Day: March 17, 2008

Positively the best Hillary feminist story I’ve read yet, on her work against war in Ireland! Extra Special for Saint Paddy’s… has some of the most marvelous writing in the whole web on politics.  The stories are so well-researched, beautifully written and today I came across this piece on what Hillary accomplished over in Ireland during a dark time there, not that long ago.  It speaks not only to her feminism, but of the sort of work that all the women of the Second Wave longed to do in the world.  They wanted to be able to do the same work men did.  It’s been a struggle, for a bunch of us feminists.  Believe me.

You see, not everyone understands “Feminism” the same way because it has been taught over the last thirty years all kinds of different ways until now we have gotten to an era of “post-gender,” no?  So, somebody who is twenty right now is learning something entirely different than what was a fledgling movement just being born in the 60’s, in terms of what they are studying.

This is so great, because it is an example of Feminism in action! (The way I, and a lot of other women see things, given our own generation).

I would venture to guess that Hillary saw  she might help bring peace to Ireland by working with her “sisters” across the sea.  The toll on women during wartime is a horrific thing.  They lose husbands and children.  The wounds will last all their lives, emotionally.

We were taught to believe that all the women around the world were our “sisters” and so to see a sister suffering?  Not possible.  This is why many of us went to work as doctors or got such advanced degrees to be therapists or scholars, or teachers.  It was the first time women had a chance to help each other in larger ways.  Women saw that other women got medical care, or that children got food when they were starving.  Women worked to stop “Domestic Violence” which had been such a secret silent shame before.

Anyway, this is the fabulous work Hillary did, written by a wonderful writer whose pen I truly admire.  Lin Farley.  I’m just going to give you a few quotes, but for a truly lovely read, and inspiring read for Saint Patrick’s Day, it’s this.

The Irish are a fierce people with tremendous heart and poetry in their souls.  That soul is the same kind of soul you hear in gospel music from Black Spiritual communities.  The fight in Ireland was a religious battle, no different than any religious battle being fought all over the world right now.  I’m so proud of what my “sister” Hillary did over there.  Wow.  I didn’t even realize some of what she had done behind the scenes.

Here’s the story:

by: Lin Farley

“Who makes peace? Is it the officials who forge an agreement and then sign the documents? Or is it the people who inspire others to change their minds.

In Northern Ireland you needed both. And that is why it is “silly” to question Hillary’s role in the peace process there.

No, her name does not appear on the Good Friday accord that formally ended hostilities, but Hillary Clinton not only helped to win the peace there, she is still working to maintain it. The people of Northern Ireland understand this, and they did long before anyone on this side of the Atlantic questioned Hillary’s role in the peace process.”…


“…If only the American newspapers that have published questions about Hillary’s contribution had bothered to talk to the Irish, how different their stories might have been. Hillary supported in every way possible the thousands of Catholic and Protestant wives and mothers who were incalculable in winning the peace. These were women, it turned out, who were much like she is: strong at the broken places. Bobby Sands, a Republican freedom fighter by his own description, who died in 1981 of a hunger strike in Long Kesh prison, wrote:

There are praises of flowers who epitomize the unconquerable spirit of Irish womanhood. Let no man dare to scorn these women and let your weeds of indifference and sleeping roses blush in everlasting shame.

Hillary traveled to Northern Ireland seven times between 1995 and 2004, and she was the only First Lady in American history to visit that blood-soaked country even once…”

Read Lin’s beautiful piece on Hillary and you will truly feel the spirit of Saint Patrick, today.

He’s kind of like Santa Claus is.  To a lot of us who have Irish blood in our veins.

(catch Lin on Tibet too, if you want more! Just down the blog a bit)…