7.16.2004

It feels really important to say something about the absurdity of Martha Stewart going to jail for five months for telling a tiny lie, while men who rip off their middle- and working-class employees' pension funds get nothing. But I don't need to break it down, because Margaret Cho (again) (forgive me) (I can't stop quoting her, she's such a genius) does it perfectly:
The problem is that Martha Stewart was not a homemaker. She was an entrepeneur. She was not selling the recipes and party plans and 'good things' in order to promote stay at home moms and give undue labor to keep women's minds from wandering to books and feminist theory. She was promoting the idea of perfection, wherever you could have it. It was about that notion of perfecting something, and then it becoming yours. This was the American Dream as it could be made accessible to American women. You could empower yourself through action, and that is probably the danger that Martha Stewart represents. She is the authority on independence, and that is what we don't want from our mothers and for our daughters.

You can't wear a burqua and tie raffia properly. You need freedom and a wide table if you want to make your own marshmallows or liquid soap from scratch. The thought that putting Martha away for a time is some kind of blow to the misogynist family structure is dangerous. If anything, she is a political prisoner. America doesn't like women who are powerful and successful and not nice about it.

--Elizabeth

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