Wednesday, February 27, 2008

from stinky to respectable

Carmen Kontur-Gronquist, the mayor of a small Oregon town called Arlington, has just been "recalled" (which I guess means "fired after a citizens' vote," like Gray Davis) for having posed in "racy" photographs that show her in lingerie, standing in a fire truck. The photos were displayed on her MySpace page.

Holy shit! That's our mayor!

The leaders of the drive to recall the mayor claim they were motivated by more than the mayor's pictures; according to them, she had also made some poor administrative decisions. What caught my eye was this part of the article:

[Kontur-Gronquist] told KATU News Tuesday that she had no regrets about posting the [photos] online, and she seemed to harbor no hard feelings about the recall.

"My reaction is that the democratic process took place, and that is a good process that we have in the United States, and it's fair," she said.

My hat is off to this lady. Whether or not what she did was classy is beside the point; what matters is that she's expressing a most respectable kind of feminism: she has no regrets, she's obviously proud of her body, and to top it off, she's not small-minded enough to kick and scream about the democratic process, which she deemed "fair." Wow.

That, folks, is power. It's a power visible in (if the article is to be trusted) her self-mastery. Crazy as it sounds, I couldn't help thinking of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, who is urged by Krsna to act without thought or attachment to the fruit of the action. She made the pics; she calmly accepted the consequences. The self-control it takes for a public figure to do what she did is rare. Other, more famous politicians would do well to take note.

I'm also trying to figure out why this staid little community is so up in arms about a woman confident enough to make a public display of her femininity. She didn't make a sex portfolio, for God's sakes! What, exactly, is wrong with having a hot mayor? She's obviously no bimbo if she's capable of acting as her city's highest executive. I couldn't help thinking that the same male fear that motivates certain communities to wrap their women up in burqas and chadors was at work in the dethroning of this lady. Can't have our women exerting their evil charms over the masses! Gotta denigrate 'em as sluts and hos, keep 'em in their place!

I truly hope the former mayor of Arlington has learned nothing from all this. I hope she goes right on being a free spirit, doing what she will, and gracefully accepting the consequences of her actions. I also hope she never changes her surname, which evokes the conquest of contours. Mmmmmm.


1 comment:

Aaron said...

Ah yes, dear ol' Arlington. We used to drive through there on our way to visit the grandparents. If memory serves, Arlington is out near the town of Dufur, the city limits sign for which always prompted my father to say, "ask not what Dufur can you for you, but what you can do for Dufur."