October 24th, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: email@example.com
Strongly stated and no doubt strongly felt. This conflict, in the abstract, has not changed much during the last 100 years. Since the 1960s we’ve referred to this as a conflict between the New Left and Old Left. But the conflict goes back further. As far as I know, the first person to talk about this conflict was Max Eastman, back during the 1920s, when he was an editor at The New Masses. He pointed out that there was no overlap between the states that gave the Socialist Party a big lift in the election of 1912, and those states that voted for the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
On a personal level, I know plenty of women who are active in Left politics and who have had bad encounters with misogynists on the Left.
From the article:
You see, Sanders is very much male in a society where far too many brilliant women are overlooked for platforms and opportunities to represent themselves—to tell their own stories as women instead of having their stories told by men—which was just one reason why the decision by the Women’s March organizers didn’t sit too well with feminists. Other critics also argued that Sanders’ harsh character attacks on Hillary Clinton, which painted the painfully stereotypical image of a dishonest, deceitful woman during the primaries, laid the groundwork for Clinton’s defeat in the general election.
But the harm that Sanders has done to the Democratic party is farther reaching than some petty internal conflict in the 2016 primaries. In particular, his time in the limelight has drastically impacted the Democratic party’s outlook on women, people of color, and all Americans of marginalized identities, and the importance of fighting for their rights. Don’t get me wrong when I say I’m grateful for Sanders’ contributions to the Democratic party’s 2016 platform, re: universal health care, marijuana legalization, a $15 minimum wage, and Palestine. But someone who’s spent the past year unapologetically leading a crusade against the concept of “identity politics” has no place at a convention to unite intersectional feminists in a contentious, dangerous political climate such as this.
While Sanders’ anti-identity politics crusade picked up in the wake of the Democratic party’s devastating general election defeat, from the start, his ultimate message was that nothing was a bigger, more urgent threat to Americans than the country’s broken economy and corrupt political establishment. According to this message, socialism was the cure-all: All the other, innumerable identity-based problems, ranging from racial and anti-LGBTQ discrimination to increasingly inaccessible abortion, would immediately cease to exist. In many ways, whether or not it was his intention, Sanders’ rhetoric convinced his supporters that “identity politics” are nothing but a distraction from “real issues.” And, as Sanders himself might say, “let me be very clear”: in those supporters’ eyes, women’s issues are not real issues.
That 12 percent of Sanders’ supporters went on to vote for Trump in the general election also shows the extend of the damage done by his message of all-consuming, unquestioning hatred for the “establishment”—without even clearly explaining just what the establishment really is. In their eyes, largely because of Sanders’ preaching, the debate was establishment vs. anti-establishment to the death—not of progress vs. bigotry, of feminism vs. patriarchy.
To Sanders’ feisty faction of “Bernie Bros,” the sociopolitical oppression shouldered by women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color to this day is purportedly a thing of the past, and those who continue to harp on continued discrimination are simply being whiny, annoying “social justice warriors.”