One of my older female relatives once sent me the poem “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.” It’s essentially a cute little poem (which has been passed around for ages now) which pretty much declares that one of the advantages of getting old is being free to be a little eccentric.
Some women, apparently, have taken the message to mean “When I reach menopause, I will dress up like a demented Barbie doll and harrass politicians for not being as insanely radical as I am.” I mean, is there really a big difference between this:
Code Pink, as the old crazy leftie women call themselves, have, among other things crashed the 2004 Republican convention, and handed Hillary Clinton lingerie (a “pink slip”). Right now, several of them are camped on the lawn of Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home to get the House Speaker to abruptly cut off war funding.
Somehow, I don’t think Nancy Pelosi is seeing it as an important message to heed from her constiuency. Call me silly, but camping out on someone’s home lawn seems like trespassing and stalking to me. As soon as the middle-aged women in the too-tight pink party dresses showed up, she probably decamped to a hotel with strict security. Pelosi is going to work out her stance on the war in her own way, but right now she’s probably also hiring a security contractor to erect a strong fence around her house.
Back in my parent’s day, politically passionate grandmothers had tea with the League of Women Voters and wrote letters to their congresspeople. It still strikes me as a classier way to express yourself. In fact, there are a lot of things you can do if you care about politics, and want to make a difference, like volunteering for a political campaign, or putting up a political blog/forum. If it’s wearing pink that turns you on, commit and donate to an Avon Walk, where you wear pink, but you don’t have to do it in idiotic way. In fact, even younger women, who don’t need estrogen replacement pills, are involved with the more respectable end of activism.
Part of the charm of “I Shall Wear Purple,” is that the author acknowledges she doesn’t want to take herself too seriously. The problem with Code Pink is that they dress ridiculously, but take themselves seriously indeed, and expect others to do so, too. And that’s just stupid.