Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Woman: Feminists Care Too Much About Misogyny

I won't link to it but on Monday, The New Republic ran a horrendo anti-feminist piece (entitled "Moving Beyond Misogyny," if you want to look it up) in which a leftist woman critiqued "liberal feminists" for focusing too much on misogyny and not giving progressive men rape passes.

If you think I kid, here's a sample:

Here, the writer disingenuously acts like progressive men mostly do inconsequential, trivial things that feminists hysterically overreact to, and don't really engage in bigger things like rape, harassment, or predation. And yet, as a grown adult woman, this writer in all likelihood knows that progressive men, in reality, are as fully capable of heinous acts as conservative men are, and thus seems to instead be indirectly suggesting that feminists should ease up and give these men a pass because they're on "our" side.

Leftists today often claim the mantle of society's most enlightened political thinkers, so it might seem confounding to see them write and publish such retrograde "think pieces" that, with a few select edits, could just as easily be posted at rightwing forums like The American Conservative or Townhall

Things begin to make more sense once you understand that, in their hatred of "liberals," feminists, and identity politics, a lot of today's vocal leftists, far from being enlightened, are just sexually-liberal socialists who have internalized the conservative right's ideologies around race and gender. The end goal is more akin to redistributing wealth while keeping white supremacist rape culture intact, with the promise that things might be a bit better if it's progressive men at the top, rather than conservative.

The more general argument from this person's "thinkpiece" is that feminism today is a big depressing, victim-mentality downer because "misogyny feminists" (her term, sure) focus too much on, you guessed it, misogyny

If that doesn't want to make you guzzle vodka from a beer bong, I don't know what will.

Nevermind that that "argument" has been a standard rightwing "critique" of feminism for literal decades, emanating from such "socially-enlightened" sources as Phyllis Schlafly, but criticizing feminists for focusing too much on the hatred of women is as absurd as criticizing Black Lives Matter for focusing too much on racism, the LGBT rights movement for focusing too much on bigotry against LGBT people, or PETA for focusing too much on the ethical treatment animals.

This sort of critique, rather, is a good example of the feminist, misogynistic backlash in which we find ourselves. For, when one argues that highlighting, analyzing, and critiquing misogyny is something bad and unworthy of devoting time to, one is essentially arguing that one of feminists' more important, if not the most important, contributions to social justice should be eradicated. And that, my friends, would only benefit misogynists.

More broadly, we see that it's not just rightwing women who espouse anti-feminism. I think many women across the political spectrum look around and see the breadth and depth of misogyny in this political climate and come to the conclusion that joining in is simply the better deal. Why not, as a leftist woman, join in and help mainstream anti-feminist opinions about "liberal feminists"?

I'm also realizing that so much of the anti-feminist work that women across the political spectrum do consists of "defending" men from "the evil feminists." 

It's not lost on me, as just one example, that as the 2020 election gears up, a number of leftist women - including the author of this piece - have been "defending" Bernie Sanders and his male supporters by going after specific progressive feminists who are known to not support Bernie, as well as "liberal feminism" in general for its cardinal sin of promoting the notion that a woman can and should be president.

I suppose that is one way - having women attack women - to deal with the "Bernie Bro" narrative that has persisted since 2016. 

Another strategy, of course, would be for leftist Bernie fans, as well as his campaign, to try to unify with progressive feminists. But that's a bridge too far, apparently.

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