Social justice warriors can be their own worst enemies.
For the first time, an openly gay man is running for president in America — but queer activists like Greta LaFleur and Dale Peck (whose article was pulled from The New Republic for its obscenity) are still unhappy, because Pete Buttigieg is white, married and middle-class, and therefore somehow not gay enough.
The current United States Congress is the most diverse ever, but for Massachusetts congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (one of the Democratic lawmakers President Donald Trump shamefully told to “go back” to their own countries, no matter that she was born in Ohio), this isn’t enough:
We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice.
If you thought the point of equality and liberation was that gender, sexual orientation and skin color would one day no longer matter, well, you’re just blind to your own oppression or an Uncle Tom for the patriarchy, heteronormativity, white supremacy — pick your poison. Read more
Government Should Stop Recording Gender Altogether
Robin Dembroff has an elegant solution to the “gender war”: stop government recording gender altogether.
“Conservatives insist that the state should record what genitals I have,” Dembroff writes. “Liberals insist the state should instead record my self-identity.” Both assume that the state should be concerned with gender at all.
In so doing, each side — whether tacitly or intentionally — endorses the use of legal gender to reinforce its own preferred gender ideology.
Hillary Clinton and America’s Need for a Female Victory
John Marshall has been writing at Talking Points Memo about how this year’s election in the United States is a particularly gendered one. It’s not just that one of the two major political parties has for the first time nominated a woman for the presidency; it’s that the other party is about the nominate a caricature of an alpha male whose promise, at a deep level, is to put women and other minorities in their place.
It is within this context that you need to read Ezra Klein’s feature about Hillary Clinton in Vox.
Klein determined to find out why the former first lady and secretary of state is perceived so differently by those who know her personally than by the wider public and believes he has found the answer: Every single person he talked to brought up, in one way or another, the exact same quality they feel leads Clinton to excel in governance and struggle in campaigns. “Hillary Clinton, they said over and over again, listens.”
That sets her apart from Donald Trump in a way that will decide not only the outcome of this election but what sort of a country America is going to be. Read more
Sarah Gordon argues in the Financial Times that Britain’s male politicians have failed to rise to the occasion and it is time to hand over to the women. Discipline and maturity may not be their exclusive preserve, she writes, but “the past few days could give one an excuse for believing so.”
There is something to be said for female power at a time when the men in her country’s ruling party appear to be living out their House of Cards fantasies.
Indeed, there is something to be said for female power across the Atlantic as well, where one party is in thrall to a caricature of an alpha male. Read more
Two Violent Men, Two Symptoms of the Same Sickness
America woke up this weekend to the news of the deadliest civilian mass shooting in the nation’s history. The senseless tragedy will undoubtedly evoke anger, sadness and helplessness.
In the meantime, many will forget to think and talk about Stanford swimmer Brock Turner’s crime and his “summer vacation” jail sentence: three months for the vile sexual assault of an unconscious woman.
As a sociologist, I was struck not by the abrupt shift to a new moral crisis, but by the continuity. Sociologists look for the bigger picture and in my mind, Mateen’s crime didn’t displace Turner’s. Yet the media simply replaced one outrage with another, moving our attention away from Stanford and toward Orlando, as if these two crimes were unrelated. They’re not. Read more
Some Republicans in the United States have tried to make the case that Donald Trump, their party’s likely presidential nominee, is somehow the left’s fault.
Bobby Jindal, the former Louisiana governor and a failed presidential candidate, blamed Trump’s popularity on Barack Obama in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. After eight years of the Democrat’s cool and nuance, it was little wonder, Jindal argued, that voters longed for bluntness and “strength”.
That was followed by an article in The Daily Beast that said “political correctness” had created Trump. Britain’s The Spectator published something similar. At Mother Jones, Kevin Drum rejecting this thesis, but recognized it was not entirely without merit.
Before blaming others, conservatives should take a long, hard look in the mirror. There is more right- than left-wing complicity in Trump’s rise. I argued back in December that mainstream Republicans had for too long ignored or tried to co-opt the crazies among them. Conor Friedersdorf has made a similar argument in The Atlantic. Jonathan Bernstein argued much the same at Bloomberg View not long after Trump launched his presidential bid.
Even so, we can see that Trump is a reaction to liberal pressures in several ways. That’s not to say the left is to blame. But liberals can learn from this. Read more