Friday, July 1, 2016

On the Fundamental Issue

So, you want to better understand the context in which, for instance, some feminists might react badly to "progressive" arguments (to the tune of The Bernie Sanders Movement*) that the real issue people should be worrying about is class/workplace issues/wealth inequality and not gender, sex, race, sexual orientation, or other identity politic issues?

Well, take a gander at anti-feminist Cathy Young's recent clickbait defense of men from mean mean feminism, for which she was likely paid by The Washington Post (how nice for her!). Now...there's .... a lot going on there, so pardon me for only having time to address one tiny snippet:
This gender antagonism [of women calling men out for sexism] does nothing to advance the unfinished business of equality. If anything, the fixation on men behaving badly is a distraction from more fundamental issues, such as changes in the workplace to promote work-life balance. What’s more, male-bashing not only sours many men — and quite a few women — on feminism. It often drives them into Internet subcultures where critiques of feminism mix with hostility toward women. [emphasis mine]
When both purported progressives and so-called feminist allies join anti-feminists in telling feminists to take our eyes off of gender equality because There Are More Important Issues To Worry About, we see another instance of when progressive intent can have rightwing consequences.

I'm not interested in tidy, simplistic arguments claiming that by addressing one issue we can fix all issues. Our world is complex. We need leaders who understand that. And while I know progressives are very into recycling (as we all should be!) I'm not actually interested in progressive friends who recycle talking points we've been hearing our whole lives from rightwing foes which dismiss the very real harm we experience based on our identities.

For many people, identity issues ARE fundamental economic issues.  How nice for some people that that might not be the case for them.

*In the past several weeks, I've seen articles calling the "Not Me, Us" movement this. So [insert perplexed look here].  At what point does a failed presidential bid become a cult of personality?

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