Oct 302010

If I had been in Washington, DC today, I would have gone to the Rally for Sanity and/or Fear.  In fact I considered adjusting my plans so that I could attend because the whole idea of coming together to take back the commons appealed to me greatly.  But I ended up doing the second best thing and watching it on television.  For about 45 minutes–some good music, a couple of funny guys asking the ladies (their choice of words) to do this that and the other thing and hello??…almost a third of the way through the show and still not a woman on stage.  Really?

In case y’all hadn’t noticed, we womenfolk have been voting now for roughly a century, maybe we should be a part of the call for sanity too?  Feeling sad and demoralized, I hauled my lady parts off the couch and went to do my lady work–you know, the laundry and the grocery and the other stuff we’re supposed to do before we vote.

But for the purposes of media punditry, I taped the rest and fast forwarded through it after the chores and errands were done and I could kick off my heels and pearls and go back to being my jaded self.  Okay I admit it, I have a big  soft spot for Father Guido and Yusuf and I am still humming along with Mavis Staples, who along with Sheryl Crowe who from start to finish comprised the entire female presence on the stage except for brief appearances by an award winner and Olivia Munn and Samantha Bee.  I didn’t do a head count of all the people on stage, but suffice to say, they were badly outnumbered.Hardly surprising since only a small minority of the guests on The Daily Show are women, but still–this was supposd to be a tad loftier than a comedy show.  From where I sat, much as I really wanted to enjoy it,  in the end I just felt disenfranchised from the rally that was supposed to be about coming together.

How sad that  the words of Abigail Adams written as our country was just beginning are still so necessary today:

“I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

“Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.

“Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

“That your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute; but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up — the harsh tide of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend.

“Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity?

“Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the (servants) of your sex; regard us then as being placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness.”

 October 30, 2010  Posted by on October 30, 2010

  4 Responses to “The Entertainment Lineup At The Rally For Sanity Looked Like A Testosterone Fest”

  1. Lucinda, as you probably know, John mocked Abigail and replied that the men would never accept this “despotism of the petticoat.”

    But the real problem is that the ladies never did “foment a rebellion.” Then as now, we usually end up playing nice and to ask rather than insist.

    With all this, I am still flummoxed that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would so stupid as to do a show with so few women and so little feminist sensibility, given that progressive women are he core constituency of the party they apparently regard as the sane one.

  2. Gloria, agreed. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting a much longer piece tomorrow.

  3. I was busy at a memorial and not even thinking about the rally until this moment. If Lucinda’s description is accurate, as I’m sure it is, I can hardly believe they still don’t “get it.” But then again, just last week, I spoke at a national conference on the tea party and the key note speaker ignored women so I took the mike and said we had recognize how involved women are in this movement or we’ll have such a distorted story and understanding of its members, motivations, etc. The audience wildly applauded, which was nice, but most of the men who spoke after me, focused on men, always pointing out that Ruth or Professor Rosen’s point must be seriously considered. I simply changed the terms of debate but the consciousness level was pretty low at the beginning. I guess changes such as these will take longer than even I, a wizened historian of women, ever imagined. We truly are invisible still. Best to all and thanks for writing this, Lucinda.

  4. Gloria, you have hit the nail on the head that women did not foment a rebellion, or rather, it took a really long time for that to happen. I’m not surprised at the non-representation of women at the event, because that is how the Daily Show operates: hardly a female voice to be heard. They finally added another woman, along the most stereotypical lines. Too threatened or too secure that they will never be challenged, i’m not sure which. Boils down to the same thing. Worst of it is that many “ladies” don’t seem to notice and are perfectly happy to cheer them along. Frankly i’m more concerned by the female acquiescence to the show status quo than i am that these guys have no clue about inclusion.

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