[personal profile] recursiveparadox
Ever heard the name Mary Jo Kopechne? No? What about the second run of the GLBT ENDA? No for that too?

Well then boys and girls and all those who break out of the binary, I've got some stories to tell you. Let's start with Mary Jo Kopechne. She was a teacher and speechwriter/secretary for several politicians, including Robert Kennedy. She was also part of the fondly remembered Boiler Room Girls, a tough set of ladies who played a vital (even central) role in gaining campaign intel, crunching numbers and advising for Robert's campaign.

She was a politically saavy, smart, demure woman. Someone you could really admire. She was also tough. Even with how much it hurt her when Robert Kennedy was assassinated, she still jumped back into politics. (further reading on her)

Well, she's dead now. Due to an "incident" (because it's always fun to reduce the impact of something by calling it an "incident") called the "Chappaquiddick Incident". It started at a party reunion for the Boiler Room Girls. Lots of folks were there, including Ted Kennedy. We won't know the details of the "incident" as well as we could because in the end, all there is are statements from Kennedy and some peripheral witnesses.

According to good ol' Ted, she requested a ride back to her hotel. Instead of getting his chauffeur to drive them, Kennedy decided to drive her himself, because the driver was having a good time and he apparently didn't want to trouble him. Some things right off the bat that make this story a little bit iffy: Kopechne did not bring her purse or her hotel key with her. Kopechne did not tell anyone else at the party she was leaving with Kennedy. Suspicious? A bit, yes.

It gets worse.

The car was allegedly spotted by Chris Look, a deputy sherrif. He spotted the car going down a private road and worried they were lost. He got up to it as the car was backing towards him, called out to see if they needed help and was immediately left in the car's dust. That's right, Kennedy allegedly sped away from a police officer. Well golly. More suspicious things.

And, driving down an unpaved dirt road at about 20 miles per hour (according to his own statements) and reached a bridge that wasn't angled perfectly with the road. He applied his brakes just before the hitting the bridge and then went right over it. The car hit the water and sank. And he swam up alone, leaving Kopechne there to drown. He claimed that he called her name a few times when he reached shore and tried to swim down to her, but there's no witnesses to confirm this, so we'll really never know (especially now that he's dead).

He also passed by 4 houses he could have stopped and phoned help from on his way to the original site of the party (which also had a phone). One of these houses was barely 150 yards from the bridge and the owner distinctly remembered leaving a light on before she went to sleep. Whereas Kennedy claimed to have seen no lights on his way. Oh and he didn't use the phone at the party's cottage

Troubled yet?

He apparently didn't tell the other women there, only two guys he knew (including the party's host). Why not get a large group of people to dive in and check or get the authorities? Oh and he gave his two buddies the impression he would notify the authorities when he got back to Edgartown. Well he didn't. Even after his buddies came by to argue with him about it. And the car was found by some people and that was how this "incident" was reported. The worst part? One of the people (a diver) sent to check the car concluded that Kopechne was in an air bubble in the car and could have been rescued had there been a call 5 or 6 minutes in (allowing time to get there for him), like say from that house 150 yards away, she could have been rescued alive. (further reading on that)

Funny how no one seems to give a shit about her now, even on feminist blogs with how suspicious this "incident" is, in all their attempts to honor Kennedy and his death. As Daisy (who wrote on this topic too) mentioned to me on twitter, "bros before hos right?"

Bros before hos, indeed.

Oh, well shit, I almost forgot about the GLBT ENDA that he was sponsoring. Oh wait, I'm sorry, did I say GLBT? You'll have to forgive me, because I temporarily thought he'd put human rights over political maneuvering. As it turns out (if you followed the link, you'll already know) that the ENDA is a GLB ENDA. Yep. No T in there. Because you see, trans folk are too politically risky for a bit shot to help. We got dropped by the HRC and then we got dropped by Kennedy.

No wonder most of the feminist blogs praising his name are written by cis women. Gosh, I love being an invisible minority. Good times.

But hey, Bros before Hos, right guys? Of course, he also fucked over the bros of the trans community and all the gender neutral, gender awesome, gender varying folk too. So really, it goes far beyond Bros before Hos.

But hey, have fun with the selective memory/hearing thing. Don't give a shit about the how much the Chappaquiddick "Incident" looks like a Chappaquiddick Negligent Homicide Cover-up or even, quite possibly, a Chappaquiddick Murder. Continue talking about how this guy was a champion of the underdog while ignoring that he kicked the trans underdogs to the curb.

Have fun. "Bros before Hos" and all that jazz.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-26 08:58 pm (UTC)
daisydeadhead: steal your face right off your head (Default)
From: [personal profile] daisydeadhead
Great post! I did not realize that Kennedy followed HRC's lead, I thought he was just clueless in general on the topic of the T in GLBT. So I have learned something today too!

My mother told me to always remember the "incident"... she said he'd get by with it and Mary Jo would be forgotten. I've had several "Six Feet Under" moments today, with my dead mother saying "See? Nothing's changed."

One reason I wrote it, even if nobody else (but you and me!) is saying it...

Well said!

Date: 2009-08-27 12:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Good job of cutting through the hagiographic BS about this man. I'll definitely be back to this blog... love the minimalist look.


Never Forget Mary-Jo Kopechne

Date: 2009-08-27 08:47 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am the right age to remember it all from way back then. An Expendable Girl.

Dominick Dunne who wrote viciously on the Kennedys, on behalf of Martha Moxley whose murder was covered up, has also just died.

Politics has always been a dirty business.
The Present Hope is almost a burden in our need to be not disappointed.

Ann oDyne (http://bwican.blogspot.com/)

Oh dear

Date: 2009-08-27 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] voz_latina
What bothers me more than politicians fucking up is when people continue to lick their boots despite it.

uh oh...then you, my young friend, are truly in for a world of shit.

But then again, maybe I have just seen too much for too long from too many people to believe they could do otherwise.

Nicely done.

Re: Oh dear

Date: 2009-08-27 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] voz_latina
Girlfriend, there is a phrase called "trans rage."

That, and I have the nickname "Old Lady Snake and Nape" for a reason.

Seriously, after awhile, you develop a gallows humor. Mine was honed by watching MASH reruns while a guest of the State for a long time.

It helps, it really does. That, and carry a machete, and scowl a lot. I never get hassled when carrying a 24" blade and a 'tude.

Re: Oh dear

Date: 2009-08-27 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] voz_latina

She sounds like some one I need to meet. Don't get me wrong, machining engine parts and making trailers and the like is nice, but I would like to do some artsy stuff too.

Defending myself with a sword beats whacking an attacker over the head with a compound sheave any day of the week.

Re: Oh dear

Date: 2009-08-28 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] voz_latina
Coolness. Be warned, I do boring shit like machine shop stuff, and not cool art or anything.

I have to redo the rectifier doghouse on our generator (translation: rip it off and replace it with something less stupid looking), so I'll be posting a bunch of that soon, including a bimetal steel/copper casting for a cover with heatsink.

She can bring the art, I'll bring the superior thermal dissipation in a structurally integrated package ;-)

Genderbitch: In ur gender, revealing ur privilege


This is a blog. About transsexuality, feminism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, GLBT stuff and etcetera (check my tags for more on that). This is also an angry blog.

You might see me as slightly antagonistic. Oh well. I incite because I am trying to push people into thinking, discussing and breaking out of the stagnant bullshit of privilege. Which needs a nice firm kick quite a bit. Sometimes to the head. If I need a nice firm kick too, make sure to distribute it because well, I'm not immune to privilege either. XD

Anonymous (account-less) commenting is allowed but please sign it with an alias or name. I reserve the right to delete useless trolling, hate language and attempts to out my name or out anyone else here.

Welcome to my space. Take your shoes off, stay a while. Use the fucking coasters.


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