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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Big Blue Smurf Blogging: What They Said
Posted by Jill | 2:03 PM
It's about time someone said it. Today's honoree, Angry Mouse, over at, of all places, the Great Orange Satan, who notes the utter haplessness of so-called "feminist" organizations that want our money and accomplish nothing except solicit more money.

Money quote:
They’ve failed to organize the millions of supporters they have into a coherent and powerful movement. 'Cause when your movement looks like an amateur mess compared with the "keep your government hands off my Medicare" teabaggers, you're doing something wrong.

They’ve failed to frame the debate and influence how we talk about issues that affect women’s lives. While they're still arguing about "choice" -- a word that persuades no one and narrowly focuses the conversation on abortion instead of the full spectrum of reproductive health -- opponents are thinking up clever new phrases to use incessantly and force into the public consciousness until they become law. "Partial birth abortion." "Rights of the preborn." "Culture of life."

They’ve failed to make women’s rights a legislative priority for the very representatives they help send to Congress. And if their supposed allies don't worry about losing support of the feminist organizations, certainly their opponents don't lose a lot of sleep over invoking the almighty wrath of the feminists. What's the worst they can do? Organize another march? Hey, that might actually be great news for Republicans!

They’ve failed to adapt their movement and their message to a new era and a new generation of would-be feminists. Where are the bumper sticker slogans, the tactics, the refreshed, revised 21st century approach to a problem as old as time? Are they using the internet for anything more than urgent emails and processing donations? Where are the clever YouTube videos by a new generation of feminists talking about how this or that bill affects them? Where is the television presence? Where are the bloggers? (Oh, there are plenty of feminist bloggers out there, but they’re not being supported or promoted or elevated by the feminist organizations, who still think the internet is primarily for sending email. For example, guess who the "featured blogger" on Emily's List is? Why, it's Ellen Malcolm, the president.)

They’ve failed –- time and again, in any number of ways, under Republican and Democratic administrations. And if they don't figure that out, and figure out how to change it, they will become irrelevant. We already know how to raise money with the internet, and we don't need Ellen Malcolm, or her successor, or any of her FeminismTM counterparts to do it.

I'd take it a step further and throw in organizations like Moveon.org while I'm at it -- another group that barrages us with e-mails asking for money or signatures on worthless petitions that no one looks at. Moveon.org used to be sort of effective, but lately it's the same tactic -- send scary e-mails, ask for money, and accomplish nothing. Democrats in government want nothing to do with them. Petitions are useless.

I don't have any answers as to how to get our legislators to listen to us instead of to corporations. But these groups have been astoundingly ineffective. I don't know what the alternative is, but I for one have stopped throwing money down this empty hole. Instead, I donate to specific candidates, like Al Franken and Alan Grayson, who uphold the values that matter to me.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Teabaggers are the well funded servants of very wealthy components of the reactionary right. There's nothing amateur about them.

Expecting the grass roots left to be anywhere near as organized and effective as a movement that does the bidding of America, Inc is somewhat unrealistic.

The teabaggers would be no more visible than the left if they tried to do anything that didn't dovetail into corporate America's lobbying and PR plans of the day.