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November 17, 2005

Godspeed, Don, and thanks for all you've done

Every age has its progressive heroes, every cause its martyrs. What debt Americans of African descent owe to Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King cannot be tallied. The toiling farmhands of Texas and California rightly revere the memory of the heroic Cesar Chavez, who selflessly devoted his life to bettering theirs. South Americans have their Bolivar, Africans their Mandela.

And the women of the United States, slightly more than half the population kept in historic chains of bondage, still unable even to claim legal control of their own bodies, beaten and raped by husbands and strangers, yet shouldering most of the work it takes to keep our society going... these women have Don.

Oh, to be sure, there are the Ellie Smeals and Gloria Steinems, the Kate Millets and Valerie Solanases and Emily Lists. Many fine, brave women did their part to help. But any true accounting of the gains of American feminism must - as I'm sure you will agree - grant them secondary status. This is not, of course, through any failure on their part. It is merely because no mere mortals, females or otherwise, can fairly be expected to measure up to Don.

Why? Because Don has, for the last twenty-five years, carried the burden of Roe v. Wade. He carried it through three Republican presidencies. Think about it: for the entire Supreme Court career of Sandra Day O'Connor, Don has held the reproductive freedom of a hundred fifty million American women on his shoulders. No matter how weary he became, no matter the cost, Don persevered though our collective mind may have been distracted by Iran-Contra, by the first Gulf War, by Kosovo, by Bennifer. A Herculean task indeed, but Don discharged it without complaining.

And now Don is fatigued. Who wouldn't be? I'm not sure how much a woman's reproductive rights weigh, but a hundred fifty million of them - not to mention the rights of the millions of women yet to come - must be a formidable burden.

And so, after years of unmatched selflessness, Don would like to lay his burden down.

But do the feminists - the same women who owe Don so very much - do they thank him for his years of staggering effort? Do they offer him a chair, a glass of lemonade with a sprig of mint, perhaps a soft, relaxing neck massage? They do not. Instead - ungrateful, spoiled, reeking of entitlement - they condemn him. They accuse him of being comfortable.

Still, they will see the error of their ways soon enough. Soon, they will be overwhelmed with gratitude. What Don struggled to carry so mightily, a million new people will rise up to shoulder, and we will do so happily. Drop that awful burden, Don. You have help now. Rest awhile and sleep. And thanks - o, heartfelt thanks - for your massive sacrifice.

Posted by Chris Clarke at November 17, 2005 08:14 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Dead on.

Posted by: Barbar at November 17, 2005 09:11 PM
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Tears of joy are flowing from my ducts as I type this comment. Thank you, Chris. And thank you, Don.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 18, 2005 02:17 AM
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I'd find this ever so much funnier if Don was the only one who felt this way.

Posted by: nina at November 18, 2005 07:41 AM
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Note to self: do not read Chris's snark while drinking hot coffee. Hot coffee through nasal passages hurt.

That was freaking hysterical.

Posted by: Sheelzebub at November 18, 2005 08:46 AM
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*snort* Thank you, that was perfect. It's either laugh or get out the blunt objects, sometimes.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 18, 2005 09:40 AM
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I *heart* you, Chris Clarke.

Posted by: Dr. Virago of Quod She at November 18, 2005 11:45 AM
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Posted by: buck at November 18, 2005 12:59 PM
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Snark? The wit is mightier than the snark. This was hilarious.

Posted by: Charles at November 18, 2005 01:55 PM
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I think there has to be some penalty for mentioning Bennifer. That hurt!

Posted by: Erin at November 18, 2005 05:02 PM
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Wow, what a groove. Well done.

Posted by: eRobin at November 18, 2005 05:12 PM
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Exactly right.

Posted by: Scott Lemieux at November 18, 2005 09:49 PM
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Thanks for helping me combat my own fatigue, 'cause I sure as hell am tired of hearing so-called "progressives" wonder whether we shouldn't just give up on Roe.

Posted by: Ancrene Wiseass at November 21, 2005 12:04 AM
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I had to click on the links and read all that bullshit before I fully realized you were being 100% sarcastic and rightly so!

I'm so sick of having to explain every gosh dern day that I have a right to bodily autonomy/integrity and that, at 30, I tend to know what is best for myself.

Roe fatigue indeed....

Posted by: a nut at November 21, 2005 11:09 AM
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Posted by: piny at November 22, 2005 10:23 AM
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And just think: a woman only has to carry an unwanted pregnancy for nine months. Men have had to carry Roe for more than fifty times as long.

Posted by: piny at November 22, 2005 10:26 AM
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Hi all.

This is "Don". Thanks to all who have acknowledged my sacrifice.

And while I appreciate you criticisms of my view, you needn't worry about me. I'm fatigued but not giving up. So rather then spend time on me, focus that energy on those pro-choice idiots who vote R.

And thanks for linking to my post, reading it and thinking about it.

Posted by: Don at November 27, 2005 04:12 PM
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