New York–Background: Recently New York State NOW president Marcia Pappas excoriated Ted Kennedy for his endorsement of Obama over Hillary. I criticized her for this, writing:
“Ted Kennedy has been a huge advocate of women’s and feminist issues for decades, but like a carping wife with a memory that never forgets, Pappas feels compelled to remind him of every time he apparently didn’t snap to fast enough for New York NOW. Pappas says that, graciously, ‘women have forgiven Kennedy.’ But now that Kennedy has chosen one liberal candidate (Obama) over another (Hillary), it is ‘the greatest betrayal,’ the ‘ultimate betrayal,’ and ‘abandonment.’
“Note that Pappas does not mention any political differences between Hillary and Obama–it’s all about voting for a woman. This is particularly ridiculous because here the contest is between a white woman and a black man. Despite women’s struggles, white women have always had and continue to have it vastly better than black men.”
To learn more, see my blog posts NY NOW’s Pappas Throws Baby Fit over Kennedy’s Endorsement of Obama over Hillary–and This Woman Defeated Us?! and NOW: ‘Gang Raping of Women is Commonplace in Our Culture both Physically and Metaphorically’.
One might think that Marcia would have calmed down by now and would respond with something more reasonable and accommodating, but this lady is a slow learner.
In the letter below to the Albany Times Union, Marcia justifies her infantile behavior by saying, “Social change isn’t made with tempered voices.” She may be right, but social change is made with sane voices. Marcia doesn’t qualify.
What’s particularly offensive is her comparison to Sojourner Truth–a heroic 19th century abolitionist and feminist. Marcia Pappas bears as much resemblance to Sojourner Truth as I do to a ballerina.
One positive on this–many other feminists didn’t like Pappas’ comments and said so, including the ladies at Feministing.com, who I’ve often criticized.
The letter is below–thanks to Dan, a reader, for sending it to me.
Social change isn’t made with tempered voices
Albany Times-Union, February 7, 2008
My response to Kathleen Parker’s Feb. 3 criticism of the Jan. 28 NOW-NYS press release (and while I am at it, my response to anyone who believes I should have kept my mouth shut about Sen. Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama), I say the following:
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul and most other feminist leaders had their critics, even within their own movement.
There will always be those who speak their truths and, on the other hand, those who temper their voices to please others. I am not the latter.
Anyone who knows me knows that I, along with my NOW-NYS organization, will continue to speak the truth without apology.
No social change was ever made by those who compromise their beliefs.
If the great activists of the suffrage movement had listened to their more timid “temper your voices” sisters and brothers, women would still not have birth control, abortion, or the right to vote. Indeed: “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”
MARCIA A. PAPPAS