Feminists are crucified for leaving the left, but those who stay are avoiding hard truths.
I applaud you for your willingness to do things the way you are. It’s incredibly inspirational.
Like you, I’ve gone through a similar process. My views and principles haven’t changed but the people who are willing to stand up for them have.
Early on in the pandemic, I pointed out to a friend that I was against the lockdowns and other mandates because I was pro-choice. Yet the other person struggled to make the connection between the two concepts. Someone who claimed to be a feminist and participated in the Women’s March protests couldn’t see the connection between the two.
I’m proud to be someone who considers themselves your supporter.
Thank you, Meghan, for putting into words so much of what and how I feel. I am so grateful for your voice and your work!
WOW, you knocked it out of the park with this one. I appreciate your authenticity and the urge to be human / imperfect. I think the hypocrisy on the "left" is out of control. I never lost my values concerning free speech and bodily autonomy, they did. It all came into focus in 2020 didn't it? You're a great writer and I hope you never stop!
Hi Meghan. I've listened/watched both of your appearances on Joe Rogan. You have articulated very well some of the same questions and critiques I have of today's "Left." I considered myself a progressive left-winger for many years (Green Party member and supporter), but, like you, I see myself shifting Independent. Thank you for speaking your truth. I don't necessarily agree with all of your views, but I appreciate that you have been willing to question the Left and the ideology of transgender activists. Sorry there are so many haters out there. ... But I hope there more people who want free, open dialogue and debate in spaces where civility is maintained.
Excellent article, Meghan. Quite well sums up how I feel also. I've always leaned left and primarily voted Liberal and NDP. When the George Floyd riots happened and the police were so quickly demonized, I knew something was wrong. In my search for more information, I came across Thomas Sowell, Coleman Hughes, Ayaan HIrsi Ali, and you of course (and more but too many to list). Because of amazing and relentless journalists like yourself, I can now see the harmful effects this progressive ideology is having. Especially on women's rights. I believe it was in one of your podcasts (?) it was talked about how it has to be everyday people coming together to force politicians to address this. You are so right!! After hearing Billboard Chris speak of Erin O'Toole cowardly trying to avoid him, I lost all faith in the UCP. Maybe with the new leader it might be different, but I'm not holding out hope. The PPC would probably have addressed this, but people in Canada have become so reliant on government to fix everything that is wrong in society, that their message is a hard pill for people to swallow.
This 100% describes me. Only I didn’t know how to say it and you did Meghan. I could power an entire city for the winter with the energy in this article.
[But mostly, I have left the left because I don’t wish to be part of a cult. I don’t want to repeat mantras under threat of excommunication. I don’t want to hate my “enemy.” I don’t want to be angry or bitter. I don’t want to only be around others like me, who see things my way. And certainly I don’t want to support political parties who aim to dissolve free speech, civil liberties, and women’s rights under the guise of “inclusivity,” “equality,” and keeping us “safe” from “hate.” ]
As a recovering Left Coast NDP cultist this sounds very familiar.
This is really great. I wish I could do what you do. So much going on in my brain so many years watching the shit show and I don’t have the words to express my thoughts as accurate and authentic as you have here. Well done!
Meghan, just came across your Substack and I am so glad! Long-time fan here. This piece is richly worded, brilliant, inspiring, and also rather funny. I am an American who grew up in a solid Democrat-voting household so also an x-life-long lefty, but I also used to live in Canada in the 80s. I remember the co-op friends of mine who seem sooo similar to your family. The beat-up cars slathered with anti-capitalist and NDP bumper stickers, the RC co-counselling meetings, the adorable and scruffy activist children with unusual names we were so proud of, speaking truth to power at rallies against logging in BC (we lost that miserably). The eschewing of deodorant, the relentless Marxist rhetoric and the goat's milk from a local witch's farm. I have been trying on different ways to think about and describe "leaving the left." As you convey, it's not only about leaving the left, it's about opening up to the value systems of others. It's freeing, fun, and interesting, even as it is destabilizing and scary with painful consequences--loss of networks, friends, and resources. Being shunned is terrible for human beings, worse than death. So celebrating the benefits and new community as you do here is so important for many of us wandering about in the political wilderness. As you say, it's about conversations, learning, trying on other points of view and at times finding surprising and refreshing value. Realizing just how narrow minded and snotty and horrid and superior the left really can be. Feeling a necessary shame about my own participation with such a blinkered world-view and people I may have hurt. It's also about circling back round and cherishing the "progressive" values "from the left" that I still hold and folding them in. There's a dark side to all human worldviews, and x-lefties like us who feel "politically homeless" are repelled and horrified by the darkness we see in our own friends and progressives in power as they relentlessly push harmful ideologies and policies. But it is just human nature, the dark side of all humans that progressives have ignored again and again at their peril. It is always about power. Humans of all stripes hold on to power in the ugliest of ways when any group gets it, and that is what we are seeing in this moment. But like you, I still care about the most vulnerable people, which is why I fight for women in prison who are being attacked by men. (Thank you, Meghan for all your leadership and excellent writing on this issue!) I still care deeply about the natural world and believe in protecting it for its own sake, not just for the benefits to humans. I still care about women's rights. And the early progressives cared about the well-being of children and fought for them: just as we do when we fight against gender indoctrination and the sterilization, drugging, and mutilation of children. Again, thank you for all you do Meghan, you are so appreciated.
This line felt particularly true:
"the fear is rooted in what they might become, as well as what they might be revealed to be. They fear being found out for who they really are: imperfect, unbrilliant, judgemental, possibly bitter, possibly envious, closed-minded people who fear honest, open conversations lest they change their minds, leaving them vulnerable to ejection themselves."
As an outcast I am used to those feelings, but I think for the majority of people with "normal" lives, it's very hard to step out beyond the mantra.
Group think is a terrible thing.
I am no fan of either the Old or the New Left, but I have some begrudging respect for the grassroots socialists of the Old - people like Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas and even Bernie Sanders. They had convictions and were willing to risk going to jail or worse for their beliefs. The New Left shifted its focus from the working man to academia, which was its biggest mistake. Instead of raising genuine working-class concerns, they sit in their lecture halls and offices propagating abstract theories and pining for civilization's decline. It's nothing more than a cult, to be honest.
This is one of the best pieces of writing I have come across in a long while, not to mention one of the most relatable. Though not raised Marxist, I was raised in a very liberal home in Southern CA and my mother still has not recovered from my departure from the Left. You said "Choosing authenticity over allegiance is the best choice I ever made" and I couldn't agree more.
I don't understand people on either end of the spectrum getting angry with individuals "on the same team" who go on "unfriendly media". Is the point to persuade those with whom one differs, or not? If one limits oneself to talking only to those who are already in agreement, what is gained?
Yup, I found out who you were from the PragerU video mentioning that you had been deplatformed and I just checked out your channel out of curiosity, expecting that I would completely disagree with you on everything except the gender identity issue. I was so surprised at how you were (and are) willing to look at each issue with a logic based approach and it really didn't seem like you hated men at all. I eventually even became one of your patrons.
I use the terms myself but I'm not sure that Left and Right are useful any longer. Their meaning seems to depend on who is using them and often they are used simply as an insult by one side against the other. I'm probably guilty of that myself.
As an aside can I suggest a book by Alexei Sayle called "Stalin Ate my Homework". He describes his childhood growing up in Liverpool with very left wing parents. It sounds very much like Meghan's experience. It's a funny book and interesting.
Excellent article, thank you.
I don't you, but I like you!