November 1, 2013

"I got cut off, yelled at, screamed on. The moderator tried gently to intervene, to ask the brother to let me speak, to wait his turn."

"To model allyship. To listen. But to no avail. The brother kept on screaming about his commitment to women, about all he had 'done for us,' about how I wasn’t going to erase his contributions. Then he raised his over 6 foot tall, large brown body out of the chair, and deliberately slung a cup of water across my lap, leaving it to splash in my face, on the table, on my clothes, and on the gadgets I brought with me."

Wrote Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper, describing her experience on a panel at the Brecht Forum on the topic of "ally, privilege, and comrade," quoted by Mychal Denzel Smith in a column at The Nation titled "There Is Still Misogyny in Progressive Movements."

I don't know who the water-slinger was, and I don't mean to excuse aqua-violence, but I can't tell from Cooper's description that the man's anger arose from his misogyny. It sounds more like anger at being called a misogynist.

I've never believed the notion that left-wing politics and feminism overlap all that much, and anyone who thinks they do should brush up on the history. There's plenty of shallow feminism amongst lefties who know they're supposed to toe the line, and it's not surprising that they're dismayed to hear that they haven't done enough. Progressivism is about doing things, and there's always more to be done, so how could you possibly have done enough?

35 comments:

LordSomber said...

There's plenty of shallow feminism amongst lefties who know they're supposed to toe the line, and it's not surprising that they're dismayed to hear that they haven't done enough.

Yeah, but people still defend Bill Clinton.
Some people are more loyal to other people than their own principles.

Terry said...

Where Leftism and Feminism overlap is Marxism. The idea that women are exploited for the benefit of men is a core concept of modern feminism.

madAsHell said...

Then he raised his over 6 foot tall, large brown body out of the chair

It almost sounds like a blouse-ripper novel.

"...and then his large brown body stood over me. His chest was heaving. A glow of perspiration covered his brow and breast. He gazed at me, and the look tore through my soul. He pressed his face to mine, and electrified me with his kisses. I knew I would be his prize. I knew the best was yet to come."

Sorry, for I am just a poor imitation of Chip Ahoy.

Edward Lunny said...

" There's plenty of shallow feminism amongst lefties....." Uh huh, you could have left out the "feminism" and replaced it with "fill in the blank " . Despite their disgust with misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc they exhibit as much as any of the groups they purport to oppose. You can add misandry to that list as well. They aren't nearly so "progressive" as they purport to be. Witness the aforementioned defense, and excuse of, Clinton. Clinton a serial adulterer, sexual predator and rapist. All that and the feminists grovel, slobbering at his feet, or his phallus. Sharpton, the Jacksons and on and on, hating phonies and libs. Apparently , oh hell, obviously so long as you hew to the lib propaganda even murder can be excused. Heh, indeed, defended. So many buffoons, so much bullshit, and so much wasted time and money, wasted on people unworthy of the expenditure.

Illuninati said...

"Men who talk a good game about revolution but continue to be invested in the perceived gains of patriarchy, sexism and misogyny not only do a disservice to the movements they part of but also, more importantly, the people for whom they claim to be fighting."

This last sentence is paradigmatic of the left. The left must have enemies whom they are at war with. They are always about the fight. The primary emotion which unites the left is hatred against other people, the scapegoat who cause all their personal misery. This need to scapegoat other people is typical of the mimetic process which leads to periodic violence against innocent victims.
Tyrants instinctively understand this need for scapegoats and always seek to provide them.

campy said...

Lefties can paper over their differences when there's an external threat, but now that the right is in disarray the cracks appear.

Big Mike said...

Progressivism is about doing things, and there's always more to be done ...

Which is why there's always some new battle in the culture wars. The question is whether the "more to be done" is a net force for good.

What is not at question is whether Progressivism is a lot of fun. The Progressives get to look down on the people who don't see eye to eye with them, and get to stage demonstrations (and maybe even make a sort of a living as a professional demonstrator!), and raise Hell generally. Want to beat up Black people? Don't join the KKK -- be a counter-protestor at a Tea Party protest and go beat up any Black guy you see with a Gadsden flag! Great fun!

And the cool thing about being a Progressive is the total lack of accountability. Nothing ever doesn't work -- I mean, it may cause real pain and hardship and lower the standard of living for everyone who isn't already a limousine liberal, but that can always be laid at the door of those mean, evil Republicans. Or you didn't throw enough money at it. Or something.

Big Mike said...

BTW, anyone besides me notice the jarring use of the word "comrade" in the text?

Unknown said...

"Progressivism is about doing things"

Not. Modern progressive is about making others do things they don't want to do, while pretending to do them yourself. It's about posing and being PC.

e.g. the lack of substantive lifestyle change of the left in response to manufactured crises.

I'm still waiting for a leftist to brag about not flying anymore due to global warming.

Or applying affirmative action in choosing a doctor, dentist, even a hairstylist. They are all a bunch of ablists.

Unknown said...

Ableists

n.n said...

They should have asked to qualify "progress". Progress is simply monotonic change. It never ends. Progressivism is like a gang, where entry is encouraged but departures are odious. It's a one-way road to something, somewhere.

As for feminism, think individual dignity, think biological imperatives, then reconcile the two. There is really nothing more to discuss. There are reasonably compromises. There is no cause for extreme or fanatical movements, which denigrate the former and confuse the latter.

Big Mike said...

I'm still waiting for a leftist to brag about not flying anymore due to global warming.

Won't ever happen. OTOH, many have bragged about not having kids in response to global warming, which gets them out of cleaning up vomited-on bed sheets, changing diapers, calming night terrors, parent-teacher conferences, and all the other things that go with having kids.

Drago said...

AA: "I've never believed the notion that left-wing politics and feminism overlap all that much, and anyone who thinks they do should brush up on the history."

What do you get when you cross a leftist with a feminist?

A leftist.

What do you get when you cross a leftist with (insert movement-term here)-ist?

A leftist.

Leftists are about power.

Period.

Any other "....-isms" are simply tools of the moment to advance the cause.

n.n said...

There's plenty of shallow feminism amongst lefties

That's the extraordinary achievement of left-wing ideology. Common dreams for fulfillment of money, control, libertinism, etc. enable diverse groups to successfully reconcile or ignore diametrically opposed agendas. Perhaps that's why after establishing their order, they are inevitably at each other's throats.

Archie said...

What a wretchedly barren life this woman must live.

EDH said...

I thought the reason to become involved with leftist politics was all that gorgeous snatch.

Larry J said...

Could be that when she went into her standard feminist speech about how all men are scum, he was offended.

Jupiter said...

"the brother"? Isn't that racist? Or is she a "sister"?

YoungHegelian said...

@Terry,

Where Leftism and Feminism overlap is Marxism.

No, not really. The post-Marxist Left has a huge foundational problem: it seeks to retain key Marxist categories, but to move those categories outside of the rigid philosophical matrix in which Marx & the classical Marxists embedded them. The problem is that, once removed from the Marxist matrix, the categories stand as dogmatic assertions, with little or no context to explain where these foundational assumptions come from.

Classical Marxism is actively hostile to any political activity which distracts from class struggle. Feminism, gay liberation, racial consciousness, national identity, etc. are at best tactical way stations in the workers struggle. A Marxist feels that racism, imperialism, sexism, etc are all social malformations caused by capitalist exploitation, i.e. they are epiphenomena of the class struggle. Only when socialism triumphs can these malformations be ended. If and when these "isms" claim to be on equal footing with class struggle, they become forces of reaction.

So, the post-marxist world of "-Ism" lefties imports its categories (e.g. capitalism=bad, imperialism=caused by capitalism) from a philosophical system that actively subverts their most cherished moral assumptions, i.e. that they as the oppressed Other have a distinctive moral authority. In Marxism only the workers have moral authority, and that's not because they are oppressed, but because through the development of a revolutionary consciousness through labor, they not only make the world, they and only they see social reality for what it is.

I spout this shit real good for a conservative, nyet, comrade? I should because I've sure read enough of it.

Jupiter said...

Plus, isn't it sexist? I mean, shouldn't Brittney be calling him "the sibling"? And what does it matter that her interlocutor was over six feet? Isn't it the volume of the cup that matters? Or is the sister implying that size does matter? Or what? It's almost like she thinks there is or should be some sort of societal norm against "males" directing physical violence at "females".

William said...

You can look it up. Radical women such as Beatrice Webb and Rosa Luxembourg came late and tepidly to the Women's Suffrage Movement........This man acted badly. All those people in the audience would boo Cheney or Bush (or even Mother Theresa if she said something anti-abortion) without hesitation, but they let this moment pass without comment. The incident reflects just as badly on the audience as it does on the boor........Here's a non controversial observation: in the 20th century Americans were less anti Semitic than Germans. Here's another non controversial observation: Americans are less sexist than Africans.

Unknown said...

The water thrower is Kazembe
Balagun, a marxist (Brecht Forum/New York Marxist School)

Why would anyone expect civility and pacifism from a marxist?

John said...

I think it was Rap Brown or Stokely Carmichael or someone like that who was asked back in the 60's what he saw as the position of women in the revolution.

"Prone", he replied.

Revolutionary, progressive and protest movements have always been as much about men getting laid as anything more substantive.

Brown might have been able to afford to be choosy back in the day.

Or as someone else said, getting snatch.

Me, in the 60's? Prone, supine or on their knees: I thought it was all good.

John Henry

John said...

Larry J,

Shouldn't that be SCUM? Society for Cutting Up Men?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCUM_Manifesto

I might add to my statement about men using the movements to get laid, lesbian women seem to do it as well.

John Henry

Terry said...

"Progressivism is about doing things, and there's always more to be done ..."
Of course. You must be in the vanguard. If not, you are simply bourgeois. That's why Leftism is, at it heart, anti-democratic. By definition the policy choices of the majority are rarely the last word.

Tina Trent said...

All three of the people participating in that event were trying to one-up each others' victimization prestige -- Ms. Cooper, of the crudely prejudiced and silly "Crunk Feminism" group, had already declared her victimization superiority over the white woman and black man sharing the stage with her (I am using Cooper's reductive language to describe her peers).

The fact that Cooper, her black male splasher, and I suspect the white woman as well, are tenured or tenure-track professors solely on the grounds of eternal and hysterical recapitulation of alleged victimization tells you all you need to know: the event itself was just an academic airing of their identities, the anti-intellectual raison d'être that entirely justifies their well-paid no-show teaching jobs.

Lacking coordinated temper tantrums like this one, they might actually have to teach books or something.

Bob Ellison said...

"Brittney"?

Annie said...

John Henry, I have always thought the left despised women. Thus the huge support/fight for abortion. They prefer them prone, toss them aside when they're done, no consequences. Rinse. Repeat.
Lefty women become real bitter.

wwww said...

Looking at history, I don't understand how feminism could be seen as not originating from the "left" side of American history.

Granted, using the word "left" can be facile, but they didn't originate from the "right" or "conservative" side of 19th and early 20th century politics.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns. Paul and Burns broke away from mainstream suffragists because they wanted to employ radical tactics.

Window-breaking has not generally been viewed as conservative. Paul and Burns met in a English jail.

I suppose if one looks at very recent history, after feminism became mainstream, but if you look at Alice Paul or earlier...not seeing it.

I don't see how Gerda Lerner could be seen as originating from the right side of the political spectrum.

And if Lerner and Alice Paul and Ida B. Wells weren't feminists, what the hell does the word mean?

wwww said...

Looking at history, I don't understand how feminism could be seen as not originating from the "left" side of American history.

Granted, using the word "left" can be facile, but they didn't originate from the "right" or "conservative" side of 19th and early 20th century politics.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns. Paul and Burns broke away from mainstream suffragists because they wanted to employ radical tactics.

Window-breaking has not generally been viewed as conservative. Paul and Burns met in a English jail.

I suppose if one looks at very recent history, after feminism became mainstream, but if you look at Alice Paul or earlier...not seeing it.

I don't see how Gerda Lerner could be seen as originating from the right side of the political spectrum.

And if Lerner and Alice Paul and Ida B. Wells weren't feminists, what the hell does the word mean?

John Lynch said...

Lefties aren't angry. They're passionate.

Terry said...

wwww wrote:

Granted, using the word "left" can be facile, but they didn't originate from the "right" or "conservative" side of 19th and early 20th century politics.

Why did you use the word 'facile' instead of 'easy', wwww?

Pettifogger said...

"Brown" body?

Is this woman a racist? If I said that, I would be considered so.

wwww said...

"Why did you use the word 'facile' instead of 'easy', wwww?"

Just seemed to fit the sentence better, I guess.

The def. of facile:
ˈfasʌɪl,-sɪl/
adjective
1.
ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial.

Versus the def of easy:
ˈiːzi/
adjective
1.
achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties.

Largo said...

@wwww

Good use of the word 'facile'.