Friday, January 14, 2011

United They Stand

[TW: Sexual assault, harassment]

Feminism and "women's issues," in case you had any doubt, are seen by many men within politics as special interests that drag down their male-dominated movements. This is true of the left and the right. (And also the "center," however that happens to be defined at any given moment in time.)

Despite how men feel about the suckiness, or not, of Wikileaks and Assange's role in it, many of them are quite certain that the so-called feminazi fury which has been aimed at Julian Assange and/or the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him are, quite simply, bullshit. Men of all political stripes, those who are not feminists anyway, unite around this self-evident-to-them truth.

On the far left, David Walsh, writing for the World Socialist Web Site, claims:

"The sexual assault charges against Assange in Sweden are part of an orchestrated effort to divert public attention from the content of the WikiLeaks exposures—the duplicity, hypocrisy and criminality of American and world imperialism—and bury the important revelations in a pile of scandalous garbage. [Nation writer Katha] Pollitt has eagerly lent a hand to that effort.

Such a development was predictable, given the history of the journalist and the publication, but that does not make it any less reprehensible… or educational. The arguments employed by Pollitt shed further light on the politically rotten character of contemporary feminism and identity politics generally."

Okay. Feminists are actively working for the man. At best, we're just useful idiots to a capitalistic machine we don't fully understand. Got it.

On the left, Keith Olbermann (in)famously took his Twitter and went home after feminist blogger Sady Doyle criticized him for downplaying the accusations leveled against Assange. Olbermann then re-tweeted a source that claimed that one of Assange's "'rape'" (sarcasticquotes retained from original Tweet) accusers has "CIA ties."

Okay. Feminists are too dumb to realize we're perpetuating a CIA plot. Got it.

On the right, The Other McCain mocks the "feminist meltdown" regarding Assange and gets quite aroused over the "fatwa of feminist fury" that was unleashed upon Assange-bailer-outer Michael Moore, who acted like a rape apologist (before ultimately apologizing.)

McCain then asserts that feminists are part of "the Left," just like Assange, his accusers, and the ones making death threats against his accusers. Got it.

In sum, feminism, as defined by men who pay little attention to feminism and see it as a movement largely irrelevant to their More Important Concerns, is a leftwing, rightwing, corporate, CIA, and government phenomenon. All at once.

Our days are busy.

In reality, feminism, defined as liberating all people from gender role stereotyping, stopping the devaluation of femininity, and dismantling rape culture, threatens men who see such liberation, stopping, and dismantling as a zero-sum game that dismantles only male privileges and supremacy. To such men, who of course can hold political persuasions of any type, feminism is a monstrous bogeyman into which they pour their anxieties about impending male losses in a post-feminist world.

These men seek liberation from corporations, the government, capitalism, leftwing ideology, commies, rightwingers, homophobia, welfare queens, religion, and basically anything other than one of the most, if not the most pervasive and enduring prisons of all- the notion that the gender binary tells us everything we need to know about each "half" of the human race.

Thus, every now and then, you will see such men set aside their differences and unite around the unspoken principle that there is nothing More Important in the world than maintaining male supremacy. This revelation is Assange's most disturbing, and certain to be overlooked, leak of all.

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