September 11, 2008


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

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

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?

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008
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