I used to be a liberal feminist, but I embraced radical feminism as the method that really addressed problems facing women. Liberal feminism let me down. The same thing happend in broader political terms. I used to consider myself as being a liberal, or more likely, a progressive. But liberals let me down. It saddened me when I had to walk away from liberalism.
Why would I do that, you ask? After all, I certainly am no conservative. This story is a perfect example of the reasons why I finally accepted I can’t be a liberal. For a great analysis of the story, go here.
What’s the story? Briefly, John Aravosis, a liberal, wrote a post criticizing republican senator Pat Roberts’ stance on civil liberties by calling him a “big girl”*. People objected to this slam, and Aravosis reacted by attacking people for objecting, and deleting comments that criticized him. Shakes Sis posted one of his comments:
NOTE FROM JOHN: After all, what’s really important about what I wrote isn’t that we’re losing our civil liberties as our democracy disappears, but rather, that you’re offended by the use of gay vernacular. Thanks for helping us keep the eye on the ball.
Well, golly, John. It must really suck to lose civil liberties. I bet you’d be really unhappy if YOU DIDN’T HAVE BASIC RIGHTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. John believes his concern about civil liberties entitles him to step on women. How is he not choking on the irony? Why doesn’t everyone in the blogosphere see what a perfect example this is for the failings of liberals? Liberals behave as if women’s rights are a “side” issue, a “special interest”, and take attention from the really important battles. Marginalizing women is the antithesis of liberalism. If you’re going to behave this way, then you need to admit you’re a conservative.
It’s the same old, tired, story: liberal men want women to shut up and not interfere with the political battles they’re waging. Women can work on the campaign, but we shouldn’t expect any of “our” issues to interfere with the real problems. Femicide, rape, and domestic violence are not worthy of being mainstream issues. All of these reasons are why I am no longer a liberal. I’m sick of trying to change things from the inside-it just doesn’t work. And I’m way past fighting alongside people who don’t have my back.
*I’m assuming that you understand why “big girl” is offensive. In case you don’t: calling any male a “girl”, a “pussy”, or a “lady” is the worst possible insult. By equating a man or a boy with a female, you are reducing him to her lowly status. This insult is possible because women are less than men in our culture.