Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mary Gordon and Speaking One's Mind

Deborah Solomon's interviewee in her August 5th weekly New York Times Magazine column was the writer Mary Gordon. When asked, "Are you a Hillary Clinton supporter?" Gordon replied, "I think no woman is electable in America." She kept going, but reading that line, I remember thinking, "Wow, this woman has guts. Thank goodness someone is saying it. " My second thought was, "I bet she gets trashed in next week's letters."

This past week, there was one response: I've quoted it in its entirety below; click the link for author info.

"Thinking (out loud, in a highly public forum) that “no woman is electable in America” is a sure way to help make it true. Mary Gordon is a role model for this country’s female intelligentsia. Her publicly defeatist attitude is deplorable."

Succinct, well-written, and a bit knee-jerk? If, when directly asked, Gordon states what she perceives to be today's truth, is that "defeatist" and "deplorable," or is it exposing a sickness and giving it the air to heal? Even if she supports the candidate's agenda, and still doesn't think she's electable, would it have been a better thing to say "Yes"?

No matter the issue at hand, I believe that any feminist who suggests another should keep her or his mouth shut plays a dangerous game. That's why I adore these fine people.

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