I’ve been watching the recent presidential debates on Twitter. Well, I’ve been watching them on my TV, but following along on Twitter. The majority of folks I follow usually tweet about food. That changes for those few hours when the debate is taking place and suddenly everyone is talking politics. It is an odd phenomenon. It becomes especially odd when, during the debate, someone tweets about something not related to politics. During one of the debates, Chicago chef Rick Bayless tweeted:
A Genius Mix on my iPhone: Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, Sound of Music & R Kelly from his Christmas album.Called Urban Crossover
Which became unintentionally hilarious (though maybe that phrase is inherently funny?) in the middle of an impassioned series of tweets about election issues. Ruth Bourdain responded to Bayless with what everyone may have been thinking:
It’s interesting, in part, because in the middle of a discussion about women’s rights, gay rights (well, sort of), war and the economy, tweets about food, music, or your crappy day seem particularly trite. It is also strange that these public discussions are relegated to two hour blocks of time every four years or so. There isn’t much integration. A similar, but opposite, phenomenon occurs when I write about something political in the middle of posts about food and entertaining, as I’ve been known to do. It seems somehow too serious, or like I’m a spoilsport.
There is an expectation that these things remain separate, the political and the private. That doesn’t seem possible to me. How can I write about my wedding without it being political? I wish I could. Our kitchens are not free from politics and this blog never will be. My rights and the rights of millions of people are jeopardized or restricted by politicians and fellow citizens every day and those threats do not disappear when I enter my home or cook dinner or write these words.
Here is the thing, I am able to enjoy cooking and keeping a home and writing about it because I currently feel somewhat secure in my role as citizen (as tenuous and unequal as that role may be). It is all connected. My investment in the current political moment is, in part, because my rights and the rights of others may be jeopardized by the Republican party. They (and other conservatives) have repeatedly demonstrated to me that they do not understand women, gay people, sick people, poor people, immigrants, or the environment—and it freaks me out. I alternate between feeling invisible and attacked. It doesn’t feel good.
The video above is a lighthearted response to some extremely serious issues that are important to me. It features many of my favorite women, including some friends of L +D. It will fit awkwardly into this website, but not into my life; in the same way that politics sometimes fits awkwardly into dinner conversation, but is important.
I stand with these women and with everyone else interested in progress.
Go vote, friends.