I like her short stories a lot and would like to read her other stuff. But in class on Thursday, Betsey said that someone said of talking with Carter, that she would automatically take the opposite position and point out all the flaws with your argument. Clearly i am in love.
My father e-mailed me with the subject line: Who did I think of?
I think i should perhaps be barred from speaking about Left vs. Right because my experience of the divide is so skewed. I read thoughtful reasoned webloggers who lean conservative, and i read the personal online journals of people who lean liberal. Because my LJ people are thoughtful intelligent people, it feels appropriate to generalize from them, but the fact remains that they are not trying to write analytic pieces. If i read more informal stuff from conservatives perhaps i would feel the underlying current of bile which i feel in so much of the left and which turns me off so much. Anyone have intelligent thoughtful leftist pundits/webloggers to recommend? (The increasingly meaninglessness of the Left/Right divide given the overlap and even reversal of positions will be another post, as my father has written more articulately than i the same things i keep thinking/saying.)
I had never heard of Tammy Bruce before Jessica Chesnutt, but she’s gonna be speaking at Smith Thursday, February 19, 7:30pm, Seelye 106. I bold this because, according to her website, "Tammy Bruce is an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Reagan progressive feminist." Clearly i am stoked. Especially because i am going to grow up and be her (well, almost).
front page tagline: Political speaker prepares to assail feminism at Smith
page 4, 11
Conservativism empowers women, gays and blacks
Jessica Chesnutt | Features Editor
“I believe women will save this planet,” political speaker and writer Tammy Bruce said during a phone interview on February 9. According to website, www.TammyBruce.com, she is “an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Reagan progressive feminist,” will speak at Smith College in Seelye Hall 106, on February 19, at 7:30 p.m.
“Feminism transcends politics, transcends gender, transcends race, transcends economics,” explained Bruce. She described her belief in “authentic” feminism rather than the feminism presented to the majority Americans, which she said is actually socialism. The purveyors of this masquerading socialism enable the notion using “pain and suffering and victimization to maintain power,” Bruce explained, always keeping a group on the bottom, with an enemy against whom to fight.
The modern concept of feminism, Briuce argued, has “dismissed the importance of men in women’s lives” and made women uncomfortable working alongside one another, while “authentic” feminism supports the notion that “when women’s lives improve, everyone’s lives improve.”
Bruce’s interest in feminist activism in her mid-20s when she worked for abortion rights. “I [didn’t] want anyone, government or otherwise, to tell me what I can . . . do with my body,” she said. Her work brought her to the National Organization for Women (NOW), in which she was elected president of the Los Angeles chapter at a record-setting age of 27. Bruce served for seven years, promoting such issues as women’s image in the media, child care and violence against women.
Abortion issues remain essential to Bruce, but she stressed that the “focus on abortion rights has taken away discussion of sexual responsibility for women.” She expressed the desire that “the feminist movement should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time,” focusing on both abortion rights and sexual responsibility.
Often identified with conservatism, Bruce doesn’t truly fit within any party. She sees modern conservative politics as “really the classical liberal politics” of American history, “based on what you can achieve with [like] opportunities.” She explained that “the conservative wants less government, [which] allows individuals and groups to create better lives than where [they] were born.” In conservatism, she stated, the “individual . . . matters. [The] government helps those who can’t help themselves [and this] is the thing that sets individuals free.”
She described an overall political shift involving the left’s redefinition of center. The “left has gone so far left now [as to become] fascist,” she explained, describing the range of political thought as a continuous circle versus a line with opposite ends. Bruce said that “fascism comes from the diseased seed of the left,” and suggested that the nation look at “today’s conservative politics, which embrace the individual mind and individual success.”
Bruce has examined the overwhelmingly liberal nature of college campuses, and attributes this trend to “radicals from the 60s—like Bill Clinton—[who were] smoking pot, marching against the war . . . [avoiding] the draft, [going] to college, and [becoming] the establishment.” Such figures are today’s professors, politicians, and journalists. Such figures acted “like good socialists everywhere,” believing themselves to be in “sole possession of the truth,” and proceeded to indoctrinate those around them, Bruce said. She alluded to the trend of liberal college students changing political leanings to those more conservative after ten or more years of maturation.
Often faced with extreme reactions to her views, Bruce revealed that “the most groupthink and hostility [has come] from women on same sex campuses.” Same-sex education can be breeding ground for left-wing indoctrination, she asserts. “It’s not the real world,” and the “refusal to consider other information is so unreal. Part of going to college is to experience things unlike yourself.” Bruce suggested: “instead of eliminating men, [create] an environment that allows women to deal with what men do.”
Bruce explained that she was “politically alone,” due to her seemingly-contradictory views. She said that conservatives share many of her views, but are forced to reconcile her years of liberal activism, and furthermore, “religious conservatives don’t trust me,” Bruce stated, because of her homosexuality. At the other end, she is shunned by the left wing. “I am now becoming a true individual,” Bruce concluded, and after all, the “only real success is your individuality and ability to be alone.”
Tammy Bruce’s visit will be sponsored by the Smith College Republicans and funded by the Smith College Republicans, the Office of the President, and the Office of Student Affairs.