Reflecting on the State of Feminism in 2020

Today, I’m going to talk about, well, Joe Biden’s potential VP picks, and also feminism. In recent days, people have been talking about potential VP picks for Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner. Biden has already said he would pick a women, and many of the women that are being talked about are also feminists, or at least appear to be feminists. This has made some people worry, because feminists generally haven’t performed well at the ballot box in America and other Western countries. As the people say, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with women as leaders, the late Margaret Thatcher was elected British Prime Minister as long ago as 1979, and she remains admired by conservatives even today. However, ever since Hillary 2016, it seems that feminists just can’t make it far. And it’s not just Hillary: the feminist Julia Gillard also fared badly in Australia a few years earlier, and Britain’s Theresa May may also have been hampered by her feminist-type statements.

Some of you may not know this, but back when feminism was in the mainstream spotlight, back in the middle of the decade, I had actually been commenting on various cultural issues from the angle of a ‘feminist who doesn’t agree with contemporary feminism’. I even tried to save intersectionality by talking sense to the movement, until I concluded that it was fruitless, upon which I quit. You can see some of that stuff in Season 1 of the TaraElla Report, those were recorded when the feminist wave was just winding down. Anyway, my general point was, I still strongly agree with a traditional feminist ideal of gender equality, as it was supported by classical liberals like John Stuart Mill even back in the 19th century, but this wave of feminism seems to have lost sight of the goal. I also commented on how figures like Cassie Jaye, of ‘The Red Pill’ fame, quit feminism because of how the movement had become, on which I said I wouldn’t quit feminism myself, but the movement really need to change. People are really sick and tired of blaming men for everything, all the negativity, and the extremist moves to ‘de-platform’ people, like the aforementioned Ms Jaye.

I guess it wouldn’t be a problem if Biden chose a feminist VP, as long as she isn’t the postmodernist and divisive type of feminist, like those who tried to de-platform Ms Jaye. As I commented repeatedly back in Season 1, the problem with contemporary feminism is that, since the 1970s or so, it has been affected by the pseudo-Marxian left, who had a worldview that pit groups against each other. There is feminist literature out there that literally describes women as a sex-class that is oppressed by men as a sex-class, using full Bolshevik-like language to describe the relationship. Now, that’s really divisive and scary, I think. Not to mention unfair, because it would call a working class man the ‘oppressor’ but a rich woman ‘oppressed’, something that I think even Marx himself would not have allowed. It’s also clearly not the kind of feminism that most of the suffragettes and their classical liberal allies from the earlier wave were about. So, we really have two kinds of feminism here: the truly equal rights type I call the modern-day suffragettes, and the pseudo-Marxian type who sees society as a continuous struggle between groups pit against each other. I guess a feminist VP would be widely acceptable if she was of the former type, but not of the latter type.

However, another thing is that, unfortunately, there probably is a general taboo around feminism in some circles by now, because of the confusion between the two types of feminism. That’s why it’s important to clarify the difference here. It’s why I welcomed the intervention of Jordan Peterson back in 2017 or 18, when he wanted to start a conversation around what he called ‘postmodern neo-Marxism’. While that term itself was controversial, what he was referring to was a real thing, and my hope was that the removal of the pseudo-Marxist element may help in rehabilitating feminism itself. After all, feminism has been around for more than a century, and has contributed to real improvements for humanity. It would be a shame if all that was overshadowed by a misguided fringe movement that originated as recently as the crazy 1970s. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always agree with Jordan Peterson, and I have openly voiced my disagreements with him, but the thing is, I thought we needed an intervention ASAP, and I thought he could be the one to do it. Obviously, that didn’t quite work out at the time.

Finally, the bottom line is that, a feminist VP pick would either be able to rehabilitate feminism, or it could lead to the whole ticket being sunk by the popular peception of feminism a la Hillary 2016, depending on what happens between now and November. As someone who wants to help save feminism rather than see it sink, you know what my hope is. I’m just not entirely confident that things would go the way I want them to, however.

Originally published at http://taraellastylia.blogspot.com.

TaraElla is a singer-songwriter, independent journalist and author, who is passionate about free speech, liberty and equality. She is the author of the Moral Libertarian Horizon books, which focus on developing a moral case for freedom-based politics in the 21st century.

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TaraElla

TaraElla

Author & musician. Moral Libertarian. Disrupting the woke vs anti-woke echo chambers and making the West truly liberal again. https://www.taraella.com