Tuesday, May 09, 2006
They are friends of a friend of a codepinker who want to know about CodePINK. I want to tell them about Mother’s Day MONTH. I’m still reeling from Kansas City – which has better prepared me for this meeting, I hope.
I hold onto my goal: to inspire these women to come to D.C., if only for the weekend, but hopefully for the month.
When I finally get to the MONTH, they have the same reaction that no longer shocks & dismays me – they laugh! Then they say it’s impossible for them to come; and then, as I tilt my head in what I hope is a non-judgmental huh? at them, they list their reasons.
I nod in what I hope is sympathy as I ask them if they think 100,000 women surrounding Congress for a month would have a great impact on ending the war. They all agree that even 10,000 women surrounding Congress for a week would have a great impact on ending the war.
Then I say, so we all know what we need to do to end the war. So are you willing to join us?
An older woman in the group smiles shyly & says she couldn’t possibly risk her recently finished turn-of-the-century restored house that she’s been working on for decades. I don’t ask her if her house would really be risked if she left for 4 weeks. Instead I ask her to pretend I am god & that I can do anything I want to.
I ask her would she be willing to give up her recently restored home, that she loves & has worked so hard on, a dream she’s been able to make come true – would she be willing to trade this house for the end of war in Iraq?
At first she says no, as if I’ve lost my mind. I cover my mouth, nod silently, wait & just look at her. She shifts uncomfortably. “You can’t expect me to give up my home, I’ve worked so hard for so long for this.”
I say I’m asking the question, what would you be willing to give up to end war? I talk about how we need to stop our lives; we need to sacrifice; how our sacrifice is nothing compared to Iraq women. I talk more about the Iraqi women – no one asked them if they were willing to give up their home.
I ask again, if war would end, would you be willing to give up your home?
I wait. She says nothing but digs deeper into her seat. Her friends, who initially agreed I couldn't expect her to give up this home, appear uncomfortable too.
Then I say to her, pretend I’m the devil. Pretend I am willing to let you keep your newly restored home as long as you’re willing to allow me to keep bombing Iraq.
Do you think this is the tradeoff we're making? I feel I've sunk into the muck of christian philosophy. I ask them to think about it. I think I have pissed off another group of privileged white women.
We speak a few more minutes about Iraq women & what they have been forced to sacrifice. These women are not interested in sacrificing anything to stop this war; I leave not knowing why they really wanted to speak with me.