Feminism’s Twitter extremists have gotten so toxic that that infamous organ of right-wing patriarchal oppression, The Nation, actually took notice. I recommend the article by Michelle Goldberg not only for the schadenfreude, but also numerous glimmers of actual facts and insights breaking free of the politically correct morass. It examines the rage-war of victimhood identity politics through the very language purveyors of that mindset wish to impose.
Even an achingly politically correct feminist conference generates a response “so vitriolic, so full of bad faith and stubborn misinformation, that it felt like some sort of Maoist hazing.”
Online, however, intersectionality is overwhelmingly about chastisement and rooting out individual sin. Partly, says Cooper, this comes from academic feminism, steeped as it is in a postmodern culture of critique that emphasizes the power relations embedded in language. “We actually have come to believe that how we talk about things is the best indicator of our politics,” she notes. An elaborate series of norms and rules has evolved out of that belief, generally unknown to the uninitiated, who are nevertheless hammered if they unwittingly violate them. Often, these rules began as useful insights into the way rhetorical power works but, says Cross, “have metamorphosed into something much more rigid and inflexible.” One such rule is a prohibition on what’s called “tone policing.” An insight into the way marginalized people are punished for their anger has turned into an imperative “that you can never question the efficacy of anger, especially when voiced by a person from a marginalized background.”
Or, as I call it, the “get out of debate free” card. Also known as the “I don’t have to be polite because I’m marginalized, you racist!” card.
“But the expectation that feminists should always be ready to berate themselves for even the most minor transgressions—like being too friendly at a party—creates an environment of perpetual psychodrama, particularly when coupled with the refusal to ever question the expression of an oppressed person’s anger.”
Just change the word “feminists” to “anyone who disagrees with a Social Justice Warrior” and you’ll have a pretty good picture of their permanent rage-fest tactics.
Requisite The Nation en passant bashing of name-brand conservatives for imagined transgressions? Check.
“I’m not going to stop using the word ‘vagina’ for anybody, whether it’s Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee or somebody on Twitter who feels it creates a dysphoric response,” she tells me. “I can’t do that and still advocate for reproductive freedom. It’s just not a realistic thing to expect.”
If Beck or Huckabee has actually asked people to stop using the word “vagina” it has escaped my notice. But they’re only name-checked here as designated hate-fetish objects designed to burnish the speaker’s progressive bona fides.
The piece pays special attention to #solidarityisforwhitewomen creator Mikki Kendall, who essentially says white feminists have all their hate coming.
“Feminism has a mammy problem, and mammy doesn’t live here anymore,” Kendall says. “I know The Help told you you was smart, you was important, you was special. The Help lied.”
Maybe Kendall isn’t as big of an idiot as the article makes her sound, but if you’re dismissing the concerns of your critics by stereotyping them as cliches out of a fictional movie, then you’re the one being the racist, and you’re the one with the problems.
Read the whole thing. Here’s a separate cheat-sheet to the participants. And for those who followed the Wiscon/Failfandom wars, it’s no surprise at all that the mob is now trying to get Goldberg fired…