(film at eleven)
in calling out not just the usual suspects but those of us who were willing to soften a bit for what looked like doing the right thing (yeah, i said "thank you," too, like it was gonna register, but i thought, a gesture).
Quoting Usual Suspect:
Well, the root cause really does go back to agenda-setting. People really look up to Fire Dog Lake as a blog where they don't have this hostility to "identity politics", but in fact see the big picture here, and the importance of having the liberal resurgence be about economic progressivism AND foreign policy issues that are based in trying to keep peace AND opposition to oppression by race, sex, and sexual orientation. Markos and the Sensible Liberals out there want to see these goals as somehow opposed, but I think that will are fixing to see that they are intermixed.
And Nancy Pelosi's rise to Speaker is going to be huge for us peddlers in mere identity politics. Sensible Liberals are always seeking what goal they have to compromise on to get another, and while they were debating---do you give in on the war? do you give in on women's rights?---a woman rose to the 3rd most powerful position in the country, and controls the agenda of DC now and guess what? She was against the war from the beginning and a supporter of women's rights. Compromising your principles to get things done turns out to be the exception, not the rule.
And now we're seeing the damage that the widespread tolerance of sexist slurring is going to do to the Democrats because this whole arsenal of attacks against Pelosi will be handed out in the mainstream media that wouldn't be there if sexist language was as shameful as racist language. And it's going to hurt the people who were against the war all along, because she's been there with us. If more people would got on board with this antagonism to sexist language that feminists demonstrate, then we could have had a much better chance of minimizing the damage of these attacks. The reason tensions are high right now is the people who mock the "PC police" were often doing so, like Markos, to make us seem inconsequential so people like him get to set more of the agenda. And in doing so, they shot themselves in the foot. I think the whole cloth liberals who think all these issues are important are seeing this happening, seeing that we were right, and getting pushier because of it.
First off the ENTIRE thing is constructed on the premise that the severity of the problem is linked to what ladies and gentlemen. POWER
...Number one I am amused by the fact that it's beleieved Nancy Pelosi will change one iota because of these slurs. I am not that big a fan of her but that woman has an iron core . PLUS Who are sensible Liberals? The ones who make deals . or the ones who minimize others by portraying their concerns as trivial or baseless. ( see the links to rummages for cutlass and read the comments)
Then the slider i n the humdinger the one that gets my goat, my ipod nano and my bouncy ball.
if sexist language was as shameful as racist language
HAMINAH HAMINAH WHO?
ARE WE REALLY DOING THIS SHIT AGAIN?! REALLY
It's small I know right. I should let it go . Except NOPE.
STOP. JUST STOP.
I would really really really like people to stop using sneak attacks and sliding in racism vs sexisms while they do their teary eyed utopia dreaming stumpbox speeches...
You know what; so would I. And I apologize for not reading the fine print enough to catch that one.
Racist language and institutionalized racism aren't magically shameful now. They aren't LESS accepted by anyone. Considering these posts did not show up for TRex's lovely opinions on Japan ( what the fuck is it with white folk who go to japan and are shocked it's not America ?) and most responses to it ignore TRex's racism . If I was some equivacating bean counter I'd say the tip on THIS issue is that sexism will get a rise out of folks faster than race.
The folks taht tend to make the huge kerfuflfles about race ARE STILL POC . So when " racism is less accepted" it boilds down to is " all the colored folk won't shut up" , white america didn't magically act right , it didn't kill it dead and jump the hurdle . Non white america jsut became a very powerful voting/economic/might burn shit if ya ain't careful voice.
So when WHITE feminists keep mewing that sexism is still OK while racism isn't, especially in application to the THIRD IN LINE FOR THE PRESIDENCY.
while we still cant get enough colored folk to field a basketball team in senate ...
And may I just interject personally: I am more than a tad skeptical about the idea that simple categorical representation means (much more than) squat all by itself; if it did, Maggie Thatcher and Condi Rice would be just the greatest boons to women and POC ever.
I like Pelosi okay, I guess. As with anyone else, we'll see what she actually does with her upgraded status. But
1) as BA notes, you can't have it both ways. Either representation matters or it doesn't. If it's so all-fired important that the Speaker is a WOMAN y punto, then it bloody well matters how very few POC are in congress; and, corollary, if we ("what do you mean 'we,' white man...") somehow are managing to hurt her position by tossing around sexist slurs, then perhaps "we" also ought to consider how much it's "our" fault that POC have such little representational pull in the Big Time. of course, as BA also notes, Pelosi is a tough cookie and i doubt that a bunch of 'Net jocks spewing shite that was ripp'd straight from the Andrew Dice Clay routines on which these born-again Progressive Warriors were undoubtedly raised is exactly the biggest thing she's going to have to worry about.
2) Personally, I sort of glossed over the rationale that's apparently fuelling this latest spanking of fdl by a lot of people: to wit, "yer making us all look bad." Maybe it's because I'm a cynical little bastard myself and do see the need for realpolitik. Too.
But. It's a bit of a giveaway, framed in such terms, isn't it? "Compromising your principles to get things done," yes indeedy.
Except for, it's not really clear that that's what's happening here, is it, is it.
See, there's a flaw, I think, in the thinking here. The idea behind this seems to be that kos, fdl, etc. are willing to throw "identity politics" under the bus because they calculate that "we" (whaddya mean 'we,' white/straight/cisgendered/ablebodied/middleclass/First World woman?...) are expendable in the ultimate goal to WIN. And that--here's the mistake--they are mistaken in such calculations.
What isn't really examined here is what WINNING means in the damn first place.
Basically, it means "we" get in power. Yes?
So, technically, as long as "we" draw the boundaries around "us" pretty carefully, and then do everything in our power to make sure we win (the election, the Representation, the goodies, the book deals, the ad revenues, the limelight...the POWER, which is of course like everything else a very scarce commodity indeed)--well, in fact we're not being hypocrites at all, are we.
We're being remarkably consistent, in fact.
And so we see that in fact we are rallying here primarily not even so much because of Class Woman but because Pelosi is One Of Us, a much smaller, more select pool of "us" that is; and we protect our own.
Oh, right. Principles. We were talking about that at some point, weren't we.
Lookit. The problem here isn't whether fdl is "punk" and wonkette is a sellout, or punkass blog will be up against the wall whereas kos will be enjoying the fruits of his sellout labor. The problem isn't even "sexism is bad; racism, what racism?" although that's closer to it, and certainly A problem, oh yes it is.
But the main problem here is this:
People forgetting that this isn't a damn football game. It's not about anything so abstract as points or even principles, ultimately: it has very very concrete, tangible results for REAL PEOPLE. Just because those real people may not be "us" at the moment doesn't make the people it DOES affect any less real; nor does it mean that "we" won't be next.
So you see it's not about "compromising your principles to get things done;" it's about, the things "we" want done are not the things YOU want done, because you are not us, and you don't rate. That isn't compromising principles; those ARE the principles.
Which leads us to this question:
How does the apparent widespread if not universal consensus belief that "there's only so much to go around"--only so much ANYTHING, power, resources, love, even bloody atttention--go with what i thought were supposed to be progressive/liberal/small-d-democratic-what-you-will Principle?
Answer: It doesn't.
There is a reason why the pyramid model keeps getting recreated over and over and freaking over again, no matter how bloody low the actual stakes in real world terms; and, more important, why so many people seem to immediately buy in to the idea that they are somehow SPECIAL and CHOSEN (hi, TRex! hi!!) as soon as they reach a certain level of visibility or influence.
It is the same reason why the people who are ideologically more comfortable with the notion of an "elite" always seem to have an edge in this System than the ones who are vaguely, uncomfortably aware that something is wrong with this picture, although they can't quite figure out what.
Republic of Palau at Progressive Gold tags this as a particularly American (U.S.) symptom; since I don't have the same outsider's perspective, I can't say for sure in comparison to say anywhere else. I suspect it's not that simple; it never is.
What I do know, though, is that, yes;
there is this idea of the American Dream. Anyone can make it if sie just works hard enough. There's enough for everyone. This land is made for you and me.
Simultaneously: and yet, there is an Elect; there is Manifest Destiny; and that, too, is the American Dream.
We're Number One.
We HAVE to be Number One; or else we are An Loser.
but anyone can Make It if sie really tries!
We're ALL Number One; except some of us. Well no actually most of us. Because...they...you... didn't...try...hard enough,...aren't good enough...oh, right, that's what They think, isn't it. Well, we aren't Them! We're, um. That is, um. Let's, uh, well...prum prum prum...hey, look! Over there! Bad People!
lather, rinse, refuckingpeat.
Oh yeah. We are all completely sane.
Meanwhile, as Progressive Gold also notes, the what one would think is a very basic principle of telling the insane overgrown child, look, finally, just plain NO, well, that principle seems to have gone by the wayside, on account of, what, he might wish us all out to the cornfield? Something:
For every minute Bush tries to deny the inevitable, for every moment the people around Bush pander to his madness, the more they stand frozen like rabbits in the headlights as sycophantic impotence personified, more people die for no good reason, civilians and troops alike.
The cowardly Democrats don't have the guts to do a damned thing either (except for Cynthia McKinney, whose parting shot to Congress was an impeachment bill). And, in the middle of a constitutional crisis the likes of which the US has never seen, what is the Democrat political hopeful doing? Denouncing the regime and calling for immediate change?
Hell, no. Hillary Marie Antoinette bloody Clinton, unbelievably, is out campaigning against video game violence with Turncoat Joe bloody Leiberman. Fantastic.
Quick, I know! Let's all denounce her and then...not actually do anything substantially different! Okay! Ready set GO!!
Because, getting back to the main point, BA's point, I'll tell you what: fuck YEAH there's a principle here.
It's this: don't fuck people over.
Don't piss on peoples' heads and try to spin it as, well, no, not even trickle down, that's what THEY do, it's share and share alike, Ernie!
You are a blogger. You post something that a bunch of people find offensive. They tell you, in clear, first reasoned and then impassioned terms, like the sane, intelligent people that they are.
If you respond to them with a bunch of, well let's just take BA's example, as it couldn't be more explicit, even though yes it IS an example of a larger problem, believe it or not, exciting as the Internets Dwama aspect always is:
(quoting Usual Suspect):
Third, "burqua-gate" is basically being conducted by two white women who've appointed themselves the spokesmen on behalf of Women Of Color
So what is happening ladies and gentlemen is taht these " progressive liberals" will spend more time deconstructing and trying to teach a racebaiting,misogynist that engaging "two women".
They would spend more time scouring for ways to instruct and rebuke a user of black face , than IN ANY FUCKING MEASURABLE way dealing with the honest efforts of peopel to communicate with them.
AND AND AND !
To do so they have to basically try and ERASE a documented LITANY of responses that came mostly not form teh two white women. But from the brown folks.
WHILE USING THEIR APOLOGIES AS MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.
I am not good enough to talk to ( at least not ina ny meaning ful way, without paassive aggressive stabs) but need a emblem to hold up to prove y ou have moral highground .
Let's slow down and replay this bit:
dealing with the honest efforts of peopel to communicate with them.
And that right there, luddites and germs, would be yer principle, the one you keep losing sight of. You. They. "We." Whichever. Pronouns're a bitch, ain't they?
"We have met the enemy, and they is us."
Because the fact of the matter is, "we," and yes take that any way you damn like, don't have much "real world" power in the senses we like to think of as real world power, most of us. Hillary Clinton is probably not anxiously scouring the blogosphere for what we think of her; and if she is, or rather one of her aides is, well shit, we've seen how cherry-picking works; we saw its results at the last luncheon with her husband.
Here's where we, you, DO have real-world power: by your everyday actions, and yes that includes online, there are actual people at the other end too, believe it or not.
Recognize the honest effort of people to communicate with you. Respond--not react!--in kind.
THAT would be small-d-democratic. THAT would be progressive.
It's not in fact about "speaking truth to power." Power--that kind of power-- doesn't want to listen; that's what MAKES it power.
Speak truth for its own sake: that IS power. That is, a different kind of power. It starts with listening, not just speaking; and being willing to lok to your left, right and down rather than just, eternally upward.
Otherwise it's just, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
And we wouldn't want that, now would we?
Punk, edgy, progressive-type rebels that we all are...