Sontag Essay 1966

And yet, tomorrow, thousands of women will march and protest in Washington D. to express their opposition to his flamboyant misogyny, his xenophobia, and his ascendance to the country’s leadership.

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” Responses were then published in the ’s Winter 1967 issue.

Sontag’s take begins with a repetition of the editors dire characterization of the present, presenting readers today a precedent for the apocalyptic flavor of our political moment.

It is perhaps just this inability to re-conceptualize power itself that bears some relationship to the almost-but-never-quite nature of American women’s quest to get into the White House.

Today, President Elect Trump will be sworn in as the President of the United States and his cabinet, made up of the whitest and richest of America, will begin to run the country.

As we confront the inauguration of a bawdy President, indecorous, undignified and illiberal, many among us—American liberals in particular—have been tempted to ask: “What’s happening in America?

” Susan Sontag, whose political prescience has been duly noted, asked and answered this same question 50 years ago.

If the conscience of the nation seems moribund to our 2017 sensibilities, “What’s Happening in America?

” reveals it to have been flailing for at least five decades.

I doubt it.” These women marching on Washington inauguration weekend are feminism, insisting on it as a verb and not a noun—not dormant, nor a tame description to affix to this or that.

Their commitment to its active meaning is likely to be tested in the days to come as the promises of Trump’s cohort of cronies seek to abridge reproductive choice, marriage equality, to cut funding for programs that have provided assistance to domestic violence shelters, women’s health initiatives, and many others.


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