Monday, January 28, 2013

It's about primacy

You may recall the recent stoush on the English left between feminists and transsexuals. In short, a white feminist called Suzanne Moore wrote an ode to female anger which included the line:
We are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.
 
That set off the transsexuals who accused white feminists like Suzanne Moore of being privileged. Which then led another white feminist, Julie Burchill, to write angrily that everything she had she got for herself and that:
we are damned if we are going to be accused of being privileged by a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs.

Well, Julie Burchill's column was removed from the newspaper site; a female minister called for her to be sacked; and she is being investigated by the Press Complaints Commission.

And that has led her friend Suzanne Moore to question the direction of the left:
The wrath of the transgender community has been insane. They say I haven't apologised enough and I probably haven't...The sexual and political confusion is nasty and, while I accept some of it is my fault, is it all my responsibility?

...I feel increasingly freakish because I believe in freedom, which is easier to say than to achieve and makes me wonder if I am even of "the left" any more...

And I am serious about freedom of speech. If Lynne Featherstone can call for a journalist and an editor to be sacked, this does not bode well for having politicians and lawyers running the press, does it? Do you actually want to be governed by humourless, authoritarian morons?

How has the left ceded the word "freedom" to the right? It maddens me.

No party represents freedom now...People died for my right to offend you... you may continue to hate me, put me on lists, cast me out of the left. Free-thinking is always problematic...
 
She has a point. The enforcement of "tolerance" has become increasingly intolerant and coercive, to the point where freedom of speech, of association and of conscience is being eroded.

But what's more interesting to me is that a white feminist should be starting to feel this way. Liberalism hasn't targeted everyone equally. There has been a hierarchy of sorts, in which those groups tagged as privileged lose moral status and can be discriminated against, whilst those tagged as oppressed are told that they will get special treatment to aid their advancement.

Obviously, if you're stuck in the first group liberalism won't be experienced as positively as those in the second group.

Women have been told for a long time that they're in the "special treatment" category - but what happens as other groups press their claims and being female is no longer such a trump card?

The other interesting development in this affair is the column by Dan Hodges, a leftist who has worked for the British Labour Party. He wrote that the dispute was:
...illustrative of some of the problems affecting the radical Left at the moment: not least the fact that a significant fraction of the radical Left is utterly bonkers.

....But the fight for equality has always been a bare-knuckle one. That’s because – in truth – it’s not based on equality at all. It’s about primacy...

Though those fighting the good fight would never be caught dead admitting it, they’ve spent decades constructing, and scrapping over, a tightly defined hierarchy of oppression. And that hierarchy is invariably a self-serving reflection of prevailing internal power cliques.
 
In other words, the group which proves to have the most power gets, as its prize, to claim to be the most powerless and therefore to deserve primacy.

18 comments:

  1. My theory is that leftist women hate transsexuals because they hate the idea of any man getting the same "special treatment" they think they deserve.

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  2. Of course, Mark. All that has happened is that the "energy" (read:power) in the left has moved from women's issues and minority issues to gay issues, of which transgender issues are a part (even if gays are reluctant to admit that, that's where they are). As I said in my comment on your earlier post on l'Affaire Burchill, "gay is the new black". It just is -- gays (including transgenders) are at the top of the oppression hierarchy currently, and have the main energy of the left now. So other oppressed groups, if they conflict with the "leading-oppressed-group-of-the-moment", must give way and cede position. It's fairly clear when you look at the broader issue even without a specific conflict like this one -- this conflict just means that the left unzipped its fly for a few minutes, really. Feminists have had a long history of confrontation with trannies if you look at the history, really. It's just that this one happened in a mainstream media outlet at a time when transi-gay was at a higher rung on the hierarchy (in contrast to the earlier run-ins, when it was clearly on a lower run than the feminist jugger).

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  3. Gay white men are still, y'know, white men. It's a way for white men to resume/maintain holding power whilst being sheltered under liberal ideologies of victimhood. Nice work if you can get it.

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  4. Sounds like she just realised what the term 'useful idiot' means and how it is applied. Her 'usefulness' to the left just ended! Whoopee!

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  5. White men and women of normal minds need to distance themselves from the left as much as possible.
    The left has always ostracized anyone with their head on their shoulders anyway.

    A question for traditionalists on this site. Is secession in Australia a realistic possibility?

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  6. Is secession in Australia a realistic possibility?

    I don't think so. But concentrating numbers somewhere is.

    But before that can happen there has to be a creation of some kind of network and some kind of supporting institutions.

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  7. concentrating numbers somewhere is.

    Would it not be realistic to assume if large numbers of traditionalist minded westerners congregated anywhere the desire to segregate would be natural?

    I agree that networking is the first step and then an institution and a geographical community but I think naturally secession will be inevitable.

    To be honest the question stem from my thinking about is there really an Australia for Australians anymore? When was the last time the government ever acknowledged ethnic Australians directly in a positive way. I don't think they ever will from now on.
    The government does not fill me with enthusiasm for life in Australia or even life its self but that has made me seeking more fulfilling self-centered pursuits.
    Which appears to be the goal of liberalism.

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  8. what's more interesting to me is that a white feminist should be starting to feel this way.

    It's like that "first they came for the..." poem. First them came for the white hetero conservative males, but the feminists did nothing (indeed, they actively helped) because they were not white hetero conservative males. Well, now it is the turn of the feminists, and it is tough to feel much sympathy.

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  9. If you managed somehow to segregate yourselves, you would not be left alone. The Left would actively un-segregate you as their first order of business. For your own good, of course...

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  10. It's like that "first they came for the..." poem. First them came for the white hetero conservative males, but the feminists did nothing (indeed, they actively helped) because they were not white hetero conservative males. Well, now it is the turn of the feminists, and it is tough to feel much sympathy.

    Indeed. The point is that white heterosexual women were obviously the low-hanging fruit, the easy "start" of the revolution, because they are large in number and relatively easy to rile up as a group when confronted with men as a group. But now the focus shifts to others, and the white heterosexual women are found to have 2/3 privilege (that is -- white is privilege and hetero is privilege, so that leaves only woman as non-privileged) -- so finally the left is basically calling out their own privilege against them in favor of other groups that are less priveleged according to this taxonomy (given that "gay" is more underprivileged in this hierarchy than "female" or "black" is).

    The same thing is happening with respect to blacks and the gay issue -- blacks are being explicitly asked to cede their place in the hierarchy to gays, and many blacks are resisting that (as women are resisting it). But the push continues. Gays are now at the top of the list, in terms of power in the left movement. That's where the "gas" is now.

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  11. If you managed somehow to segregate yourselves, you would not be left alone.

    That's why it has to be a two pronged strategy. There has to be a counterweight as well in the existing society. If you can command even 5% of the vote in swing electorates; or if you control even the preferences for the final senate seat in each state; and if a decent percentage of our own younger intellectuals can be brought around to a traditioanlist politics - then you have something to bring to the table.

    The government does not fill me with enthusiasm for life in Australia or even life its self but that has made me seeking more fulfilling self-centered pursuits.
    Which appears to be the goal of liberalism.


    Anon, my encouragement to you would be to raise the next generation and while you're doing it to support the growth of a traditionalist movement as best you can.

    The support of individuals can be really important at this stage. As you might have read I've been trying to set up a local group in my own suburb. Why?

    Because if we want something real to happen we need a network in which there might be, say, 20 people in each suburb and town. If I can get that happening in my own suburb it will show that the project is viable.

    The first step of holding regular get togethers has been made, but the support of individuals in having more people involved is really important at this stage.

    So don't think you couldn't make a difference.

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  12. Here's a view:

    Liberals (whether Right-Liberal, Left-Liberal or Neoconservative) are obsessed with power, whereas Traditional Conservatives are obsessed with sex.

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  13. If you managed somehow to segregate yourselves, you would not be left alone. The Left would actively un-segregate you as their first order of business. For your own good, of course...

    Good point. Any ideas on how to counter this? Maybe we could start by defunding the left (all major corporations and big businesses, s well as big law, and big whichever are right-liberals), and then by expanding our own (private? public?) media.

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  14. Defunding the left = Defunding big/major corporations.

    And going back to small businesses.

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  15. "they’ve spent decades constructing, and scrapping over, a tightly defined hierarchy of oppression"
    I remember seeing this in action years ago on public television in the U.S. One evening I watched a program on an Indian tribe and their maltreatment at the hands of the army. The very next evening there was a program celebrating the buffalo soldiers, who were former slaves engaged as a calvalry force against the Indians. There was no sympathy for the Indians in the second program.

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  16. Mark this is such an important comment made by yourself "That's why it has to be a two pronged strategy. There has to be a counterweight as well in the existing society. If you can command even 5% of the vote in swing electorates; or if you control even the preferences for the final senate seat in each state; and if a decent percentage of our own younger intellectuals can be brought around to a traditionalist politics - then you have something to bring to the table".
    This needs to be repeated over and over again to those who despair "the left has captured this country through their hold on the institutions and it cannot be removed!" which it has but not through the electorate and by the way, even if you do despair your moral duty is clear, you must fight best you can, even if you think you won't win..
    Mark - also excellent point "then you have something to bring to the table"."
    Yes - and you make your philosophy out well and you bring that table but you must bring your strategic goals to the table.
    i.e. We insist the Human Rights Commissions be replaced as it has inflamed Cultural problems and advocated restricted free speech.

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  17. I feel increasingly freakish because I believe in freedom, which is easier to say than to achieve and makes me wonder if I am even of "the left" any more...
    How has the left ceded the word "freedom" to the right?


    Oh, that's easy -- by trying to forcibly silence anyone who wasn't of the left. Every sane person perceived that as oppression, and went running to the arms of the Right because nobody else would stick up for them.

    Does she really not understand this?

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  18. it's amusing that the radfems are more conservatively minded in that they recognise the male-female differences and the fun-fems don't.

    Here's Ms. Julie Bindel making a case why (real)feminists should be afraid of the fun-feminists:

    'Why "fun feminism" should be consigned to the rubbish bin

    If men like a particular brand of feminism, it means it is not working.'


    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/08/fun-feminism-women-feminist

    and ms. bindel interviewing ms. burchill about all and sundry:

    'Bindel: Would you ever consider having sex with a woman again?

    Burchill: I only like young women, and I really don't want to be an old perv. So best leave it.

    Bindel: What do you mean, young women?

    Burchill: I only find young women attractive. Not kids, obviously, but girls in their 20s. And only once about every five years. So I'm hardly a seething volcano of Sapphic lust.'

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/may/13/julie-bindel-burchill-feminism


    "In other words, the group which proves to have the most power gets, as its prize, to claim to be the most powerless"

    indeed, the mroe someone grovels, the more powerless the grovelees are.

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