Friday, June 06, 2008

Sexism's Sour Grapes

It is a temptation for any minority, or any historically persecuted and downtrodden group to play the guilt card. Nothing trumps substantive discussion and debate more than introducing the sordid and the regrettable facets of human behavior. Nothing keeps demigods in power more easily and induces self-flaggelation in those who would listen to its counter-productive manipulative power. Nothing is quite as disgusting a spectacle as seeing people who clearly look to be offended in any and every situation no matter how innocuous it might be because it serves their cause.

In this day and age where we are too afraid of having an honest conversation about much of anything and instead have to dance around the elephant in the room, it's time for some simple honesty.

There have been women here on earth far longer than there has been conflict between races. Thus, sexism is highly interwoven into our societal framework. This is why I give second-generation feminists some benefit of the doubt when I hear all of their arguments as to why sexism played a part in this Democratic primary. Like many men, I seek to understand, though I often see smoke and mirrors and envy in the place of any genuine slight and discriminatory behavior. The few instances of overt sexism are never justified, but feminist activists should take care to know how to pick their battles.

In this world where perception determines ninety percent of reality, I would encourage Hillary Clinton supporters now currently licking their wounds to revise and reform their conduct. This is an excellent chance for a new generation of feminists to rise up and dismiss the stereotype that feminists are little more than man-hating, screeching harpies with a constant ax to grind.

It's often instructive to turn the mirror towards any activist and reveal how many of us out here must appear to the world.

This is often how any activist appears to the general public. And certainly when I get off on one of my tirades I have encouraged eye-rolling and light-hearted gibes. Self-reflection is a trait that would do us all well to emulate, since irony-deficiency syndrome, not racism or sexism, is the real natural enemy of any socially conscious liberal.


Unknown said...

G'morning Comrade Kevin,

As a half brown, half white bitch, I feel I can speak to racism, sexism and misogyny quite well:

It all sucks and one doesn't trump the other.

For me, its as simple as that.

Plus, no one in Hillary's camp was taking Michelle Obama's side when the rightwing nutjobs were going after her.

This is a most wonderful post and I do salute you for writing it. Bravo!

Westcoast Walker said...

Good post Kevin!

Your thoughtful analysis is refreshing, and I agree that is a problem with many progressives that we become just as mired in our ideological constructs that we can't see past our own navels at time.