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AIBU?

The privileged feminist vote

177 replies

Home2018 · 09/12/2019 23:33

So, there have been many conversations about intersectionality, always approached from a theoretical standpoint.

However, I think this GE and the focus of the vast majority of threads referring to the GE on the feminism boards may be a good example to highlight some of the points being made by woc.

For comparison, I was listing to a BBC R4 talk the other day and a young northerner spoke about his vote. The interviewer asked him about Brexit, as they did with all interviewees, and he said that focusing on Brexit in comparison to the NHS, welfare state and education as a low paid father of a disabled child in an underfunded state system was a privilege.

Which, sort of brings me to my point.

Many woc feel that the mainstream feminist narrative is centred on privileged women trying to seek equality alongside privileged men, rather than female allegiance focused on trying to ensure equality for those that need the voices of those more fortunate to level thier even lesser playing field.

In the run up to this GE, in comparison to issues such as the NHS, education for the poorest children in our society - half of them being the least privileged girls, state benefits for the poorest, the disabled, carers (again, most of which are women), racism against all minorities etc, can many on these boards say that thier focus has been on using their vote for the most vulnerable, most in need women? Or, unfortunately, themselves and the quest for equality among two of societies most privileged groups?

Whilst self ID is an extremely important issues which needs to be explored, during an election which literally comes down to protecting the rights of the haves and have nots, is spoiling your vote on an issue which isnt affecting women to the same extent to which issues as above are, as we speak, the true, sisterly, inclusive and non self centred feminist way to go?

I speak as a women whose neighbor's cancer suffering aunt was deported as part of the windrush debacle. She was a woman who devoted her life to caring for others. Men and women included. In an election such as this, do we not stand up for the elderly, less politically and educationally astute? For many of whom this election equals life and death. Or do we make a point?Is self ID and the focus on that the same? Is it more important? Does the suffering of those less able in society even feature?

Or, do you spoil you ballot over this one issue over many others that are here, right now, and the poorest most vulnerable women in society are left to suffer from alone?

Do you vote (or abstain from voting) to make a single point knowing fully well that the party that will win will literally disregard the human rights of societies most vulnerable people.

Disproportionately affecting women as result?

Honest question!

OP posts:
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MorrisZapp · 10/12/2019 12:08

Oh naff off with the white feminism crap. Labour and the tories have been around for centuries. They both have pretty much the entire scope of humanity under their broad umbrellas. You'll find vile misogyny, racism and other horrors on both sides because they represent the voting public in all its ugly variety.

There isn't a good side and a bad side, sorry. This isn't Harry fucking Potter.

And I will vote exactly as I please, using the same criteria every other punter does. I bow to no man or woman on this, and I thank my predecessors for instituting the protection of a private, representative ballot.

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BovaryX · 10/12/2019 12:11

And I will vote exactly as I please, using the same criteria every other punter does. I bow to no man or woman on this, and I thank my predecessors for instituting the protection of a private, representative ballot.

Well said!

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 12:12

Yep! Me too. Thanks Morris saved us all from crawling up our own backsides!

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OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 12:16

Of course moat people will assume the OP is addressing leftwing feminists. They said 'many on these boards say that thier focus has been on using their vote for the most vulnerable, most in need women?'. The Tories do not care about the vulnerable in society.

So, there's no left and right but this is an incredibly polarised debate. No left and right but Labour is authroitarian left? My head is spinning!

I feel like I'm making the same point and no one has really addressed it.

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donquixotedelamancha · 10/12/2019 12:19

I speak as a women whose neighbor's cancer suffering aunt was deported as part of the windrush debacle.

Vote Conservative.

Was that recommendation because you think OP is in favour of deporting sick people who lived here from childhood?

In an election such as this, do we not stand up for the elderly, less politically and educationally astute?

I don't think it's reasonable to say that those who are more likely to suffer when Mr Johnson wins are less politically astute. For whatever reason many poor people are going to vote Tory. Our judgement is not better than theirs.

Many woc feel that the mainstream feminist narrative is centred on privileged women trying to seek equality alongside privileged men, rather than female allegiance focused on trying to ensure equality for those that need the voices of those more fortunate to level thier even lesser playing field.

I haven't surveyed 'many WOC' (not least because I live in the UK and so don't encounter that term IRL) but this seems a mischaracterisation to me. The campaign to protect sex based rights has a lot of non-white women leading it and seems much more rooted in working class feminism than the Genderist campaign.

Working class women and women from minority ethnicities are going to suffer much more under a 'Swinson style' self-ID free for all. So much so that I would suggest the proposed complete removal of single sex spaces is a racist policy.

It's so clear this is not about equality for all, but rather equality for you. You're all just making my point but you won't see it as you answer with 'me, me, me' first, not 'us'.

I very much doubt this is the decision most progressive voters are making. The problem isn't one issue stopping me (for example) voting Labour. It is a whole host of issues which mean that all the 3 main parties seem unworth of support- not least their approach to women's rights.

I would cheerfully vote for the best but imperfect option if I didn't feel I was voting for antisemitism and against women's rights (in several areas, not just self-ID).

When people speak on intersectionality, I will say that Mumsnet is a great place to see such a tone deaf, closed, privileged approach to feminism live in action.

I am sure you know who is and isn't a feminist better than me, but I don't really think you can stretch to name calling other women as a feminist act either.

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OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 12:20

Not trying to tell anyone who to vote for, just trying to explain why I'm voting labour. Have already covered the fact that I hate the phrase white women and see it used misogynisticly. But do think its not beyond the realms of possibility that there are disadvantaged minorities within the whole scope of feminism who don't think their unique issues are taken seriously by the majority.

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BarbaraStrozzi · 10/12/2019 12:21

"I've said it before, old sci fi writers like Heinlein predicted this. Casual rudeness, self-as-paramount being the biggest sign of the decline of civilisation. I used to think it was an amusing theory. But it isn't funny living it!"

That's a good observation Curious. Mind you, Heinlein was also an extreme libertarian, and fond of that old saw "an armed society is a polite society" (which works just fine and dandy in America Hmm). Oh, and intensely misogynistic.

So I still have him filed under "sometimes amusing and a spinner of good yarns", but not prophetic (well, only in the stopped clock is right twice a day sense).

But yes I too look at identity politics, then look at both the impending economic crisis (the business pages on Trump, China and the looming German financial crisis are scary) and the impending environmental crisis (RPC8.5 is looking optimistic at the moment) and think "we're fiddling while Rome burns."

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 12:22

I feel like I'm making the same point and no one has really addressed it. I'm happy to discuss what it is I seem to have missed. That is why I irritated you earlier. I want to understand, that's why I broke that post down!

No left and right but Labour is authroitarian left? My head is spinning! GCAcademic's earlier post gave concrete instances of it. There are many threads on it, links to publications etc.

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BovaryX · 10/12/2019 12:25

Of course moat people will assume the OP is addressing leftwing feminists

Do you ever think to challenge the cliches which dominate your thoughts? Not all feminists are left wing. You appear to have a rigid, narrow, tribal attitude to politics. And you don’t seem to grasp the fact that in a democracy, nobody gets to dictate how others vote. Calling women bad feminists for refusing to vote Labour? If that’s a tactic to influence us, I call it an epic fail

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 12:25

I have no illusions about old sci fi writers, Heinlein in particular (Man in a woman's body? Sail Beyond Sunset?) but occasionally they note something that comes back to you! Identity politics is just one... and still we will fiddle!

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GCAcademic · 10/12/2019 12:26

GCAcademic, can you envision any working class or woc who genuinely feel their concerns aren't important to the majority of feminists? Do you have any concerns about dismissing anyone speaking about a minority issue as playing oppression top trumps?

The answer to that is yes, I do, but I think there is a difference between voicing concerns and doing what the OP did (and what many on the left do), which was to ascribe evil motives to people, accuse them of thinking of woc as "letterboxes and piccaninnies", of thinking in a certain way because of the colour of their skin (if someone did this to me as a woc, I would rightly understand this to be racist), and then leveraging this sort of "morally pure" (yet completely racist) rhetoric to demand that people vote in a certain way.

I should point out that I used to be a Labour voter, but I am entirely turned off by its divisive rhetoric, by the authoritarianism of Momentum, and by the party's capitulation to bourgeois identity politics at the expense of class-based analysis.

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OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 12:27

So there is left and right? It was You I was quoting saying there's no left and right. Now my head really is spinning.

I don't know,what post you mean that irritated me earlier. I've been as clear as I can about the possibility that working class and bame women face different and extra difficulties. Anyway, I'm off on my lunch break.

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AmIInvisible · 10/12/2019 12:27

So let me get this straight. If I exercise my democratic right to spoil my ballot, as a feminist that means I must be:-

privileged, the suffering of other’s doesn’t matter to me, throwing baby out with the bath water, denying racism, being disingenuous as only issues other than SI are real tangible and life threatening, not part of a collective sisterhood, have no solidarity with woc, single mothers, carers, raising disabled children or the disabled, I won’t be doing the right thing, will be throwing women under the bus, am shameful, need to reflect, am tone deaf, closed, useless, bigoted, self-focussed, will be guilty of insanity and need to get off the internet and step into the real world, am unable to think of others, have no collective spirit, am self entitled, marginalising myself, helping no one and history will be used against me.

Additionally, SI serves only the right and anyone who votes conservative is effectively voting in Donald Trump.

Apologies if I've missed a few insults, nothing personal but the thread is moving fast.

On a positive note, should I change my mind about spoiling my ballot and choose to vote, I will be truly sisterly.

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MarshaBradyo · 10/12/2019 12:27

Oh so we have to vote Labour to be the best kind of feminist? The answer to that is no. Tg we are free to vote as we wish.

Puts me off even more to be told I should though

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OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 12:30

Ok, before I go gc, I mentioned in a previous post the idea that if people actually cared deeply about e.g. the picanninies thing and the wider racism it represents, perhaps it would be as much aof a red line as self,id. Instead of dismissing it as, 'identity politics, aka. the increasing atomisation of society according to ever expanding categories of oppression, the logical outcome of which is a country of comprised of individual units with nothing in common and in perpetual competition with each other. In other words the kind of neoliberal, no-such-thing-as-society ideology that they profess to hate.'

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BeyondVotesForFlube · 10/12/2019 12:34

Can anyone point to the exact moment in time that left and right stopped referring to economic policies and started referring to whether someone was an evil monster (and bad feminist) or a saintly angel Christ-like figure?

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tellmewhenthespaceshiplandscoz · 10/12/2019 12:34

I wonder how often men use the voting choices of other men to bash them with Confused

You're being very goady OP. Do bugger off.

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BovaryX · 10/12/2019 12:38

I should point out that I used to be a Labour voter, but I am entirely turned off by its divisive rhetoric, by the authoritarianism of Momentum, and by the party's capitulation to bourgeois identity politics at the expense of class-based analysis

Well said GC. The assumptions in this thread about how woc and feminists should vote shows why identify politics have alienated people. This sense of arrogant entitlement to voters even while espousing policies which alienate us seems to typify the current Labour Party.

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 12:39

Sorry Ounce, that was LittleLamp! My error!

I've been as clear as I can about the possibility that working class and bame women face different and extra difficulties. Nobody has disputed that ! OP has thrown out a few unpleasant ideas about white women not giving a flying fuck about BAME / WC women,. THAT is what is being railed against! That deliberate attempt to use intersectionality as a weapon!

It isn't the REALITY of discrimination that is being dismissed, it is the use and abuse of it that is being decried. Identity Politics has always been extremely divisive, sets up all sorts of Us and Them situations. Nowadays it has become more so as Me is the most important Identity of all!

I don't see much difference between Identity Politics and Self ID, both parts of the same increasingly insular, separatist, ideology!

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Thelnebriati · 10/12/2019 12:39

OunceOfFlounce
GCAcademic, can you envision any working class or woc who genuinely feel their concerns aren't important to the majority of feminists?

You literally dismissed their concerns yourself as being less important than those of the majority, two posts up.
Self ID will affect BAME women in ways that are unique to BAME women, by removing their right to their cultural identity, and to their women only spaces.

Everyone below a certain income level is affected by austerity, but not everyone is affected by having women only spaces removed.

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PencilsInSpace · 10/12/2019 12:39

This is a couple of years old now but still highly relevant:

Statement from Working class community workers from Deptford. We are attending the women’s meeting at the House of Commons today. We would like to offer an explanation as to why this is necessary. See below

After many years of working at grass roots within our community we have recently been made aware of an issue that directly effects the working class and women in our area.

You must understand we are not graduate activists or or women’s rights campaigners. We are community workers and our concerns regarding changes to the GRA come from a lifetime of personal experience and having worked with some of the most marginalise people in our area.

The majority of our recent projects have been working with rough sleepers, the homeless and those that have been excluded from society. The issues they face include: unsupported/ mental health illness, sexual violence and prostitution, childhood trauma and abuse...

domestic violence, poverty, ex care system issues, addiction, prison,rehab,homelessness and austerity.

The people in our community that we represent are the most likely to access/ be placed in sex segregated services.Some have and will access all of these services.

Our local political and community organisations have been infiltrated by a group of well meaning white middle class goldsmith (uni) students. These people although well intentioned have rail roaded many vital projects by introducing identity policies and intersectional thinking. They do this without truly understanding or experiencing working class issues.

Meetings we have attended for the purpose of discussing community housing projects and women’s wellness etc have been used as a platform to re educate working class people on the new academic language expected within our organisations.

As anyone from a working class back ground will tell you, these theories and ideologies rarely translate into working class communities.

The extremely small number of transsexual (I use the old term as this has a very different meaning to the university umbrella term currently thrown about) members of the community are and have always been excepted and protected by community organisations.

We are now informed that transgender people are being routinely abused (mis gendered) and should be protected above all other marginalised groups. All that has changed is privileged students have adopted a set of gender identities that allow them to be considered marginalised.

The people we encountered were far from marginalised. In fact they were highly educated, openly classist and aggressive.

This new politics doesn’t equate in our community or for the people we support. We are dealing with working class issues with severely marginalised people and the trans lobby is a gentrification of working class social and political movements. Note the difference between trans lobby and trans people who we support.

No one will discuss our concerns regarding self id. Our local Labour Party has refused to comment or debate with the working class people.

We are attending the meeting this evening as this is only place that is willing to discuss theses issues.

When we are being verbally abused and called fascists because we are concerned about the effects of policy change on marginalised people it is a direct attack on working class women and grass roots organisations.

when sharing information about this event and attempt to shut it down be aware that you are complicit in the silencing of not only women but working class people who have not afforded the privileged of a safe space or university education. Thank you x

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GCAcademic · 10/12/2019 12:39

Ok, before I go gc, I mentioned in a previous post the idea that if people actually cared deeply about e.g. the picanninies thing and the wider racism it represents, perhaps it would be as much aof a red line as self,id.

I don't see how this applies to me, as I won't be voting Tory, and will be spoiling my ballot instead. Though that isn't enough for the OP, she also wants me not to do that and to put a cross where she tells me to. Incidentally, the picanninies comment was originally made by Johnson (and I have no love at all for the man) in exactly the same way as the OP used it - to ascribe colonialist motives to others. Ironic.

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CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 12:41

It seems to have been a slow creep Beyond

Again the Cult of Me, populism. We were looking at news pictures last night, trying to find a head of state that wasn't populist, one that was a 'proper' politician.

Scary!

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tellmewhenthespaceshiplandscoz · 10/12/2019 12:54

OP just seen your contribution to the spoiling ballot thread running at the moment .... you've given up on the niceties I see.

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AngelsSins · 10/12/2019 13:05

Do men of colour ever get blamed for being the loudest voices and making civil rights all about them? Just curious.

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