No, that is not a picture of me. Here is a picture of me:
The first picture you see above is Exhibit A: one Barbara O'Brien who has a blog I'd never heard of until a few days ago, mahablog. She not only has this blog, but she is also a practitioner of Buddhism which she writes about for About.com. I became aware of her and her blog when my friend AB put a link to my last piece about the death knell of leftist feminism and traffic from her site came over to Women Win Too. I was curious, so I checked it out, and I could feel my blood pressure rising, as many of us do when we have to confront the intractable conversation that substitutes for women's rights talk these days from the left.
First my friend left a provocative comment. Then this Barbara O'Brien left an even nastier response. I decided to weigh in because after all it was MY blog they were fighting over and I had noticed that Ms. O'Brien hadn't even taken the time to read my piece. So she sent me this response:
"I didn’t call any blog piece “Republican.” I called Anna Belle Republican, and she linked to “Women Win Too” as her blog.
However, the piece you claim as yours is nothing but name calling. Obviously you don’t like “lefty feminists,” whoever they are, but you never get around to saying why, or clearly state what they did that you think was so awful. There is some amorphous whining about “legislation,” but no clear statement of what legislation you are talking about and why you don’t like it. Eventually you mention “quota legislation.” I didn’t even know there was any “quota legislation” on the table anywhere. It’s way down everyone’s “to do” list, if it is.
Sloppy, writing, sloppy thinking, and not worth my time. Good by."
I tried to rationally rebut this argument, but I had been blocked from the site. In defense of my friend AB, she is using a very very interesting technique to try to break the leftist women from their old habits that are holding all of us back. It is called "Trolling For Women," and I suggest you read it. You might also want to sign up for her new women's news aggregator site that is totally non-partisan and carries both sides of the story. It's called Power of Women. She's starting to look like our own version of Andrew Breitbart, provocateur and writer!! You go girl!!! She may be controversial, but our quest needs to be fought on all fronts.
Anyway, back to Barbara O'Brien. At first I was livid having been cut off just like that without any reasonable back and forth about the issues at hand. Just name calling and nastiness with her nose stuck up in the air. My friend T is constantly telling me that something strange is amiss on the left of late. For those of you who don't know me, I am a recovering lefty myself. I am just shy of 60 years old, and most of my life was spent in Barbara O'Brien's camp. I left all of that after 2008 exposed that the leftists and Democrats are as sexist as the right and Republicans. I was one of the 3.4 million Hillary supporters who left the party for good, and the real sleight of hand in the 2008 election was how the Obama machine was able to unmoor so many of us who had been married to the party. A new read on that subject by Anita Finlay, Dirty Words on Clean Skin poignantly describes the experience of so many of us and pinpoints the REAL war on women coming from BOTH parties.
Anyway, as I was saying, my friend T says that there is this strange "lockstep" mentality that has emerged from the left, and if you don't fall in line and agree with every word they say, you are shunned and booted out. If how O'Brien treats folks is typical, and I think many of us who have tried to talk to these folks would agree that she is, it is a sad commentary about what "progressive" has become and that is a calcified and almost dictatorial totalitarian movement. It is very very sad to see my former proud party sink to that most un-American place where freedom of speech, freedom of ideas, and honest debate are shoved aside and bullying tactics are the order of the day. Just in case I am insulting the left, please know that the right is also guilty as charged.
I was also disturbed that a practicing Buddhist would be so nasty. I always thought that Buddhists always strived to be peaceful and loving, and honestly for someone who puts themselves out there as an example of what Buddhism is, I was disappointed not to get my chance to be heard in the name of free speech and honoring the divine in all of us. Oh well, I guess we're all only human, even Buddhists.
But the main point of all of this was that the left NEVER EVER listens to what those of us who are challenging them are saying. They continue to frame the debate in the left vs. right fight and have utterly closed their minds to the NEW ideas emerging. They continually dismiss these new ideas because they are so hardened in their framing of the issues that there is no room for anything new. They like to think of themselves as "progressive" which to my way of thinking means "forward looking." And forward looking means being open to new ideas. Now in case some of you mahablog fans find your way over here and think I am name calling, please take a breath and hear what I am saying. I am NOT calling you names. I am frustrated with you, yes, because you are NOT LISTENING. That is a legitimate criticism, not a name call. Also, I am NOT SAYING that your ideas suck. I actually believe that we all want the same thing. I am just saying that your TACTICS have been unsuccessful and that we need to try something new.
Really now, don't we all, even most of the women on the right, want equal pay for equal work? Don't we all want to see 50% of all power postitions to be held by women in both the private and public sectors? Wouldn't we ALL love to show our daughters that they really CAN be anything they want to be because there are others doing the things that we are telling them they can do? Don't we want to see the disgusting sexism we've seen all of our lives go away so we can be treated with a little more respect?
Those of us who have been paving the way for this new feminism that is being born have always felt that the left will be the very very LAST group to come on board because they are stuck in a rut. They do NOT represent the majority. But we need all hands on deck, and honestly Barbara O'Brien, I KNOW you and I and people like us really want the same thing. What's wrong with finding a new way to get there? For sure, the old way has let us all down-------we make 77 cents on the man's dollar, we hold 17% of Congressional seats, women run only 2.8% of the Fortune 1000 companies, we hold 12% of the governorships, never a woman president, never a woman VP. Let's work together and find a new path. The old one-----well you know that old saying, if you do the same thing over and over again and expect to get a different result? That's where feminism is right now.