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Zoe Nicholson: “Don’t dismiss me. Invite me. Push my wheelchair. Tell me your issues.”

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Can you handle more of the genius that is Zoe Nicholson?  Read parts one and two of our conversation, then dive in:

 

THE RADICAL HOUSEWIFE: We discussed a bit about intergenerational tension, and now I’m wondering if you have any insight about how to bridge conflict within the waves themselves.  Intersectionality, as you pointed out, does look a bit like chaos–witness SlutWalk and the current online Mommy Wars being waged among prominent Third Wave bloggers.  How can we unite something that, on the surface, feels fractured beyond repair?

ZOE NICHOLSON: My answer may surprise you but here it goes – I don’t think that work on “repair” is work well spent.  I think the answer is to be the answer.  Your life demonstrating the politics, your writing expressing the diversity is the only thing that actually works as it lives beyond “repairing.”

Let me give you a famous example: Gloria Steinem always insists on diversity on any panel.  You may also know that she traveled with Women of Color as her speaking partners.  The officiate at her wedding was Wilma Mankiller, Chief of the Cherokee Nation.  There is no veracity in accusing Ms. Steinem of racism as she has consistently demonstrated otherwise in her life.

From left: Angela Davis, Wilma Mankiller, Gloria Steinem

Another fine example is Harvey Milk who traveled with his speaking partner, Sally Miller Gearhart.  Harvey was a champion of the Daughters of Bilitis and Labor Unions.  These people could have written a paper reaching out, stood strongly on the issue of diversity but nothing is as pure and powerful as being the change you seek.

Another irresistible component is to insist on standing behind the least in the crowd.  Gandhi renamed the untouchables, the harijan, Children of God. He shared his ashram, food, even latrines with harijan.  Applying that to the Women’s movement, when we talk about wage inequity, we say women make 77 cents on a man’s dollar ~ well not really.  Black women make 69 cents, Latinas make 59 cents.  Gandhi would have instantly said – women make 59 cents – not even going for the average – but rather identifying with the least favored. 

I had a truly remarkable thing happen to me a couple of years ago.  While defending ENDA-I, inclusive ENDA, I was asked if I was a Transgendered woman.  In that moment, I was able to identify how I really feel about transgendered people and discrimination in regards to transgendered people.  Following it down the road of my mind, I saw what each answer would transmit.  I did the only thing I could think of that would demonstrate my true feelings – I declined to answer. My intention was/is to demonstrate that I embrace all women and do not want to claim any ground of being higher than another.  I did not want to step away from anyone, diminish the question, lift my petticoats and tiptoe away.  Now if asked, I say that I am queer and that is all the information I will give.  WbW or trans are both women.

I recommend to the Second Wave to collect their information, their inspiration and find an heir.  To the Third wave, to share their skills, their ideas and, most importantly, identity their issues for the Second Wave.

A long time ago I went to an event at the Wilshire Ebell Theater where all of the women who were over 40, professional, renown, established were on the main floor seating.  In the balcony you would have found all the interns, clinic escorts, hotline volunteers ~ the young women in the movement who do all the heavy lifting for so little money, recognition or gratitude.  My ideal is, not reverse it, but to integrate the entire event.  Imagine if a profoundly active women in her 80’s was sitting next to a clinic escort; the older one having demonstrated in 1972 for Roe and the younger one now facing the anti-choice people in a clinic parking lot. That would be a conversation!

Don’t dismiss me.  Don’t leave me home thinking Facebook is for kids.  Invite me.  Push my wheelchair.  Tell me your issues.  Ask me to be involved with you.  To my older sisters, keep the chair next to you open and invite your heir to sit with you, not behind you.  No, you can’t have my torch – make your own – but please light yours from mine.  This is a dynasty with lineage.

If you are integrated and you live that way – when the criticisms fly – they just fly by.  Your life shows otherwise.  (by the way, I sat in the balcony)

I’m in CNN!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

No, not ON CNN.   IN CNN.  As in writer Ashley Strickland’s CNN Living article today, “Mom bloggers take on politics,” featuring comments from your own Radical Housewife herself on politically engaged blogging & parenting.

I’m in the company of Joanne Bamberger of PunditMom, Jaelithe Judy of MOMocrats, and Political Mommentary’s Molly Teichman, the lone conservative in the group.  Strickland acknowledges that there is some “tension” between political mom bloggers, and there is, though not for the reasons you’d think (let’s just say that MY husband doesn’t have a Twitter account for a reason. Hee-hee). My thanks to Ms. Strickland  for inviting my participation.

And for the record, it’s true: I really DO prefer Madonna to Ke$ha.  Hell, I prefer Madonna to Obama!  Can I get an “express yourself” up in here??

Minnesota: so much to answer for

Monday, August 15th, 2011

So Michele Bachmann won the Ames High School Student Council Elections…. er, the Iowa Straw Poll.  Don’t blame me, America!  Not only does she not represent my congressional district,but  the man who does, Keith Ellison, gives her the serious heebie-jeebies.  What African-American convert to Islam wouldn’t?  Happily, I know her other Achilles’ heel: feminist children. Read the linked MOMocrats post and discover how an army of pro-choice kids at every campaign stop could prove her undoing.  If you thought she looked kooky on the cover of Newsweek, catch her after she sees a family like this one:

GAHHHHHH!  Feminists breeding little feminists!  If you think that’s scary, you might not be ready for something infinitely more terrifying.  Check it:

This is Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign after his pathetic showing in the Straw Poll.  But on the campaign trail, 13 people weren’t killed when T-Paw fucked up.  Word is that he’s angling for a Vice President slot, again.  This is a man who can’t take a hint.  My advice, America?  Learn from Minnesota’s mistakes and do not let him anywhere near your executive branch.  EVER.

Otherwise Prince will get angry, and like Michele’s Newsweek cover , that ain’t pretty.

 

 

And now for even stranger things…

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

I’ve been blogging as The Radical Housewife for a long time–so long that my first platform was on MySpace (remember MySpace? The hottest spot on teh interwebz during the Dubya years? Me neither). Things are a bit more complex nowadays, both online and in real life. Hell, my firstborn is in middle school, checking his chin and pits daily for signs of impending pubescence. It’s time for a radical upgrade.

Watch this space, fans! The New & Improved Radical Housewife Blog is coming your way!

What the shutdown means for our children.

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Happily, we spent our 4th of July weekend in the great state of Wisconsin, where booze is sold on Sundays and the lottery tickets flow freely! Whew!

In all seriousness, please read this article from Minnesota Public Radio News about how shutting down child care subsidies is already hurting impoverished youngsters, the workers who care for them, and the parents who count on these state subsidies to keep the jobs that are supposed to help them out of poverty. And a job is a path to economic stability far more reliable than the lottery–or at least it used to be. Now? All bets are off.

This picture should be worth your vote.

Monday, June 13th, 2011

I haven’t posted as much in this space, but anyone who knows me well could guess that I don’t give a damn about weiners (I’m a vegetarian) or Rep. Anthony Weiner (at least as long as Sen. David “I paid hookers to diaper me” Vitter remains in office). But I am not above goofing off with the carnivores’ Wurstteller from Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit to make you laugh….and ask you for one more vote in the Circle of Moms’ Top 25 Political Mom Bloggers contest.
Click on the icon below to cast one more vote before 5 pm PST tonight. I need to stay in the top five, people! Ask yourself: would the Jenny Erikson pose with two slimy German sausages to get your vote? The holier-than-thou nut who writes Little Bytes News? I think not! For only feminist moms know how to have this much fun. Check out Elliott’s expression if you don’t believe me.

This makes me so happy.

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

I love this picture almost as I love these three beautiful, smart, amazing women. They followed my May 31 post’s instructions to the letter and purchased the Reverb issue of Bitch at True Colors Bookstore in sunny south Minneapolis. They supported feminist media, feminist retailers, and feminist writers all at once! I bet they even went home and entered a vote for their favorite feminist mommyblogger (me, of course). Thanks to these three sweeties, I am content–a not insignificant achievement in the frenzied final days of the school year. Thanks, friends!

Vote for your favorite feminist mom: ME!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


I am your favorite, right? You’d at least put me in your top ten, beside Viva La Feminista, PunditMom, Gloria Feldt, The Feminist Breeder, MOMocrats and MomsRising, right? Right??

Forgive my fragility–since the Pre-Rapture “Marriage” Debacle and the Post-Rapture Northside Twister I’ve been just a mess of nerves. Minnesota needs some love ‘n light right now, and there’s no better way for you to show it than to vote for THE RADICAL HOUSEWIFE as one of Circle of Moms’ Top 25 Political Mom Blogs. Vote every 24 hours to ensure I beat my evil twin Jenny Erikson.



The Radical Housewife

Votes:
43

ABOUT THIS BLOG

The Radical Housewife is dedicated to revolutionizing American family values one dirty diaper at a time. A writer, at-home parent, and activist serving her fifth term as president of Minnesota NOW, she makes righteous indignation fun.

URL

http://www.theradicalhousewife.com/

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2 days ago

AUTHOR

Shannon Drury

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Raptured!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

It must have happened early, during my regularly scheduled Saturday afternoon benders*, for when I passed out…er, fell asleep that night, all was perfectly normal in the land of Minnesota Nice. When I woke on Sunday morning, it was to a totally different world. It wasn’t heaven, and it wasn’t hell (though I was, as the warning goes, fresh out of beer). It was almost as if I was in….
***POST-RAPTURE BIZARRO WORLD***
…not my home state, which as I declare as loudly as possible to to everyone who’ll listen (and to many more who won’t) gave the world Hubert Fuckin’ Humphrey! A man who stated in 1948 that he wanted to his party and his country to”walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of civil rights.” Who said “liberalism, above all, means emancipation–emancipation from one’s fears, his inadequacies, from prejudice, from discrimination, from poverty.” Music to my ears!
Late Saturday night, the Minnesota Legislature took the final step needed to place a so-called marriage amendment on our 2012 ballot. Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota, and the law has survived the “activist courts” which conservatives so deeply fear. The point of the amendment is to keep the Minnesota “Family” Council’s coffers full and to perpetuate damaging stereotypes about LGBT folks and their children. Katherine Kersten, self-appointed Admiral of the Midwestern Morality Police, can write all she wants about how she and her cronies aren’t bigots, but you and I know better–we read the testimony of Jennifer Roback Morse before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary committee, in which she declared that it is “brutality” for a child to be raised by same-gender parents. Smells like bigotry to me!
On Sunday, I tried to attend the Harvey Milk Rally in Loring Park (I was scheduled to speak on behalf of Minnesota NOW), but I made Matt turn the car around when tornado sirens began to wail. A mile or so north of the park, one person was killed, several others seriously wounded by the tornado that touched down, wreaking havoc in one of Minneapolis’ most impoverished neighborhoods. The tornado that hit my part of town in 2009, by contrast, hurt no one at all and only made life messy, not dangerous–middle class, mostly white folk are never given a police curfew.
Post-rapture Monday? I got to hear that Tim Pawlenty is running for President because he’s the one who can give Americans the “truth.” This from a guy who cooked Minnesota’s books and squeezed Minneapolis dry for eight years so he could tell the “truth” that he didn’t raise taxes. I spent his two terms kicking myself for thinking that no one could be a worse representative of Minnesota governance than Jesse Ventura. T-Paw makes The Body look like …well, Hubert Fuckin’ Humphrey!

I don’t know much about Harold Camping’s theology. Tell me–do you think this what hell is supposed to look like for mild-mannered Midwestern atheists?
*don’t be silly! This photo is by a winner of Regretsy’s rapture photo contest. Though as a diehard Neely O’Hara fan, this is definitely the way I wanna go.

The Radical Housewife on white female privilege

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I wrote this in one of the thousands on comments on this subject: “As my profile picture shows, I am white. I wish I knew everything about everyone everywhere, but I don’t. I also wish I knew why humility is so often confused with weakness, and arrogance is equated with intelligence.”
In other words, it helps nobody to deny it. It’s not helpful to splutter away in every corner of the interwebs, “BUT BUT BUT…I’m not racist!…I mean, I have all of Sharon Jones’s records!!” Acknowledging privilege isn’t racist, it’s honest. Being born white confers privilege, and unpacking that privilege is a lifelong process.
This goes for you too, whitey. If a person of color has something to say about the matter, shut your mouth, keep your hands off the keyboard and PAY ATTENTION.

For further reading:

“Go After the Privilege, Not the Tits” Racialicious
“Afterthoughts on Alexandra Wallace and White Female Privilege” Feministe
“Stop Denying White Female Privilege” Womanist Musings