The ironic thing about Totalitarians is that eventually the Totalitarianism they are pushing for – i.e. the silencing of dissenting opinion – comes back around to bite them in the butt. I refer to this as the Boomerang Effect.
Let’s go back in history to 2008. Hilary Clinton was running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Gloria Steinem writes an op-ed for the New York Times, essentially arguing that sexism against women is a more important issue than racism against blacks or others. A blogger named Pamela Merritt (who at the time wrote a blog called Angry Black Bitch), responded in an NPR interview:
“I am a proud black feminist who holds a deep respect for feminist leaders and has done a lot of inner work to come to terms with feminism’s history with race and class. But there it is again, that invisibility, like a brutal weight that I am so bloody tired of carrying. [Steinem’s] article is soaked in the fluid of competition. It reeks of frustration that I fear is born from a place of entitlement, even though it is dressed in the language of oppression.”
Intersectionalism FAIL. Vox in a recent article referred to the whole thing as “an exhausting parody of oppression Olympics.” Wow, even Vox sees it. And for once, I agree with Vox.
Of course, we are experiencing that same conflict in the current election, with the tension between most young females supporting Bernie Sanders over Hilary Clinton. The Vox article goes on to argue that it is really two kinds of Feminism – that younger women are supporting feminism by supporting Bernie’s economic policies. An article by Rachel Weaver in the Chicago Tribune has argued something similar this week. As has the New Republic and others.
The problem with this is that this kind of “Feminism” doesn’t fit the definition of Steinem and other Feminists. Because their feminism is defined as Identity Politics. It is a zero-sum game, where in order for white women to triumph, others must be suppressed. Supporting a man over a woman for president is not Feminism, can never be Feminism.
Interestingly, if you replace the “woman” with “white person” and “man” with “black person” in the above sentence, it would be called White Supremacy. But never mind that …
The real problem is that Identity Politics lies at the core of modern Feminism (and Progressivism for that matter). And if young women are not kowtowing to such an Identity Politics mindset, then those young women should be shamed into doing so.
And there, my friends, is the real rub: Feminism (and Progressivism) are not about choice, nor about empowering individuals … rather, it is about forcing individuals to behave and believe in circumscribed ways. And, ironically, Feminists and Progressives have come full circle to finally beginning to silence and coerce their own … i.e. the Boomerang Effect … i.e. Totalitarianism. Even feminist Julie Bindel came out against such censorship this week.
You know what is all about empowering individuals? Liberalism. Which is why, as I’ve said time and again, progressives are NOT liberals.
Of course, the other subtle irony here is that all of the above articles are arguing for Identity Politics as well … they are merely suggesting that those young women more closely identify with their economic class – twenty-something whites riddled with lots of college debt and poor job prospects – than their gender.
Which makes sense, it’s not young black women supporting Sanders … it is young white women. In fact, Sanders’ support in the African-American community is pretty poor overall, unless it is young black college students i.e. twenty-somethings riddled with debt.
Perhaps the real problem facing Feminists and Progressives has been the critical flaw of Identity Politics all along – that people don’t fit nicely into one single group. You are not just a woman, or a man, or black, or gay, or rich, or poor. You are many things.
And thus while young women feel the brunt of the Identity Politics bludgeon (i.e. Hilary supporters try to shame them into supporting her based purely on their gender) … Hilary herself is dealing with the other side of the sword – the cruel twist of irony when people choose to identify with a different group.
In short, both sides are getting fucked over by Identity Politics. The Boomerang Effect is in full force.
As such, any society or group should be alert to the signs and symptoms of Totalitarian behavior within its own ranks.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we should be clear that Identity Politics is still alive and well. Just this week, the Chicago Tribune also published an article decrying the fact that a woman is going to get 6 years in prison under mandatory sentencing laws for kicking a sheriff’s deputy, given the fact she 6 prior felony conviction … yeah SIX of them.
Nevermind the fact the 94% of people in prison are men, and roughly 60% of prisoners are black males despite being only 12% of the general population.… because OMG a womynz might be affected oh no we must save her bejesus white knight the horror the horror …
Yes, my friends, Identity Politics is alive and well. And if we let it, Progressives and SJWs and Feminists will push such totalitarian behavior until even dissenting Liberal opinions are stifled. And if individuals are no longer empowered to express themselves through free speech, well, that will be the end of Liberalism.