Thursday, March 23, 2017

Using Jessica Valenti to rant about Clinton feminists, and a question about all men

A friend on Facebook shared Trump did to Merkel what men do to women all the time | Jessica Valenti, which has the subhead, "Men constantly ignore women – but most of the time no one notices it. Except, that is, when it happens on the world stage."

So I've got a question and a rant.

The question: Do all men do this? Note that Valenti's claims are not qualified: she says, "men constantly" do this, a statement as absolute as "black people constantly" or "Muslims constantly" do something.

Also note that Valenti's opinion piece is backed up with nothing but a few anecdotes and a description of an episode of a TV show.

To be clear, I'm not denying a lot of men do this. In hierarchies, people at the top tend to be dismissive of the people they see as subordinate. Jane Austen's Lady Catherine de Bourgh is one woman's testimony that this is not inherently a gender issue. Men who believe in a sexual hierarchy naturally dismiss women.

But Valenti's statement is not about "some men". She uses Trump's encounter with Merkel to make a claim about all men. And she's using a situation where Trump, a xenophobic conservative, is meeting with Merkel, a foreign liberal, so gender is not the only issue at work in her example, for all that Valenti insists it is.

Whether Valenti consciously downplays other factors, I don't know. I do know she's a Clinton feminist who's named in Leaked Email Reveals Sady Doyle, Other Liberal Bloggers Coordinated with Clinton Campaign on Sanders Hits. Clinton feminists are, intentionally or not, very simplistic in their approach to feminism—for example, they don't care that the poor are disproportionately female; they backed the neoliberal woman instead of the man who fights for a $15 minimum wage, universal health care, and free public higher education, all of which would disproportionately help women.

Clinton feminists cannot grasp the Nigerian proverb,
When the axe came into the forest, the trees said "The handle is one of us"
The reason is simple. Clinton feminists do not identify with the trees. They identify with the axe.

Related: Study: Men interrupt women more in tech workplaces, but high-ranking women learn to interrupt includes this:
Not only do these three women interrupt everyone, gender- and level-agnostic, they represent three of the four biggest interrupters in the study. Their rates of interruption/hour are, respectively, 35, 34, and 32, with one male colleague in Level E coming in at 34 and literally everyone else in every level showing a lower rate.