Discussions on fascist misogyny, race and identity politics


#1

I just knew that you’d eventually come out with the delusional claim that “White men are the real victims these days.” Ironically enough, it’s where those who claim that we should all be colorblind and so on always seem to go these days.

Attacks against white supremacist patriarchy needn’t be taken so personally.


The Paradox of Tolerance: should intolerance be tolerated?
The Paradox of Tolerance: should intolerance be tolerated?
The Paradox of Tolerance: should intolerance be tolerated?
#2

You just explained to me how the way to ‘do activism’ is to internalize your identity and take attacks against it as violence against your person. Does that only apply to identities you approve of?


#3

Because the point is that it doesn’t matter, and we shouldn’t intentionally emotionally charge discussions of social dynamics?

Also in an (obviously vain) effort to stave off derailing on my choice of example. Would you have preferred I named my placeholder characters “Dominionist Dave” Hippie Heather" and “Jihadi Jamal” so there was something for everyone to hate?


#4

What identities do you think I disapprove of? Straight middle-class white male? I don’t disapprove of that identity. Hell, I wish more such people would honestly own up to that identity! (Instead of complaining in a delusional mode, as some of them do, that it makes them the real victim these days.)

And again, when attacks are made against white supremacist patriarchy, those are not attacks against white men. Can you see and acknowledge that difference?

The personal names are unecessary, but you’re getting somewhere more useful with the more extant/salient social categories.

But what is this hatred of which you speak? Who is supposedly hating whom?


#5

"What defines identity politics now is its focus on intersectionality, on multiple identities and how they inform the way Americans experience things like debt, employment, housing and policing. Advocates of identity politics would point out that intersectionality informs a class discussion, rather than detracts from it.

Nonetheless, it’s this specific iteration of identity politics that has drawn criticism not just from the right but from self-described liberals and progressives like Mark Lilla, whose book The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics argues that identity politics will break the Democratic Party.

Lilla and other (mostly white) liberals of his ilk, Hancock says, will disavow racism and sexism and look at them as “bad,” but also believe that tackling systemic oppression splinters and fractures progressive coalitions in ways that prevent them from getting the change they want.

In their arguments against identity politics (or what they think is identity politics), the Mark Lillas of America center that narrative primarily around white feelings and insecurities—a move that, ironically, actually does more to narrow the progressive umbrella than expand it.

As Lilla himself put it in a particularly excruciating NPR interview, “Imagine that you’re canvassing door-to-door somewhere in Missouri or Mississippi and you knock on someone’s door, and you say, ‘I’m here from the Democratic Party and I’d like to ask for your vote. But before I do, I have a series of tickets to give you.

“‘The first ticket is for your privilege. The second one is for being a racist. And the third one is for being homophobic. I hope to see you on Tuesday.’ Now, that is not going to attract or persuade anybody,” he continued.

Mychal Denzel Smith expands upon this in his excellent rebuttal in the New Republic: “What Liberals Get Wrong About Identity Politics.” In it, Smith cites the Combahee River Collective, a collection of black feminist activists and scholars from the mid-1970s who championed the rights of women of color against “racial, sexual, heterosexual and class oppression.”

Their mission and their work, Smith points out, was never intended to exclusively affect women of color—though they operated out of their identities as black women to challenge system of power.

The founders of the Combahee River Collective wrote, “If black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” As Smith expands, the focus was always on coalition building and expanding the fight for equality on multiple fronts and with those holding intersecting interests:

“Any coalition worth forming has to take stock of those differences,” Smith writes, “or suffer an agenda that is insufficient to liberating all people.”


#6

And again, when attacks are made against white supremacist patriarchy, those are not attacks against white men. Can you see and acknowledge that difference?

They certainly can and should be different things, but too often they are not, either because the ‘attacker’ is using it as cover for attacking individuals or engaging in tribalism, or because they are ignoring harmful effects of their proposal.

Trying to ‘confront masculinity’ in education has created an alarming male-female achievement gap (which, in a nod to intersectional models, is present across all U.S. populations but dramatically more pronounced among black, Hispanic, and rural populations). This is exacerbated by a systematic driving out of male primary/secondary teachers, part of one of several ugly feedback loops fed by a narrative of presumed male malice from people internalizing and personalizing ‘fighting the patriarchy.’ I absolutely agree that we live in a culture with an ugly history of policies built on ignoring the input and failing to address the needs of women and/or minority groups, but we mustn’t repeat the mistake.

Trying to ‘fix the gender pay gap’ without addressing that men are evaluated by society on money and prestige in ways that women aren’t, giving them different incentives and needs, is a policy attacking men. To be explicit, I am not making a ‘therefore men should be paid more’ argument, or arguing that nothing should be done, just that healthy work-life balance for different people is going to require different things and probably a renewed permissiveness toward external healthy competitive outlets. ‘Punishing’ men for society’s status expectations is not better than ‘punishing’ women for society’s care-giving expectations.

Earlier Humbabella was listing ways that attempts at ‘color blind’ policy are often semantically-disguised intentionally doing harm to specific groups. Can that you acknowledge that ‘identity focused’ policy frequently suffers from the same problem?


#7

Citation needed.


#8

This is an older piece, this is a more recent (and balanced) presentation from Brookings. I’ll be the first to admit that some people are exaggerating the effect for political causes, but the 10-20% and growing gap in college attendance is hard to dismiss.

Ed: Didn’t address my last point. I can’t find my favorite visualization, but this will do to establish the men leaving teaching claim, and an NYT piece on male teachers, which includes the discussion of prestige factors from my next paragraph.


#9

Seconded.


#10

From your link:

"In a 2006 monograph, education policy researcher Sara Mead took on the idea that American boys were being shortchanged by schools. After reviewing achievement data from NAEP and other tests, Mead concluded that the real story of the gender gap wasn’t one of failure at all. Boys and girls were both making solid academic progress, but in some cases, girls were making larger gains, misleading some commentators into concluding that boys were being left behind. Mead concluded, “The current boy crisis hype and the debate around it are based more on hopes and fears than on evidence.”[v]

In spite of all the claims, I’ve yet to see any specific policies that help girls and not boys. Girls do better in school because they are socialized to please and conform. This works against them when they leave classroom enviornments and enter the workforce.


#11

Upon review did not see the “citation” provided when posting.


#12

Girls do better in school because they are socialized to please and conform.

…yes.
an education system that preferentially rewards young women’s better ability to ‘sit still, draw pretty’ younger can be harmful to girls (because of reinforcement) and boys (by failing to address/reward their needs and abilities).


#13

Young women didn’t create that system, nor was it built with their interests in mind. It is just as harmful to them in the longrun. The fact that they’ve been taught to repress themselves is the opposite of feminist policy.

In spite of this, men are still making their way to positions of leadership and better pay.


#14

I have other obligations for the rest of the day and won’t be back to the thread today, if at all.
I appreciate that everyone who has strongly disagreed with me has been civil and engaged in good-ish faith, that environment is why I come back here from time to time.


#15

Trying to ‘confront masculinity’ in education has created an alarming male-female achievement gap (which, in a nod to intersectional models, is present across all U.S. populations but dramatically more pronounced among black, Hispanic, and rural populations). This is exacerbated by a systematic driving out of male primary/secondary teachers, part of one of several ugly feedback loops fed by a narrative of presumed male malice from people internalizing and personalizing ‘fighting the patriarchy.’ I absolutely agree that we live in a culture with an ugly history of policies built on ignoring the input and failing to address the needs of women and/or minority groups, but we mustn’t repeat the mistake.

So to summarize, “Once again, white men are the REAL victims here!”

There is indeed a growing male-female achievement gap in education, but it’s not the result of the effort to confront/counter masculine dominance (i.e., patriarchy). Those who confront patriarchy recognize that it harms all, including men. In the educational context, it discourages what amount to scholarly attributes in boys, and it encourages them in women. Thus, one reason that women are doing better in college entrance and completion is because college access has finally opened up more to women, and NOT because college campuses have become increasingly hostile to men.

Those who confront patriarchy are not confronting and attacking men; they’re confronting patriarchy. If men fail to see that difference and get discouraged from going to college as a result (which I’m sure rarely happens, unless they’ve been whipped up by the anti-college, ultimately anti-intellectual fervor of right-wing outlets like your beloved Quillette), they’re failing to understand what efforts against patriarchy (like efforts against white supremacy) are all about.

If what you’re saying is that identity focused policy that advances equality for members of marginalized/oppressed groups also harms members of privileged groups, no, I will not acknowledge that, because it doesn’t. I know that for the privileged, the push for equality can feel like oppression, but just because the privileged feel that something is true doesn’t mean that it is true.


#16

What it seems to boil down to is this: Do you desire equality, or do you desire to turn the tables upon oppression? I don’t mind advocating for the latter as long as you are candid about it.


#17

Turn the tables, so that the oppressed become the oppressors? Of course not – it’s almost like you can’t even hear what I say.

Like most who use terms like “white supremacist patriarchy” while trying to counter systemic oppression, I desire to counter oppression itself, not to inflict harm on those whom oppression benefits.

The belief/fear held by some privileged folk that the oppressed secretly harbor fantasies of vengeance is a paranoid canard. So when it comes to being “candid about it” (which I guess means continually saying something like “Remember, I’m not out to hurt you!”), why should I consider myself responsible for other people’s groundless paranoia?


#18

The never ending expectation of emotional labor by minorities in service of the privileged gets old fast.


#19

Word


#20

OMG I want this printed on a t-shirt.

That’s what so many on the right don’t seem to “get” about things like feminism, BLM, and so many other social justice causes: addressing their causes need not come at a cost to others who don’t suffer from the same inequalities.