Moral bankruptcy, political enemies, and fake feminists
Leftist feminists so left they are engaging in rape apologism in Israel
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. I do not understand the history and am in no position to pick a side in a broader sense or offer an informed analysis of anything beyond what I will offer here. I think admitting when one doesn’t know is a practice more of us should engage with — particularly the online commentators who believe they must hot take anything and everything, immediately.
What I do know and can speak to is the moral bankruptcy and luxury beliefs (a term aptly coined by) that have come to exemplify the modern left.
For most of my life, I identified proudly as a leftist and feminist. I had a major come-to-Jesus moment five or so years ago that freed me of that commitment, leaving me unable to unsee what I now consider a political sham defended via a cult-like devotion to dehumanizing ideology. The left, today, live in a fantasy land of their own making — their algorithms cultivated to ensure wrongthink is kept out; their social circles protected by pitchforks.
I came to this not only through observing those around me, but questioning my own work and analysis. When I started to feel my work had become easy, I started to wonder if something was amiss. When you begin to be bored of yourself — to regurgitate rather than think, when you can predict your own responses and those of your mentors thoughtlessly, you need to dig deeper. Intellectual boredom is not the friend of a good writer or commentator.
“You can gauge someone’s ignorance by the number of phenomena they explain with the same answer,”Bhogal explains. This is what I worried I was doing. I knew it was what those around me were doing.
I knew what was expected of me and felt deeply uncomfortable with that. So I fought my way out, shedding many of the “allies” who had supported me for many years. My questioning of the ideology we had told one another was best and most right weakened the tribe. So I had to be removed.
In this process, I also started to see that those who claimed to care most for humanity were also most invested in painting “the other side” as not only uncaring, but hateful. They were the most detached (quite literally many appeared to me to be hermits — having checked out of life in exchange for Facebook arguments, or at least limiting themselves to a tiny social circle), most lacking in empathy, and most unwilling to see or hear what the “marginalized” — the poor, the working class, the immigrants, the women and girls — had to say, should it disrupt their chosen view.
My experience offers me better insight than most. I haven’t rejected the feminist left because I hate them or see them as political enemies, but because I know them. I was one of them. Those were my weaknesses, my blind spots, my ideological limitations, my knee jerk retorts. Some of what I said may have been true, but I know what I rejected without consideration, and I know my “allies” did the same. We were blinded by a broader ideological goal that superseded reality, nuance, and inconvenient facts, whether about evolution, human nature, or history.
The feminists I worked and “allied” with (a term I have grown to hate, in recognition that what it really means is “with us or against us”) demanded the repetition of “intersectional” mantras, land acknowledgements, and recognition of one’s privilege repeated to ensure protection from accusations of “racism” and “neocolonial oppression.”
But even when I was on board with the leftist project, I refused to defend violence against women.
Rape was still rape and abuse was still abuse even if perpetrated by an individual or group categorized as “oppressed.” I opposed efforts to “abolish the police” from leftists who framed women who called the cops on dangerous or abusive men as colluding with a racist police state. I did not support BLM even for a moment, and was accused of racism both for declining to post a black square in lockstep and then for saying the BLM protests in Canada were ridiculous, considering the context, and protested nothing at all. I avoided phony “diversity” demands in my work, including empty identity representation on panels. I criticized feminism and the left, as a leftist and feminist, from the get go. Nonetheless, I assumed the project of “smashing” capitalism and patriarchy was a good thing, and that those who were not on board with building a feminist, socialist society simply needed to be reeducated.
As a younger Marxist/communist/anarchist, I believed those who told me the revolution may be violent, and that this was probably necessary in order topple the bourgeoisie. I don’t think I had any real idea of what that meant in practice, just as I don’t think most young, college-educated leftists who see themselves as revolutionaries know either. Such proclamations are all a distant fantasy to the young Western radical.
In other words, I know exactly who these people are, and they are not necessarily intentionally sinister — these are mostly privileged, ignorant, people uninterested in or incapable of critical thought, pontificating in an effort to sound bold and uncompromising in defense of the marginalized but who have no real idea what they are talking about or advocating in real life. This makes them no less dangerous, but I differ from the right wingers who think labelling these types “communists” will deter them, as they actually don’t know what communism is, in function, and therefore don’t see it as a bad thing. They sound sinister, and the impact of their words and policy proposals are indeed harmful, but the truth is that most of them are just regurgitating the jargon fed to them in universities engaged in an endless circle jerk necessary for the maintenance of the institution.
At some point, I began to grow frustrated with the feminists I worked and allied with, who seemed only interested in speaking within a silo. They truly believed (and apparently still do), that their relatively small group of radical feminists and allies could turn things around on their own, and that anyone they worked with should be willing to sign on to their manifesto, essentially — an ideological package deal — in order to move forward. This including listing off various politicized identities to create a hierarchy in terms of whose voices and views should be prioritized, inevitably leading to intra-movement fallouts via demands we “listen to [insert marginalized identity],” which really just meant prostrating to women with personality disorders.
While my work was centered around women, identity politics were always present and destructive within the groups I worked and allied with. It is a problem that taints the left, even the left made up of women who oppose gender identity ideology. Hierarchies of oppression limit thinking and dehumanize.
The natural result is exactly what we see from progressives today, poisoning their ability to think rationally and seek productive (or sane) solutions: a “man of colour” can be excused when abusing a “white woman” or an “oppressor.” Crime perpetrated by those (or on behalf of those) deemed part of the “oppressed class” is excusable, and in fact the fault of the “oppressor.” Criticism of violent, abusive, or criminal behaviour of members of this “class” is “racist,” or constitutes “white feminism” or “colonial oppression.” Men identifying as “transwomen” must be allowed access to women’s and girls’ spaces in ways that would have been treated as criminal in the very recent past on account of their new identification as “marginalized.” Indeed, to call these men’s behaviour predatorial, perverted, or dangerous is deemed “hateful.” Claims that all of these “oppressed groups” are fighting for their lives and constantly under attack justify the hate, abuse, and harassment perpetrated by the “marginalized,” excusing them from accountability.
Those I left behind, having seen how empty and dangerous this kind of thinking is, seem not to have advanced even a nanometre in their analysis — something perhaps excusable for the wisdom-limited 20-something, but rather embarrassing for the post-40 group.
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