Hypocrisy of Lefty Men is Old News: Ideas For Action in Chaotic Times

The left has a misogyny problem.

No kidding, right?

63ddf102 1459 465f 8791 49732a2fddba

Old news and stale tea!

Jessica Valenti takes aim at the hypocrisy of so-called liberal men in a recent piece on Medium. Using as her example the disgusting current case of a 19-year-old Democrat congressional candidate in Kansas, she points out that men on the left are using the same arguments to defend him that Republicans used to defend Brett Kavanaugh.

"Men might want to take a pause and examine why,” Jessica suggests, missing the obvious explanation – It works!

"They said he was just a kid at the time of the abuse, but didn't dwell on how his victims were children too.” Drawing much-needed attention to the girls, but missing the fact that people who are abusive as children very often go on to do some truly horrible things as adults.

Because Aaron Coleman is not your average jerk: "Between the ages of 12 and 14, he bullied one girl so badly that she attempted suicide; extorted another classmate with a nude photo which he later sent to her friends and family (which legally amounts to distributing child pornography, among other things); and harassed a third young woman for months."

I'm Outta Here Again

Babe, I am absolutely not here for this!

That’s not normal behavior for anyone of any age, and demonstrates a domineering personality type that absolutely should be driven out of politics.

"When asked by Greenwald how people might believe that he's changed in the last five years, for example, Coleman didn't talk about sexism, the irreparable damage he did to his young victims, or steps he's taken to reckon with his behavior – instead he just pivoted to his "compassionate platform."

Oh yeah, this kid is creepy.

"And when Coleman announced via tweet that he'd be dropping out of his race, he didn't attribute it to the lingering power of his own actions or the idea that he might still have some growing up to do: Instead, he wrote that "feminism hasn't got a chance" because of "Donatism" (a religious sect that demands a person be faultless) and the "progressive circular firing squad."

Wow – Blame-shifting, playing the victim and a flourish of intellectual superiority, all in one tweet! Ms. Valenti is right about him not being fit for any kind of authority, at the very least. Not that this has stopped many a similar fellow in the past, as she firmly reminds us: “For far too many progressive men, misogyny is not a deal-breaker – nor do they think it ever should be.”

Her thesis is that men on the left have an ulterior motive for bending over backwards to support a guy like Aaron: “I don't believe this has anything to do with Coleman.”  After all, she assures us, there are leftist men who aren’t sexual abusers they could support instead.

“What all of this …. is really about is moving the goalposts on how much abusive misogyny the left is willing to accept.”

What Am I Reading

….Should I tell her? Someone should tell her, right?

Not to be mean, but we all know this.

It’s why women have been gathering in corners of the internet, talking amongst ourselves about being “politically homeless.” It’s why places like Reddit cancel us, pushing us into ever more condensed pools. Because, these days, we don’t have to just go home.

“Backlash is growing on both sides of the aisle," warns Jessica. Of course it is, we should expect nothing less.

What does she think wagging her finger at them is going to accomplish?

Jessica calls out a few of them by name – "Branko Marcetic – a writer at the far-left magazine Jacobin – tweeted that [Coleman’s] resignation was setting a precedent for candidates whose histories will be "scoured" for what he diminishingly characterized as "childhood scandal."

This is a bullshit thing for a supposed progressive to say, but this has been going on forever. Last week’s post about how the Bolsheviks abandoned Alexandra Kollontai is just one example of how even men with sweeping egalitarian ideas are still men. 

Karl Marx himself famously said, The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. I firmly believe this, whatever else Marx might have said or spawned.

Why are we still writing shame pieces, acting like we’re surprised when this kind of thing happens?

I may be getting old, but I’m kinda tired of complaining about men. A fellow middle-age traveler, I value Jessica’s voice in the conversation very much. I hope she and others will join me in enforcing some solutions to these issues, rather than just complaining about them.

As a start, I suggest three kinds of action women could take as a group:

  1. Continue holding men individually accountable – #MeToo has been pretty successful in taking out some nasty guys. But we need follow-through. We have to be persistent and inventive with our methods.
  2. Begin holding men collectively responsible – I have seen lots of agreement that men’s collective culture contributes heavily to individual bad behavior. We say they should call each other out. But when faced with someone Not-All-Men-ing, we shut them down and stonewall them. We don’t counter with, Yes, All Men! All men participate in and benefit from the toxic crap that is macho culture. As counterintuitive as it is, we have to engage with them. Until they start breaking ranks in real numbers and begin exploring what being a man is without domination, we are talking to a brick wall.
  3. To this end, we need to teach kids better. History shows us that the way to change a population quickly is to teach new information to the children. I have said it before, and I understand there is a lot of pushback in feminism to talking about our kids. But many of us have them and, if we aren’t raising them by what we believe, we are failing. Teach the girls to speak up. Teach the boys to listen. Hold yourself accountable and lead by example.

    Fighting Women

    We are ready!

If we are so fed up, it’s time to act! In this moment when we have contraceptives, ease of communication and access to information, let’s put it all together.

2020 has been bleak but, let’s not fool ourselves, we were kinda getting used to that, anyway. We still have a lot to work with. If we get organized amidst the current chaos, it could be a very powerful moment.

So, make a cup of tea and settle in. Be prepared for this to take a while. Call them out. Talk about patterns that you see. Don’t let up.

Women are half of this society; our collective weight will shift the scales.


    No comments found.

Leave a Comment