Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Liberal Sexism: Misogyny in the Race for the Democratic Nomination

It's been a while since I've mentioned this, but I don't actually label myself as "liberal," and I certainly don't identify as a Democrat. I prefer "leftist" because liberals, at least in the U.S., are not nearly liberal enough for me. And also, liberals in this country are still really fucking sexist. Their sexism is just more subtle and insidious.

It's easy to call out Republican misogyny. It's right there out in the open for everyone to see. It's shameless. I might as well point to a pile of actual shit and say "that's dirty!"

The real work to be done is in the Democrat party and among the young liberals that I often find myself surrounded by in the Seattle area.

Let's talk about the current race for the Democratic presidential nomination. We've got "BernieBros" on one side and Hillary Clinton's fans saying that women who don't support Hillary Clinton are terrible or, at best, trying to impress the boys.

I've seen articles claiming that BernieBros don't exist. Honestly, I don't buy that. Is their prevalence exaggerated by the Hillary camp? Likely. But don't try to tell me there aren't liberal men out there harassing women online for whatever reason they can find that they think justifies their actions.

And don't try to tell me that Bernie fans and even Bernie himself don't treat Hillary and her fans differently because Hillary's a woman. Yes, Bernie has insinuated that Hillary is too loud and her yelling is so bad. Yes, that is always going to be rooted in sexism. Bernie needs to be honest about this to himself, keep an eye out for it, address it frankly and publicly, and apologize when it happens. Unfortunately, I don't think Bernie will be doing all or any of that, but he's got a better chance of doing it than Hillary does of examining her racism.

Yes, I see Bernie fans directing an intense amount of hatred and vitriol toward Hillary. I have no doubt that this would not be the same if the other candidate were Joe Biden or some other gentile white guy.

Yet another reminder that Bernie is Jewish.

This all exists and pro-Bernie men need to do just as much self-examination in terms of their inevitable and at least subconscious misogyny. They'd do better to keep their mouths shut about Hillary except to defend and uplift the voices of women of color in terms of Hillary's racist policies.

Okay? Okay.

Then we have the misogyny on the other side. Another kind of subtle misogyny, the kind that tells young women that if they're not supporting Hillary, they must be pathetic, naive, internalized-misogyny suckers who just want to be popular with the boys. Or there's the incredibly manipulative and fucked up use of the quote: "There's a special place in Hell for women who don't help/support other women."

There's actually a gif for that.

I don't remember what show this is from but fuck yes thank you.

Anyway, I guess a lot of us are going to Hell.

The implication of the things said by Gloria Steinem (infamous and virulent transmisogynist) (still) and Madeleine Albright are incredibly condescending and reminiscent of the ways women are treated by men when we try to speak out. We're told that we didn't form our opinions based on research and information into, for example, all the ways in which the policies supported by Hillary Clinton have harmed poor women and women of color and disabled women and LGBTQAIP+ women. No, surely, we don't know what we're talking about and are just basing our positions on our emotions. Silly girls :).

And then, yes, we're told we're going to Hell when we stick to our guns.

The point I'm trying to make is that there's no fucking escape from misogyny and sexism. We get it from all sides, from all candidates. There's literally nowhere that's not tainted by the stink of hatred for women, even from other women! So yeah. That sucks.

I still support Bernie, and I appreciate that he condemned the BernieBros. But now's a great chance for liberal men including Bernie to really examine the misogyny behind their attacks on Hillary and consider how they can make their camp safe for women, especially in light of how the white feminist Hillary camp just shat all over us. Thanks.

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