Skip to comments.Kirsten Gillibrand and Oprah Winfrey, get your guns: Frontier women in modern American life
Posted on 12/29/2010 2:02:35 PM PST by presidio9
While recently watching the Coen brothers' new movie, "True Grit," I thought of how the story of a 14-year-old girl functioning in a world of rough and ruthless men conforms to the longstanding American myth of the pioneer woman - a myth that is especially relevant today, in the wake of congressional legislation that would have perished without a woman's strong leadership.
American women were central to pushing the country westward and managing frontier towns of men who would've been happy drinking, shooting and killing each other if the female desire for order and tranquility had not been imposed upon them.
Women prevailed through a hornet's nest of miseries, from death during childbirth to gun battles on the prairie to the ravages of disease. In addition, pioneer women learned to shoot guns and do many things that their sisters in big cities did not know about. It is unimaginable that an extraordinary sharpshooter like Annie Oakley would have thrived in Boston.
All of this has been sentimentalized and reduced to a barrel of purple clichés. Any serious American artist has to avoid hollow platitudes because, when delivered well, the story of a pioneer woman not only captures the 19th century, but speaks directly to our time. That's why "True Grit" is so relevant today.
The movie reminds that our national myths are very different from the propaganda passed off as fact by Fox News. Myths like that of the frontier woman are not only grounded in historical reality, but recur often enough to elevate us beyond the cynicism of well-advertised and well-packaged lies put forth by the right.
Because it is about a genuinely American woman who learns terrible things about life but prevails over all obstacles, "True Grit" will be a sure success. And it will likely benefit from our shared affection for the person from whom nothing is expected, but who nevertheless manages to persevere.
There are fine examples of pioneer women in our own time, the kind who are willing to endure what they must in order to achieve important things. These include, among many others, the billionaire queen of national goodwill, Oprah Winfrey, and New York's junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. Some would even put the narcissistic balloon of hot air known as Sarah Palin into this group.
At the moment, Gillibrand is the most talked about of this bunch because of the impact she has had since Gov. Paterson appointed her to take the seat of Hillary Clinton, who left the Senate to serve as secretary of state.
Little was expected of Gillibrand, but she came through in the way that American women often do, regardless of color, class, religion or sexual orientation.
Gillibrand seems to have gone into training for political battle when she lost 40 pounds. Like it or not, men take women more seriously if their good ideas pair with good looks.
Gillibrand made herself crucial to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. She was also central to passing the Zadroga bill to help ailing 9/11 first-responders. Not too shabby for someone who was branded as so insignificant by so many.
When the remarkable heroine of "True Grit," Mattie Ross, finally gets the drop on the film's villain, a look of great conviction flashes across her face as she points a rifle at him. I am sure that it is a look Gillibrand and all women of her type, whatever their political persuasion, will recognize easily in themselves.
This guy is totally insane.
Stanley seems a little light in the loafers if ya know what I mean.
Nice comic relief. Even funnier than Couch’s usual high standards of satire.
The thing I liked about this column is the fact that, while it clearly alludes to Sara Palin, it avoids mentioning her by name, unlike every other column he has written for the last two years.
“congressional legislation that would have perished without a woman’s strong leadership”
Mmm - strong as the smell of a nearby skunk.
Light in the loafers?? This guy(?) can’t even lay claim to feet.
Women have always been more powerful and influential than history suggests.
But as far as men not being able to govern themselves and having some kind of uncontrollable bloodlust, well, let's just say I beg to differ.
Oprah and her kind are doing a good job in Oakland, Richmond, and elsewhere keeping order and tranquility - not! Sarah is the proper role-model for our future survival.
Stanley Grouch is envious of Sarah Palin. It shows. He probably never fired a gun. Sharpshooters can and do thrive in cities, the military can attest to that as they recruit from cities.
DING DING DING DING DING
WE GOT THE WINNER!
It always makes me laugh to see how rigidly liberal spew their formulaic programming. They are taught to do something and then immediately claim, very precisely, that they are not doing it. They believe this will somehow neutralize the ability of anyone to expose their absurdity, by rendering them invisible to cogent rebuttal. In other words, they try to create a neurolinguistic spell, by following the orders of some spook shrink who used tax dollars to wank off in a lab somewhere.
The writer of this article, Stanley Crouch (and a better name for a liberal I've never heard) is a perfect example of this moronic tactic. Stanley starts by spewing utterly absurd agenda generalities stuffed with purple clichés and hollow platitudes, and then writes: "All of this has been sentimentalized and reduced to a barrel of purple clichés. Any serious American artist has to avoid hollow platitudes..."
This is not only what he was taught in J-School, it's more deeply taught in his very survival as a liberal. We call them sheeple, thinking in our heart of hearts that they are actually human beings who demonstrate embarrassingly cowardly behavior that they could correct if they wanted to. But we are wrong. Liberals have literally turned themselves into herd-animals, and behave exactly as they are programmed - and that especially includes language. Because without the languge structures, liberal denial falls apart, and they are exposed to themselves as the cowards they really are.
- More people were killed in one year with firearms in NYC in 1899 than were killed in all the years added together between 1865 and 1900 in the so-called wild west -
Now compare that to how many are killed by Crouch’s “brothers” in just one month in urban cities today.....
In Washington DC in 1999 black teenagers had a higher murder (kills per 100,000 population) than in Rhowanda during their machete massacres between two tribes -
Today in several African countries the popular gourmet meal of black African cannibals is eating a black African pygmy -
You can check out Kenya (homeland of Opansy) yourselves -
How does that grab you Stanley!
Typical pathetic liberal, obsessed by Fox News and Sarah Palin. What a pantload this column is.
Hey, there, Stanley...you tryin’ to get Juan’s old job at NPR? Sorry, those yentas there are nothing like Annie Oakley, and they don’t like black guys in their hen house!
Oh he’d get his pants dirty, but not on the outside....
I’m pretty certain you made a typo and meant 1999 in your comment.
Lol, I’m surprised this guy didn’t include Pelosi and Hillary in his list. Hillary could certainly drink with the best of them in the ‘old West’.
In the old West guns were everywhere and you don’t read that children were shooting children back then.
Nice graphic devolve.