - it depends on my mood. Her life is a blueprint for action and these so called modern feminists aren't fit to eat her dust.

NoRegrets said...

Thanks so much for the link to My Day. Really interesting. I'd sit and read them all now if I didn't have to work. I'm amazed about the statement on Apartheid way back when, and it still took so long to get rid of that in South Africa.

Jay said...

These "feminists" that are in "solidarity" with Hillary are too busy sliming this Doyle woman that Obama hired yesterday to do the things you are asking them to do. Maybe they'll get to it this weekend.

Unless Obama hires another woman they don't like.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

WNG!! I LOVE Zora too!! I feel you on the naming gig. My friend in Seattle, who blogs about mass transit under the moniker buschick for the Seattle PI, named her daughter Rosa after the original buschick.

Oh yeah on a green note...GO C's!!

-OG

WNG said...

She was amazing, NoR. I could write a whole book on her, but many, many people already have.

Jay - Doyle WORKED FOR THEM. They really just need to sit down and shut up if they aren't going to do anything productive. Personally I don't think Doyle was that great a choice (she was stunningly ineffective) but it wasn't my choice. Oh and BTW they were all fine with it two months ago when the talks began for her to come on board. ARGGHH! Don't these women have anything PRODUCTIVE to do? If not I have a list for them. I'd be happy to share.

WNG said...

OG -
I was named after my paternal grandmother and it's had a pretty big impact on my life. I carry her with me. Those are two women I would like any daughter of mine to have with her.
and one more thing...

GO CELTICS!!! BEAT LA!!!

Big Man said...

I'll check out the FBI file. Thanks for the informative post.

WNG said...

Well I try Big Man.
You can get to part of it through the PBS website. You can also do an FOI request for the full thing and a lot of it has been reprinted in many books about her. Hoover couldn't stand her and thought her 'race baiting' was going to destroy the country so she was watched like a hawk until her death.
Not that it stopped her :)

slag said...

Thanks for the ER inspiration! I loved You Learn by Living. Her whole "do one thing everyday that scares you" attitude is something I try to live by. Although some days I'm better at it than others. :)

Doc said...

*shakes head*

Convenient feminists, go figure.

WNG said...

Slag - I'm a fan so I share my fandom. You like it now that it's Eleanor...but just wait for football season :-)

Not all of them Doc, but I'm getting tired of people (men and women) who would rather whine about things than DO SOMETHING about them and can't back up their supposed principles with action.

The CEO said...

Elanor Roosevelt was one of the greatest human beings to have ever lived. She really over shadowed Franklin, who was no slouch either. She is also one of my heroes of all time.

WNG said...

Because you have great taste, Monty, obviously :-)
I don't know how many of us could really live up to or even surpass her legacy, but I wish more women, more people, would TRY.

Gye Greene said...

G,


Brilliant post. :)


--GG

WNG said...

Thanks, Gye!!!