“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Monday, August 15, 2011


Yesterday morning I posted a few, still forming thoughts, on "-isms" spurred by the critical acclaim at the box office, and the critiques, of the book and movie, "The Help." And, frankly I was also feeling irritable from watching an interview on "Meet the Press" with Michelle Bachman, who deflected every question with sound bite answers, like a "Stepford Wife," programmed with what to say but without a thoughtfully active brain cell supplying the ability to be insightful. Irritated because I can't believe anyone finds her, or any of the GOP/Tea Party folk, Presidential material. (Harsh words for me, a strident supporter of women in leadership, except her leadership style lacks integrity and intelligence.... really, I have to get off of this trajectory, I have other things I'm thinking about). There was a good YouTube clip floating around Facebook yesterday of a Republican talking about GOP reform, of wanting his party back, the reflective, intelligent, GOP, the party of Abraham Lincoln and the husband of the late great, Betty Ford.

Anyway, I digress, but that's what happens when one is trying to be thoughtful, to think things through from a number of perspectives...

Where I'm really going with my wanderings this morning is this: if one of the critiques of "The Help" is that it's racist, that it's about white folk to the rescue, then I'm wondering about the creative imagination. Thinking like this suggests to me that men should never write about women, or try to articulate a story about women's concerns. And, women should never write about the ideas, feelings, and experiences of men, nor should any ethnic group try to get inside the head of another and write from their perspective. We should stick to only our own experience and not attempt to enter inside the experiences of another. We should not attempt to walk in the shoes of another. Right? Isn't this a logical conclusion of some of the criticism?

And, secondly. "The Help" is just a book, a fictional story that reflects on what life may been like for people like the characters in the book. -"isms" of all kinds - sexism, racism, genderism, marriage rights, etc. are rampant in the world. The dominant group, regardless of color or religion or ethnicity, always has a tendency to enforce it's worldview on the less dominant groups....not that this is right to do, but it happens. In all regards we as human beings are able to live into a better sense of self, other, community, when we embrace fully the Golden Rule, "Do do others as you would do for your self."

Just wondering?

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