The following article attacking Sarah Palin, written by Eve Ensler, appeared in The Huffington Post. WARNING, if it doesn't offend you, then my following remarks almost certainly will.
Drill, Drill, Drill
I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.
I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.
But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.
I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.
Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."
Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.
She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.
Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.
Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.
Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.
I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.
If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.
Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?
I thought I had a phobia about dentistry.
If you read this kind of thing head-on, the anger and irrationality of it make the idea of dialogue awfully hopeless. But then the creator of the Vagina Monologues isn’t welcoming every vagina to have a say, and I haven't got one anyway.
On the other hand, Ms. Ensler may simply be engaging in extremely heavy irony. For years I’ve been noticing how people whose career choices have put them seriously enough in debt to the Left can thereafter communicate with outsiders only by the most oblique form of code. Could this be Ms. Ensler’s anti-abortion manifesto in disguise?
Anyway, it goes without saying that Ms. Ensler would not be having her play produced on almost every campus in America (including Catholic campuses--AAARRRRGGHH!!), if she weren’t a champion of that most vagina-affirming and sacred activity known to womankind--of course I’m talking about going knees-up for a stranger in a lab coat while he excavates the womb of its unwanted contents, bills you, and disappears from your life forever, or until next time.
Because Ms. Ensler is someone widely recognized as an expert on the female organ, and who has conversed so widely with so many of them, I’m surprised at how shallow is her grasp of how, most of the time, babies come to be. (For example, “I imagine [Sarah Palin’s] daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.” None, actually. It’s not practicing abstinence that makes babies.)
In Ensler's view, the remainder of babies, (when they don’t come from abstinence) come into being as the result of rape, or, in an odd verb choice, because of women being violently “incested.”
In this kind of emotional approach, where babies are always only the fruits of violence, it’s only fair they die by violence, n’est-ce-pas? Doesn’t it follow (speaking emotionally, that is), that if your father’s a rapist, it’s only simple justice that you deserve to die without mercy, not to mention without due process? It’s not as if you’re a cop killer or a terrorist, or some other practitioner of political speech, in which case you’d at least be entitled to the advocacy of an ACLU lawyer and a runway’s worth of Hollywood starlets.
Ms. Ensler’s precious self-image allows her to lecture the rest of us from the vantage of a person who is unimpeachably good (as in, “The people who made this choice [selecting Palin] count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists”). Elsewhere, she casts herself as guardian of “saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.” (This kind of smugness does have an explanation, as I see it. Evolution, to compensate the liberal mind's diminished capacity to process facts, has provided for a defense mechanism a complete immunity to moral self-awareness.)
As one manifestation of Ms. Ensler’s goodness, she partakes mystically in the exquisite suffering of dumb nature at the hands of Republican enemies—for example, she feels for the ozone, for the seabed, for the peaceful Iraqi oil deposits that never did anything to us.
And then there are the Polar Bears, a relationship second only in bizarreness to her relationship with drills. “I have a particular thing for Polar Bears,” she writes. “Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one.”
(Maybe. Or maybe you don’t know a damned thing about polar bears, and you’re just a self-indulgent poseur. But I digress.)
Ms. Ensler actually thinks that telling you she has a thing for Polar Bears ought to convince you to vote Obama in 2008. (On second thought, I’ve heard lesser reasons to vote for him.) But, she continues, “If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, ‘Drill Drill Drill.’ I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape.”
That’s funny. I think of teeth when I think of Polar Bears. I think of being eaten. I think of running.
But we’re talking about Ms. Ensler’s hang-ups, not mine. Drills make her think of teeth, and rape, so let’s work with that. Or better yet, let’s just leave that one for the Freudians, and whoever handles risk management at her dentist’s office. Still, I did hear the RNC speech myself, and was pretty sure Sarah Palin wasn’t calling for mandatory tooth fillings. Under the Obama health plan, however, mandatory anything can never be ruled out. . . .
When she’s not autohagiographizing as a lover of bears and the planet, Ms. Ensler shows a preference for harrowing, violent imagery:
“forever uninhabitable for humans”
“violence through invasion”
“I think of destruction.”
“emptying the brain”
“I think of pain.”
“more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life.”
Now, combining these harsh images with Ms. Ensler’s lifelong study of both her own and other women’s vaginas, I have to conclude it’s no accident that her writing brings to mind the mayhem of abortion—the mayhem that Sarah “Nightmare” Palin and people like me want so much to see banned. It may be unconscious on Ms. Ensler’s part, I wouldn’t pretend to know. I do think she’s got some psychological issues, you know, like with the drills.
Take for example her jeremiad about a future of “more holes”: “More holes in the ozone. . . . more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life.” Taken along with her remark about “emptying the brain,” she’s just painted a fairly vivid picture of how a partial-birth abortion works. (A picture, by the way, that is kept a strict secret from the Feminist solidarity). In this perfectly legal procedure, a doctor pokes a hole in the back of the all-but-delivered baby’s skull before “emptying the brain,” thereby making it much easier to crush the head for final extraction from the cervix, safely dead, and no longer a threat to its mother’s lifestyle.
I ask you: Is she really talking about oil exploration? Are we really to believe it's drilling a hole in desert rock that harms the fabric of this precious thing called life?
Ms. Ensler's images also call forth other, more acceptable [sic] abortion procedures, the ones that still entail “violence through invasion,” like the “ripping” apart of the unborn in the womb and its removal piece by piece. Or abortions done in the earlier stages of pregnancy, where a "woman's physician" renders her uterus chemically “uninhabitable” for the human being innocently needing to inhabit there. All of which procedures, in their tens of millions, make me, and I’m hardly alone in this, “think of destruction,” and “think of pain.”
But Ms. Ensler doesn’t want us to think her hatred of Sarah Palin is based on her abortion views. She wants us to believe she’s been too busy having night terrors over the Alaskan caribou population to stoop to hating Sarah Palin for that. No, what has her tossing and turning on her bed of goodness and solidarity at night are images of those brutal Bush-Cheney Manbits ripping and penetrating the soft, dark she-thatch of the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. For Ms. Ensler, oil-drilling, like dentistry, is “rape.”
Rape? Well, you know what they say. If all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And come to think of it, I don’t know what Ms. Ensler’s got that makes everything (even teeth) look to her like a vagina, and I guess I don’t want to know. (But I still think someone needs to take a closer look at her dentist.)
My point is that Eve Ensler is either kidding herself, or kidding you and me, when she tries to convince us her only motive in writing these screeds is her love of the Planet and her anxiety over drowning Polar Bears. Ms. Ensler’s white-hot anger at Sarah Palin has nothing to do with her imaginary love affair with Polar Bears she's never met or even seen, or with her psychotic fear of drills. What it has everything to do with is Sarah Palin’s opposition to abortion, an opposition lived out in both Sarah Palin’s own life and that of her pregnant daughter’s. Like every moral imbecile who brags about his virtue, the more Ms. Ensler actually credits herself as standing for “deepening tolerance,” the more intolerant her attacks become.