Wednesday, January 25, 2017

So you want to be a white feminist?

White feminists are in for a shock. For some time the left has been developing an "intersectional politics" which tries to draw all the "oppressions" together: those of sex, race, sexuality and so on. As part of this leftist culture, if you belong to what is tagged as a "privileged" group you lose moral status. Your role is to submissively listen to and to clear a way for the more oppressed group.

This is a big problem for white heterosexual men who have no moral status at all on the left. Their role is to shut up, to listen and to learn from others.

But even white feminist women are starting to be affected by all this. After all, they might be women but they are still white. And therefore "privileged oppressors".

So what does a white feminist do if she wants to be a leader? Well, she can promise "people of colour" that she will shut up all those other white feminists, thereby proving herself to be an "enlightened" leftist worthy of leadership.

That is the strategy pursued by Sally Boynton Brown, the Executive Director of the Democratic Party in Idaho. She is one of seven candidates vying to become the head of the Democratic National Convention. She said the following as part of her selection pitch:
Black lives matter and it makes me sad that we’re even having that conversation and that tells me that white leaders in our party have failed. We have to accept there is prejudice that exists within our own party and we have to be able to have these conversations. We cannot sweep that under the rug. We cannot continue to hide it. We cannot smash voices down when they are trying to scream, “Listen to me, you don’t get it.”

I’m a white woman. I don’t get it. I am pleased and honored to be here today to have the conversation. I am so excited that we’re here. And I am listening. Because that’s my job. My job is to listen to the issues. [Applause]

My job is to listen and be a voice and my job is to shut other white people down when they want to interrupt (laughter/applause). My job is to shut other white people down when they want to say, ‘Oh, no, i’m not prejudiced. I’m a Democrat. I’m accepting.” My job is to make sure that they get that they have privilege and until we shut our mouths and we listen to those people who don’t and we lift our people up...

This is not just rhetoric. This is life or death...I need schooling and I depend on you and the people around our community to do that so that I can go school the other white people. [ laughter ]

The problem with this strategy? If you lower yourself in moral status this much, then you lose the credibility to lead. If white people are privileged and "don't get it" and can't get it and have to be permanently "schooled" by people of colour - then why wouldn't you just give leadership to people of colour? Why bother with Sally Boynton Brown? Because she is willing to lower her status to the point of saying, "I don't get it"? Because she is willing to use her influence to "shut other white people down"? It's a fragile and desperate way to pitch yourself as still relevant.

And that's the thing. White women who choose to join the left as feminists are going to find not only that a considerable amount of self-effacement will be necessary, but, worse, that they will become increasingly irrelevant within the movement. Even when they are there to make up numbers they will be told to "constantly check their privilege".

Sally Boynton Brown


  1. The basis of all leftism is envy.

    So just line up the most envied from right to left... and as always attack to your right!

    White feminists take their position for granted vis-a-vis White males because they really are only interested in their status and position with respect to White males.

    They do not see anyone else, and they assume that their society in which Whites are free to compete for this status can never be lost.

    But: you don't know race until you're the only White person in the room.

    But envy doesn't care as long as its resentment is assuaged. These are ugly people, and their coalition is always precarious.

    1. Cecil Henry, very interesting comment, thank you. If true, though, I don't know what you do about this politically, as you can't easily persuade someone to overcome a character failing. It raises the question of why so many modern men and women are vulnerable to envy as a character failing. Is it an aspect of an individualistic and materialistic culture in which success is measured by career, educational and lifestyle factors? Is it part of the decline of Christianity's influence, given that Christianity teaches humility? How, in other words, do you have a community that is less vulnerable to such a mindset?

    2. As a powerful example of this psychology, just look at this poster.

      'We are with you'--- actually means anyone who has a cause for envy and resentment due to a differing status (in a White country) than White males. Nobody is concerned about 'Asian privilege'. Why?? One big reason is not visible and therefore not felt.

      This is where the rhetoric about 'privilege' comes from, again, there's now no need to admit envy, as you have justified that with complaints about 'privilege'.

      Of course, the 'privilege' IS the accomplishment and the benefits that come from it. How is that NOT envy when progressive are calling it unjust, privilege or trying to tax it away??

      I've actually had people imply I'm privileged for earning more money by having gone to school for 12 years and made sacrifices. You can't tax fun, you can tax accomplishment.

      Privilege is the newest mask for envy as social policy. Government eats it up for the power it brings.

      How do you reduce the envious mindset?? YOu unmask it.

      There are two responses to excellence: one is envy (to seek to destroy anything superior to yourself which attacks one's narcissism) the other is emulation.

      You can't believe in God and 'equality'.

    3. I agree that envy is a huge part of this, but there are also progressives who adamantly believe that any privilege we have is unearned. When you boil it down, they see all whites as the recipients of 'stolen goods' and we are being challenged to fess up and make good on our crime (essentially bringing about social justice). This checks out in their view because you can receive the benefit of a stolen good without having done anything wrong, and so from birth white children are 'unfairly privileged', even when compared to minority children from wealthier families.

  2. I don't think it is true that the basis of "all" Leftism is envy. There are a number of different motivations that I've identified. One is simply super-emotionalism; this is what drives most actors and actresses -- they simply aren't "neurotypicals". Another is morality, specifically the belief that man is a moral agent, and ONLY a moral agent. They believe that one can never be too moral, that morality is an end rather than a means to an end. A third (the "progressive" strain) is simple utopianism. A fourth is a belief in "fairness", that the rewards of work should be distributed on the basis of effort, and not on the basis of talent, intelligence, etc. Finally, there is envy. There are some people who simply can't bring themselves to engage in the civilized rat race. They would rather live in abject poverty if necessary in order to spend their time engaged in creative activities. They have unstated contempt for those who can work and hatred of the fact that work is rewarded by all the nice material goods that a modern society can produce.

    1. I don't think it is true that the basis of "all" Leftism is envy.

      I agree with you. Leftism has always been an ideology that has appealed to an extraordinary extent to rich people. It has always been an elite ideology. The main motivation of leftism is power. It's no fun being rich unless you get to exercise power over others.

      Feminism in particular is an elite ideology. There are no poor feminists. White feminists really are among the most privileged people who have ever lived. Where will you find white feminists? In academia, in the bureaucracy, in the media. And all of them are rich. They are not motivated by envy because they have nothing to envy. What they want is to push people around. Most feminists also suffer from some degree of mental illness which seems to give them an unusually strong desire to push other people around.

      Feminism, because it is linked to mental illness, often involves massive self-delusion. You'll get a rich young white woman majoring in Women's Studies in an American college who arrives at the campus every day in the BMW that Daddy bought her and she genuinely believes that women like her are the most oppressed people on the planet.

    2. I have always seen the demands for 'fairness', the moral grandstanding, and the emotion behind that as simply a means to disguised the envy.

      After all, it can't be admitted openly-- as that admission would be seen as highly immoral. That envy would be seen for what it is- theft.

      YOu can't say--- why should he have more than me--- but you can say 'its not fair and I'm being hurt'. But of course you must have a target in mind before your relative situation can be unfair.

      Envy is one of the seven deadly sins, and 'equality' is the means to hide that motive.

    3. In the case of feminism I think there's a sort of envy but it's not material envy. It's envy of the achievements of those evil patriarchal white men - because despite feminism women have never even gone close to matching those achievements.