Some people aren’t going to like this because it’s not simple. Sometimes, nuances in this kind of discussion are hard to see, especially when most readers gloss over them. In fact, I once lost someone I thought was a friend because they didn’t get my political nuances. Of course, I thought they got my heart, but apparently that wasn’t true. Oh well. Her loss.
But I digress.
I get a little tired of discussions of privilege I see, especially in some of the women’s online political groups I belong to. There’s talk of feminism, intersectional feminism, accusations that white women are only interested in white feminism (who even know there was such a thing).
Silly distinctions defocus us.
Maybe that happens, but I’m not sure it’s very common. But here’s what I think: these kinds of silly distinctions and distractions are why we have this horrible man sitting in the White House.
In my opinion a feminist is a feminist. I am a feminist. I am a proponent of equal rights for women of all hues, all nationalities, all sexual orientations, all socio-economic strata. I am a feminist.
Intersectional feminism has been the subject of huge debate in some of the online women’s groups. What that means is feminism that recognizes that some may have more layered oppressions as well: homophobia, racism, classism, etc. My response to that is “Yes, that’s always been true and for me being against all those awful isms is embedded in my feminism.” I mean, SERIOUSLY?
Focus wins elections.
Look chicas, if we waste our time nitpicking the kind of feminists we are, that horrible man is going to take away ALL our rights, one by one. The Right has always been far better organized around a single issue and more strategic, while the Left lost this election because we can’t seem to get together. Everyone wants their own little niche to be a focus. Which is all well and good, if we’re willing to let the basket of deplorables continue to run this country.
Bottom line, babies. Bottom line.
And one more thing. There seems to be a great need to call people out for their privilege.
As a white woman born into an upper middle class family, I was born into a certain amount of privilege. But I won’t apologize for it. My privilege is part of who I am and I can’t change it and I won’t hang my head about it just to be politically correct. Instead, I use my privilege as much as I can to help others and I know many, many others in my situation who do the same.
Privilege is not a sound-bite issue.
Some of us have a more nuanced view of our privilege because our parents were first generation Americans born of illiterate parents who came to the U.S. seeking a better life. Was my father privileged because he was a doctor? When English was his second language and his parents couldn’t read or write?
It’s very hard for me to know the struggles my grandparents and my self-made parents went through and to see myself as privileged in every respect. I’m definitely privileged as a white person but they were not. They were, in fact, discriminated against as “dirty Italians” in the first half of the 20th century. So maybe there’s “intersectional privilege.” Read that with tongue planted firmly in cheek. It’s silly, this kind of distinction. It’s a losing political mentality.
My deep belief is that nitpicking at people who have good hearts and who want to make sure the real American Way stays in place and that progressive values run the country means that we’ll never get back in power. Because we’re too busy fighting ourselves to effectively fight the enemy. The danger to all we believe it.
So that’s it. That’s what I think. That’s what bothers me today about the situation we find ourselves in today and our lack of political strategy on the left.
We need to unite.
Let’s get it together, unite and fight the common enemy. Because if we don’t?
I don’t even want to think about the consequences. They’re too dire.