Erica Jong On Laura Bush

No matter what you think of my poorly-constructed title, this isn’t political porn. Erica Jong rips into Laura Bush’s recent trip to the Middle East on the campaign for women’s rights at the HuffBlog.

Now that Laura Bush is back from the Middle East and can take off her black scarf, it’s time to ask why she is promoting freedom for women in the Middle East when the rights of American women are being systemically eroded by her husband’s initiatives. Is it the same reason why her husband promotes democracy abroad while the Patriot Act and the suspension of the Geneva Convention dilute democracy at home? Is wearing the headscarf the last refuge of a desperate housewife? Of course women in the Middle East need the vote, an end to domestic violence and free access to contraception. But so do we. Odd that it is always easier to proselytize for feminism abroad while ignoring deteriorating womens’ rights at home.

And one minor criticism for Ms. Jong: if I hear anyone call Laura Bush a “desperate housewife” again, I will scream. Laura Bush is hardly a helpless woman. She is a wealthy, powerful saleswoman for a political agenda.

via Feministing


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6 comments for “Erica Jong On Laura Bush

  1. Kim
    May 25, 2005 at 6:50 pm

    … if I hear anyone call Laura Bush a “desperate housewife” again, I will scream. Laura Bush is hardly a helpless woman. She is a wealthy, powerful saleswoman for a political agenda.

    A-frickin’-men, Lauren. I second you on the screaming.

  2. May 25, 2005 at 11:05 pm

    Could Laura’s donning of a black shawl be an indication of where the Bush Administration intends to go?

  3. May 26, 2005 at 4:32 am

    But other than the “housewife” thing, Jong’s right on the money.

    What I’ve been wondering is, what’s changed inside the Bush admin that they’ve decided, after four years, to deploy Laura? For the first term her role seemed restricted to hanging out at the library telling people that reading to kids is good. I’m wondering if it has to do with Karen Hughes’ new role as head of official State Department propoganda.

    Really, though, did the Mideast vacation add anything at all to the Bush/’Merica image? Or did it appear to everyone in the entire world to be a cheap PR ploy? And one that backfired in a couple of ways?

  4. May 26, 2005 at 8:07 am

    And one minor criticism for Ms. Jong: if I hear anyone call Laura Bush a “desperate housewife” again, I will scream. Laura Bush is hardly a helpless woman. She is a wealthy, powerful saleswoman for a political agenda.

    THANK YOU!!! I never understood the Laura Bush Stepford Wife accusation. She’s not a housewife. She is not home cleaning the White House (not that there would be anything wrong with that, but she’s not!) Not only is she an activist alongside the president (whether or not one likes the agenda, it’s true), she has been a librarian and teacher, and didn’t she found a youth reading program?

    I’ve heard her called Stepford because she “smiles and doesn’t disagree enough” with her husband’s positions. Well, what was she supposed to do? Engage in an argument with him during the debates, or the State of the Union address? And how do we know she doesn’t disagree with him in private? I never saw Bill and Hillary argue in public, or John and Teresa.

    Why, whenever a conservative woman is happy and supports her husband, she is called names, just because?

    Thanks for not doing that!! :)

  5. May 26, 2005 at 9:03 am

    OK, don’t take away my feminist card, but Laura called herself a Desperate Housewive, so I think it’s fair to keep calling herself that.

    1- It reminds us of the constant hypocrisy that is evident in all the Bush women.

    2- If she really is pro-choice as she whispered years ago, perhaps she is desperate. It’s a stretch, I know…

  6. May 26, 2005 at 10:41 am

    … if I hear anyone call Laura Bush a “desperate housewife” again, I will scream. Laura Bush is hardly a helpless woman. She is a wealthy, powerful saleswoman for a political agenda.

    well, laura did start it (she compared herself to a desperate housewife during that correspondent’s dinner thingy). sure the label is inaccurate, but i’ve been taking it as a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing

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