Sunday, November 02, 2008

Robin Morgan: Troll (Ava and C.I.)

Bill Flanagan: You wrote a pretty funny letter to Musician about Rickie Lee Jones.

Joni Mitchell: Oh... I can just see me when I'm an old woman writing nasty letters-to-the-editor all over the country.

Bill Flanagan: She made a crack in Musician about Linda Ronstadt trying to sing jazz, and you wrote that jazz wasn't a private sidewalk; anybody who wants to can walk there.

Joni Mitchell: She said that Peter Asher had appeared at a concert of hers, and she knew for sure that night that he would go and tell Linda to do a jazz album because jazz was now hip. What she didn't know was that Linda had this idea to do those albums with Nelson Riddle all on her own, had no support. Peter was chewing his arm up to the elbow thinking, "Oh God, this is terrible,this could kill her!" Just like Mingus. It was very risky.

Bill Flanagan: Losing another one to jazz.

Joni Mitchell: Yeah. This did not look like a good move. She did it purely on her own impulse. It was something she wanted to do. It was completely her own idea and her own artistic motivation. So at first I tried to write the letter from that tack and then I thought of Geraldine Campbell when I was a kid. She used to chase me with a hatchet if I crossed in front of her house. If I'd go up the back alley she'd be there saying "This is my property. You can't cross over it!" And I thought, man, it was like Rickie was possessing jazz. It was there before her, it'll be there after her. I was dabbling in jazz and being persecuted for it by the time she had some public success with it. And I'm not the innovator of it, I didn't invent it. It's all a totem pole.

The above exchange is from Bill Flanagan's "Joni Mitchell Has The Last Laugh" (Musician, December 1985). We thought of that last week as Robin Morgan resurfaced at (Democratic Only) Women's Media Center to yet again attack Governor Sarah Palin.

Journalistically, it was an embarrassment for many reasons including the fact that she made no apologies for her still uncorrected lies from her last swipe at Palin. But what it really said was, "Robin Morgan thinks she owns feminism!"

You sort of picture Robin with a hatchet, screaming at everyone and having no idea how, not only is she coming off like a crazed psycho, she's doing so -- in the eyes of many -- in the name of feminism. Or maybe, like Isaiah,' you see Robin as "Ms. Troll"?

Ms. Troll

A functioning movement would have told Robin to cool her jets some time ago. They would have told her that 'movement troll' was no road to liberation.

We always say we write "a" feminist take and not "the" because feminism is a diverse movement. Robin fails to grasp that and seems to think because she coined some phrases at the end of the sixties (and stole some without crediting -- not exactly sisterhood behavior), she owns feminism.

Feminism was there before Robin Morgan was born, it'll be there after she's gone.

After you've gone and left me crying

After you've gone there's no denying

You'll feel hurt you'll feel sad

You're gonna miss the best friend you ever had

It's like Judy Garland was singing the song just to Robin!

One of 2008's big failures is the lack of leadership from 'leadership.'

Women like Robin Morgan have had nothing to contribute for the bulk of the year because they've seen their role as 'leaders' as 'big ass boss.' They're not anyone's boss.

"Leadership" in the feminist movement is not anything to hoard over anyone. It is a role that comes with responsibilities and Robin (and Kim Gandy and many, many more) have acted as though responsibilities don't exist and that the grassroots are nothing but idiotic minions waiting to be ordered around.

Sarah Palin isn't just a woman, she's one who self-identifies as a feminist, does so publicly and has done so publicly for many, many years.

Robin's panties are in a twist and damp because Palin's not pro-choice.

Too damn bad, get the f**k over it.

We've advocated here that feminism was not elastic and that certain guidelines need to be created (and Rebecca's long done that at her site). 'Leadership' ignored it because it wouldn't allow them to claim assorted questionable women in Ms. yearly (and embarrassing) wrap up charting all the YOU GO FAMOUS GIRL! moments that have damn little to do with the feminist movement. They wouldn't have been able to run so many questionable celebrity covers (we're not speaking of this decade) if they'd narrow the term down.

Having refused to take up that argument, Robin Morgan cannot show up and suddenly attempt to change the rules because she personally loathes Sarah Palin.

Palin's a feminist. By the rules and standards in place in 2008, Palin's a feminist.

Tough s**t, Robin, grow the hell up.

Instead of doing that, Robin decides to launch one cat fight after another. In fact, she's become The Ultimate Cat Fighter (though, if it would hurry her scampering off from public life, we'd gladly step in the cage with her and take her on). A bitchy, negative, nagging shrew attacking a younger woman. The younger woman is a vice presidential nominee. And Robin? To put it kindly, she's a "faded rose from days gone by."

As a 'leader,' she's supposed to be aware of perceptions and she's damn well supposed to be aware that when she acts out every negative stereotype of feminism with her public stage caterwauling, she embarrasses the movement.

After we got past the fact that failed actress Robin wants to go out playing the role of the vengeful harpy, the thing that bothered us the most was this BITCHY moment from Robin:

But if any actual feminists are concerned about the effect on Women’s Movement institutions and energy of this clutch of "formers" (a former chapter official of a national feminist organization, a former editor of a feminist publication, former Democratic funders, former Hillary supporters, and so forth), let me reassure you. The "trust date" had already long expired on these women, who'd been voted off feminist leadership posts, or fired, or quietly asked to resign. Some are confessed consultants to the campaign whose candidates they now--surprise!--endorse. I never imagined I'd see a "feminist" mercenary. But then I never heard of rats climbing onto a sinking ship, either.

Rats? Oh, that's so very, very amusing because it reminds of so many stories of Robin's days at Rat and, let's be really damn clear here, if Robin wants dirty linen aired, we'll air all of it. Be prepared because the ground will shake.

There'll come a time

And you'll regret it

There'll come a time

You won't forget it

Robin's acting like a real bitch and that's the only word for it. She thinks she can determine not only whether Sarah Palin deserves feminist status but whether other women do as well.

She calls out feminists who support Sarah Plain and snarls, "Some are confessed consultants to the campaign whose candidates they now--surprise!--endorse." You mean like Robin tried to be a consultant to Barack's campaign? (They didn't want her. It's a homophobic campaign and there were concerns and confusions over whether Robin was "one of those lesbian feminists" as a Barack aide explained it to us.)

Robin's mind has decayed. There's nothing wrong with being a consultant to a campaign. There's something wrong with being one and hiding it. The women Robin's getting all catty about aren't hiding a damn thing. But Robin's tossing every piece of shit she can squeeze out at the wall and hoping something leaves a smear.

The only thing she's done is created a stink and an embarrassment.

It's no longer enough that she attack Sarah Palin, she now wants to smear other feminists. Let's repeat, if this is the new stage of feminism, Robin, please note, we'll partake and St. Robin of the Assembly Line Feminism will be the first burned at the stake; however, fairness will not allow us to stop with you. We'll burn 'em all -- friend and foe alike.

We'll talk about the money that disappeared from Ms. that no one was ever supposed to know about because it could 'embarrass the movement.' We'll talk about the 'gal' who was there for another after a marital break up and how, all these years later, the woman from the broken marriage has no idea that her 'friend' was the mistress. We'll make it as ugly and painful for all, we'll spread it around because we're not Robin Morgan, we play fair. If this is the new wave of feminism that Robin's 'leading,' then let's have at it. And we'll certainly discuss past smear campaigns by Robin and other 'leaders'.

When Robin went after Sarah Palin, she should have been loudly called out. It should have been obvious to her that feminism is not doing the bidding of the patriarchy by attacking a woman to advance a man.

Someone should have explained to Robin long ago that she doesn't own feminism and she doesn't control anyone but herself. (And she can't even control her mouth -- her mouth has a cracked mind of its own.) They should have made it very clear to her that feminism is not a private sidewalk but a public space and anyone can participate.
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