…Sometime in college I first encountered the myth of Cassandra. As I remember it (and it’s fuzzy), it boiled down to being cursed to speak the truth and not be believed. It struck me as an incredibly poignant fate. After all, the rational response to Cassandra’s curse would simply be to shut up. But somehow, that just wasn’t possible. …
…For all of the hatred, slander, and self-righteous fury we progressives get thrown at us, there’s something redeeming in asserting our dignity unapologetically. After all, for all that we aren’t believed, we’re still right.
We were right about the Iraq war. Nobody seriously disputes that anymore. We were right about the Bush tax cuts being irresponsible. The deficit explosion under the Bush administration has pretty much settled that question. We were right (as far back as the seventies!) about the need for alternative energy sources; now even conservative Republicans working for think tanks drive Priuses. (Archival research indicates that it was a Democratic President, one”Jimmy Carter,”who first called attention to this.) We were right about the consequences of staffing the government with anti-government ideologues and cronies; after Katrina, this is no longer an arguable point. We were right about the growing wealth gap, about the state of our health care system, about the dangers to our civil liberties (Gitmo, tapping telephones of reporters, Abu Gharib), about the utter harmlessness of gay marriage (do you know what happened in Massachusetts? Nothing, really.), and the incredible harm to our standing in the world that results from an arrogant cowboy approach to diplomacy. All of these are beyond reasonable dispute.
Yet, for all that, we’re still on the outs. That’s why I think of Cassandra.
When we speak the truth, we’re called â€˜strident.’ When we try not to be strident, we’re called flip-floppers. When we point out inconvenient facts, we’re called â€˜out of the mainstream.’ By the time the mainstream finally catches up to where we’ve been patiently waiting, we’re called â€˜tired.’ When we take offense to being slandered, we’re called â€˜angry.’ When we turn the other cheek, we’re called â€˜wimps.’ …
Blogger “Dean Dad” was writing about people with progressive politics generally, but I think his words speak very powerfully to feminists as well. Often it seems as though we are cursed to speak the truth and not be believed. And yet, we have not lost our voices or our enthusiasm for using them. The blogosphere particularly has been one place where we simply will not shut up, regardless of the insults, personal attacks, hostile e-mails and trolls generally that come our way. So this post is dedicated to all feminist bloggers. Long may we blog.