Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quote of the Day: bell hooks

Bust recently ran an interview with bell hooks, discussing the 2016 Election and where we go from here. I'd recommend all of it, but would like to highlight a well-made critique of progressive institutions:
"Bernie Sanders isn’t saying anything about feminist politics. He’s not integrating any kind of feminist politics into his vision. I think the important thing is that we see this as the continuum of patriarchal power reasserting itself, and not as though Trump invented it or makes it possible—because it has been there. It’s been there, in Hillary Clinton’s husband and all of these men—except that Hillary Clinton’s husband and Barack Obama became the benevolent patriarchs. They’re the patriarchal men we can love."
I think this is what some Bernie fans don't get. Bernie is pro-choice and supports equal pay for women, but a deeper feminist, intersectional analysis seems to be largely missing as he focuses much of his discourse on railing against Wall Street and money in politics.


Reproductive rights are an economic issue, in that both being pregnant and having a child have significant economic consequences for the person who is pregnant.

Running as an anti-establishment candidate and yet visiting the Pope in the midst of one's campaign, is an action with potential economic consequences for the women and LGBT people who are harmed by the validation of the Catholic Church's teachings on female subordination, leadership, and anti-LGBT bigotry.

Failing to connect with black voters while claiming to be starting a revolution, is an economic issue if if the revolution's leader does not consider that black voters might experience "revolution" differently than white voters.

Banking on unexamined white male privilege against a woman who was held to much higher standards than any man is an economic issue that many women experience in having to be vastly more qualified than male competitors in the job market.

Progressives celebrating the Barack/Joe "bromance" memes while refusing to see Hillary Clinton as anything other than History's Greatest Monster also represents an economic issue in that women seeking power are so rarely seen as likeable, which thus becomes a reason to deny us the position of power we seek.

Issues like these represent a fundamental divide on the left that won't go away just because people order other people to stop re-litigating the Democratic Primary.  It is a divide among those who understand that people with different identities often live under different conditions in society versus those who think there might be a universal solution to society's ills regardless of identity.

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