Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Recent “Women’s March,” and How the New Left Still Just Doesn’t Get It

Just ten years ago, there was a popular bumper sticker lampooning President George W. Bush which read, “Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot.” 

In 2017, somewhere in Texas, a distinguished leftist judge wears a pink “pussyhat” in a courtroom to show her support for “women’s rights.”
To say that the left has descended into the realm of self-parody is an understatement.  Rather than making jokes about American public policy, they have effectively, and unknowingly, become the joke.
Take the recent “Women’s March,” which resulted from a strong marketing campaign, ample funding by leftist support groups, and which enjoyed much media coverage and fanfare. 

Prior to the event, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau urged women to “put on [their] entire armor” to march on Washington the morning after Trump’s inauguration. 
Sure, putting on “armor” to peacefully protest a legitimate election sounds silly to most people.  But as Connie Wang at Refinery29 looks to remind all the privileged males out there (should they choose to be identified as males), “all women know how certain outfits can make us feel bigger and stronger and more warrior-like, which comes in handy in moments where we need to feel those things.  Like now.”

So, in their self-righteous fury, these mighty Valkyries donned their pink “pussyhats” and full-body vagina suits to fight the patriarchal status quo. 
But which women’s rights, exactly, were they so ridiculously fighting for?
Let’s examine the “Values and Principles” stated by the March’s organizers:

We believe that Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice.  We must create a society in which women, in particular women – in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.
When you create a statement for mass consumption like “Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice,” it’s clear that your agenda is not truly about women’s rights and that you seek to co-opt other leftist grievance narratives to provide ballast to your cause.  But it’s also quite clear that the terms you cite are malleable beyond their having any meaning or value at all.

What is meant by this sentence?  Is it suggested that redistribution to provide benefits to women for abortions, contraceptives, and sex-changes is what they’re fighting for?  Are we to suppose that this is the same as demanding that white people pay the penance of their presumed racial “privilege” by providing reparations for slavery?  And all that is the same battle fought by those suggesting that the government should redistribute wealth from the affluent and middle class to provide for the poor?
The “Values and Principles” of the Women’s March continue:

We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand, and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters, and siblings.
If you ever wondered how Democrats lost middle-class, workaday Americans, look no further than that sentence and the evolution which led to it.  First of all, unless you’re incredibly attuned to the grievance narrative being peddled by the radical left, you likely notice that the acronym has added a few letters to the sequence since you’ve probably last seen it referenced.  The LGBT agenda has become the LGBT+ or LGBTQ agenda, which has now apparently become the LGBTQIA agenda to include “intersex” and “asexual” (or “ally”) individuals.  Honestly, I don’t know why I even bothered to look it up, as it’s likely that another letter or two will have been added by the time these thoughts have been shared.

Are these the most pressing matters facing America today?  Be truthful.  You, like most people, would probably roll your eyes and laugh at anyone who suggests that they are.
But returning to Connie Wang, it’s not important to agree with all the reasons for the Women’s March.  “[P]ick the issues that speak most personally to you,” Wang suggested, to ensure that “aspects of your identity… are represented too: Maybe you’re afraid to wear your hijab.”

A sensible person cannot help pausing for a moment to reflect upon the irony in this social justice warrior’s invocation of the hijab, an extremely clear symbol of the historic and religious subjugation of women, as a symbol of women’s empowerment and liberation in the neo-leftist’s incredibly disjointed formulation of thought.
It’s so easy to see that some lifelong feminists cannot help noticing.  Emma-Kate Symons notes in an op-ed at the New York Times, “And why is a woman seen wearing a heavy veil pulled tight to cover her neck – not even a headscarf – emerging as the symbol of the rally?  Yes, Trump is singling out Muslims, but must we play his reductionist game?” 

Incidentally, Symons’s beef with the march seems sensible enough: “It saddens me to see the inclusive feminism that I grew up with reduced to a grab-bag of competing victimhood narratives and rival community-based but essentially individualist identities jostling for the most-oppressed status.”              
It saddens her because the march was not about feminism, but about perpetuating the victim status of certain identity groups that have little, if anything, to do with women.  One has to wonder how she’s missed what most of America has not – the New Left, and the Democrats who have embraced them, have no other platform beyond the creation and perpetuation of victimhood narratives.  

The “Women’s March” was not about all women, of course.  After all, 42% of women voted for Donald Trump -- not exactly a fringe group, and certainly not represented in the political motivation for the march.  The marchers represented you only if you want, and are willing to demand, taxpayers to continue financing abortions via Planned Parenthood’s federal subsidies, whether one agrees with the practice or not.  They represented you only if you think that men can be women if they feel like it, in spite of all scientific facts which refute that position.  They represented you only if you believe that America is an evil, racist place where your having a job or wealth is due to white privilege, and justice means giving such a job to a poorer person of color simply because they happen to be poorer and/or a racial minority.  They represented you if you believe that the Keystone XL pipeline is an anathema to Mother Nature, rather than a conduit linking products to manufacturers and thereby creating jobs and more affordable energy resources. (Yes, among the “Values and Principles” of the March, “environmental justice” is cited.  How that pertains to women is an enigma to everyone but the organizers.)
In short, the “Women’s March” did not represent you unless you are a social and economic radical in the vein of leftist radicals.  And unless you espouse those same principles, you are alienated altogether.

It’s as if Democrats have learned precisely nothing from the thorough electoral flogging they’ve endured these last eight years, having lost over 900 seats in state legislatures nationwide, twelve state governorships, both chambers of Congress, and now the presidency within that timeframe.
Let’s be perfectly clear.  Democrats did not lose November’s election in spectacular fashion because Americans have shifted rightward to some insane degree, as they would have you believe.  They lost this election because Democrats have shifted radically leftward over the years, both economically and socially, and have thus abandoned the center-left constituency and the ideals that once bulwarked their seats of power.

This radical shift to the left is so pronounced that the left’s representation now appears as little more than caricatures, and their demonstrations are only taken seriously amongst themselves.  Americans, for the most part, have turned their thoughts to more practical things such as jobs, national security, our diminishing stature on the world stage, and our seemingly perpetual surrender of wealth and sovereignty to the political elite.
I, for one, hope that the New Left continues to be utterly oblivious to the realities which are making them politically obsolete.

So by all means, little snowflakes – keep marching.
William Sullivan