Cedra Crenshaw vs King Samir Shabazz: The hand that rocks the cradle?

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I am up against the same machine that put Barack Obama in office. The machine came in, they wiped all of his competitors off the ballot, just like they’re trying to do to me,” grassroots Illinois state senate candidate Cedra Crenshaw told an Independence Day audience Saturday,” drawing her secret weapon: “They can’t call me a  racist, white, evil man.” You can donate to her legal defense fund here.

By Sissy Willis of sisu

“You hear so much about conservative women leading this conservative movement in this country, and I really believe that conservative women are the most persecuted figures in politics right now,” says Dana Loesch in a refreshingly candid Dana Show radio interview — crossposted at BreitbartTV — with “mama grizzly” Cedra Crenshaw. Does the hand that rocks the cradle still rule the world? More about that in a moment, but first a few excerpts from the interview:

She’s a wife, she’s a stay-at-home mom, she’s an education reformer, she’s an accountant, and she was fed up, and so she threw her hat in the ring.

She has enormous support from the grassroots movement, and she has terrified the Chicago Machine, who is trying to move heaven and earth to get her off the ticket.

The Tea Partiers love her. Listen to the Dana Show interview and her Independence Day speech, and you will understand the smart, common-sense appeal of this authentic American voice. Fellow Illinois Republican Adam Andrzejewski at Big Government has more:

Why is the machine afraid? Because a new class of leadership is starting to develop. These new leaders threaten to end the shell game of taxes, politics, and patronage. Cedra Crenshaw is one of those new leaders, and she’s is running for state senate against one of the Chicago Machine’s rubber-stamp apparatchiks.

She’s an accountant who wants to spearhead a forensic audit of Illinois state government. A former auditor at Deloitte and Touche, Cedra supports an audit of the half a trillion dollars of Democrat-controlled state spending during the blow-off historic corruption of Blagojevich/Quinn. The Democrat Machine — contractors, politicians, and patronage army — stand in naked fear of the result that such an audit would bring.

“The mainstream media is completely ignoring you,” Loesch notes, “because you defy their narrative of what conservatism is.” Crenshaw agrees, but with new-media avenues like the Dana Show itself, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, fire-breathing bloggers and twitterers and Tea Party energizers, she’s been able to disintermediate the media powers-that-be to get her narrative across loud and clear:

People in this state, they want jobs. They want economic growth. They’re not interested in more handouts and more promises … My opponent, he’s got no solutions except more tax increases.

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While uniters like Cedra Crenshaw are pursuing the American Dream, dividers like New Black Panther Party Philadelphia chapter leader “King Samir Shabazz” (at 2009 street festival above) pursue the nightmare part of Myron Magnet’s The Dream and the Nightmare: “I hate white people. All of them! Every last iota of a cracker, I hate him! You want freedom? You’re going to have to kill some crackers! You’re going to have to kill some of their babies.” Whatever gets you on the evening news. Shabazz was caught on tape intimidating voters at the polls in November of 2008, but in his infinite and inscrutable wisdom, Attorney General Eric Holder is dropping charges.

Contrasting the public faces of Cedra Crenshaw and King Samir Shabaz, the words of William Blake’s The Tyger” come to mind: Did he who made the Lamb make thee? We found a timely interpretation of the riddle in Juliette Akinye’s provocative and insightful blogpost “Scarred Souls: More About Abortion” (h/t twitter buddy King Shamus of Blog de KingShamus), where the blogger AKA Baldilocks casts the old-fashioned notion of women as civilizers of men in a contemporary light:

There might be a little preaching. That’s an essential part of me. He’s a part of me…

All women should stop creating the exterior and — more importantly — the interior conditions under which abortion is an option. And by that I mean that all women should stop giving themselves to men who they are not sure will love, cherish and protect them and any prospective offspring they may create by having sex with each other …

You see, there’s this thing about women, a thing that makes us different from men, aside from the physical aspects. When we lie down with a man, we are giving him more than physical pleasure and doing more than gaining physical pleasure for ourselves.

When a woman has sex with a man, she joins her soul with him [For those of a more scientific bent, it’s a matter of chemistry — oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone“] …

Think about all the illegitimate black children there are in America and think about the fact that black women have the highest rate of abortion of any women in America. That statistic says that there are very many black women who are giving themselves to men who don’t care about them.

Here’s the kicker that illuminates the disjunct between Cedra Crenshaw’s and King Samir Shabazz’s American dreams:

And, on top of that, we can take these effects and mirror them onto black men, too many of whom are angry at the world, angry at black women, and angry at themselves (black-on-black crime). That anger almost always stems from observing or experiencing the spiritual, moral and worldly failure of their mothers.

It’s the nanny state, stupid! The unintended consequences of the debilitating dependency fostered by those handouts Cedra Crenshaw’s supporters want no more of.

Update: Related thoughts and video from Ed Morrissey:

“Mama grizzlies” actually fits better in the Tea Party movement, which I’ve argued is driven in the main by activist women. These are women with families who aren’t focused on what government can do for them, but what government should be doing, period. They’re defending their turf rather than looking for handouts, and defending their children from expansionist government and the massive spending that their children’s children will have to repay. It’s a good brand to stake out for Palin, but she’s been doing that all along with the Tea Party movement (as has Michele Bachmann). This just puts a label on it, and one that sounds much more assertive than “soccer moms” did.

Crossposted at sisu, Riehl World View and Liberty Pundits.

A Forgotten Classic of Feminist Psychoanalysis

Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?  Like the worst of both worlds — academic, jargon-ridden, hatchet-wieldingly ideological?  But no, in this rare case it’s the best of both worlds: humane, expansive, magical.  I’m not sure if it’s possible to change human nature, but Dorothy Dinnerstein thought that if anything could, it would be the new fatherhood.

I found these quotes I’d copied out in some old notebook/ commonplace books.

And this mysterious body, this body whose transience we try so vainly to feel as a fact, is loved with a special reverence for continuing, miraculously, to live, and hated with a special loathing for promising, incredibly, to die.

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The sinking sense of falling — loss of maternal support — is the permanent archetype of catastrophe.

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[T]he sexual realm . . . is a wildlife preserve in the civilized world, a refuge within which inarticulate, undomesticated private creative initiative is protected from extinction.

They’re from Dinnerstein’s  The Mermaid and the Minotaur, which relates to the Jimmy Buffett lyric, “Some people claim/ that there’s a woman to blame . . .” From Amazon reviews:

I read this book twenty years ago when I was in college. I found (and still find) Dinnerstein’s feminist argument for shared parenting to be one of those books that has the potential to change lives. . . . The kernel of her argument is that so long as we all are raised (exclusively or predominantly) by our mothers or by female caregivers, children will grow up with a deep-seated resentment of the feminine (since no parent can perfectly anticipate a child’s needs, and all children, in growing up, will be conditioned by our infantile rage at our parent’s imperfections). . . . At the age of twenty, I was persuaded by Dinnerstein to be (when I did have kids) an active and equal participant in the raising of my children, from changing diapers to feeding and everything else. I was so convinced of the importance of her analysis, and of its potential to change lives, that I have, in the past few decades, bought and given away as gifts eighty-eight copies to male and female friends. (I figured that if I just told people what a great book it was, few would follow up, but that if I actually bought it and thrust it into their hands, they might be moved to actually read it.) I’m not sure how many of these were actually read by the recipients. But I can report that out of 88 copies given away, eight people came to me afterward and said something to the effect of, “This book changed my life.”

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Dinnerstein also relates the fear of death to how women rule the infant’s world and men the adult’s world. Seem unrelated? Phrase “womb to tomb” captures it best perhaps.

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it is not “just another” “feminist ” title. Indeed quite a few feminists have objected mightily to it over the years. The big problem, though, it that it has been roundly ignored over the years!

I agree.  Although it is quite Romantic, the book made enormous sense to me when I read it around age 30, especially in explaining the cruel control of women in so many traditional cultures.  Its influence still lingers.

“Creeping Unhappiness” for Women, Especially With Age?

Marcus Buckingham at HuffPo provides an overview of the research suggesting both that women’s life satisfaction has declined since second-wave feminism opened up so many more opportunities for us, and that women get unhappier as we get older, while men get happier.  Buckingham has his own theory about why, which he won’t unveil till next week (meanwhile, he pitches his own book, hinting that it contains the antidote).

The Love Goddess thinks the latter unhappiness, at least, comes because society doesn’t value older women, and because women who have been pouring out care on others all their lives know that no one is likely to do the same for them.

These are really two separate issues, so let’s take them one at a time.

As for unhappiness unexpectedly keeping pace with opportunity, if this is even true — I can’t even begin to relate to it personally — I think some tough love is called for.  Opportunity brings with it anxiety, stress, and responsibility.  It requires a kind of worldly maturity and direct exposure to rough-and-tumble that women were protected from as long as they were sequestered in the moist nursery of “women’n’children.”  And it also means you dare to want more, much more, so you are likelier to fall short of your aspirations.  That’s as it should be.  Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs (well, um, no; that’s a whole other issue for women, as I hope Sara of Shady Sadie will soon post here); to paraphrase Robert Browning, “Ah, but a woman’s reach should exceed her grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”  Men have lived with this inevitable shortfall for millennia; women are just discovering it.  No, you can’t have it all!  But that’s no excuse not to try!

I still remember the first time I read Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, in my twenties. What I remember so very vividly about that novel is that the narrator, protagonist, heroine, whatever you call her, described her loving and sexually fulfilled relationship with her husband as a long sleep.  I don’t even remember how that relationship ended, but at the end of the novel, she is involved with a crazy man named Saul Green — based on Lessing’s real-life lover, radical writer Clancy Sigal — who keeps shocking her out of her desire to fall into that trance again.  As a result, through great pain, he forces her to consciousness, gives her herself.  Not exactly “happiness,” but maybe worth more.  It’s not incidental that that was the part of the story written in the golden notebook.

Now on to the aging thing.

A big part of most women’s power is our sexual attraction for men, as women briefly tried to deny during the heady early days of hairy legs and baggy overalls and “love me for my soul,” soon to rush back to “If you’ve got it, it’s masochistic not to flaunt it!”  It’s fair to say that the vast majority of women now blend their beauty and nubility and sexuality into their creative and professional power, just as men do their sexual potency.  And while men’s hydraulic potency may falter, their desire and their fertility, unlike women’s, never do.

Another big part of most women’s power is motherhood, or at least the potential for it — and even if you’re not a mother, take it from me, you’ll be seen as a mother and cast in a mothering role, because that’s such a huge part of what Woman means to men, to everybody.

It’s arguable that with all these powers, in addition to the powers of mind and spirit that we share, women have more going for them than men.  The price we pay for that abundance is that we lose two-thirds of it at menopause.  And we mourn it. Duh!  Men can substitute money and Viagra for youth without making themselves quite as ridiculous as the superannuated cougar buying herself a young companion.  Nature gives and nature takes away.

Older women still have a lot going for them.  Us.  What Margaret Mead called “post-menopausal zest” really does exist; it’s like being twelve again, with that pure passion for absorption in the world that was lost for forty years in a voluptuous haze of lust and fecundity.  On top of that, there are children and their amazing attraction to grandmother figures, which offers you a whole second (and in my case, first) wind on mothering if you want it.  Anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and others think that grandmothers greatly enhanced child survival, and that’s why we live so long past menopause; that this bond was even crucial to human evolution.  There it is for the taking, again, if you want it — little kids opening up and reaching out to you.

The unhappiness of female aging is partly legitimate fear of being alone, and awareness of shallow society’s disdain.  But it’s also partly just a narcissistic wound.  And to that part I say:  mourn it, and then get over it.