Monday, August 30, 2010

The Twisted Sister? Part III

Finally, the post about the title for this series. When I first read the op-ed something in my brain hooked on the one word 'twisted' and the rest is history, as they say, except that I have to defend the choice.

Here it goes: Sarah Palin accused radical feminists of being twisted sisters. Many 'on the (undefined) feminist left' have accused Sarah Palin of being twisted and no sister, and after writing these three posts I wonder if we should get rid of that 'sister' thinking altogether, or at least bring it to some relevance by focusing on how real sisters behave: They bicker and they fight, sure, but they also support and love each other, at least against an external threat. They are not all the same, not all sisters we'd select, and a sizable number of them are twisted.

So what? I quite like the idea of being a twisted sister myself. But someone not advocating for that whole quarrelsome and fractious and divided sisterhood, is she a sister, too? What does it take, hmh?

The use of 'sisterhood' is symbolic. Symbols are important and unimportant at the same time, one of those paradoxical concepts which you only get if you sit in the Lotus position and go ummmm a very long time.

They are important, because they can trigger a flood of relevant and irrelevant emotions and energies, some of which need to be triggered for proper political work.

They are important when they are absent, in the way positive references to the Firstness of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were absent in most of the discussions. First woman presidential candidate? PFFT. First Republican female vice-presidential candidate? BWAHAHA. Who cares about that shit (except perhaps for some silly aged feminazis)? Look at how monstrous she is! Look at how stupid she is!

Yet symbols are unimportant if all that there is is the symbolism, such as might be the case with Sarah Palin. They are like fast food with no nutrition. Ultimately mere symbolism is not enough.