The far right wants to return to a time when men were men, and women were sanctified moms or whores. Lets call this by its proper name
If someone declared publicly that some of their best friends were racists, there would surely be a sharp uptake of liberal breath even if they were to follow it up with the I just like to get out of my echo chamber and have friends of all political persuasions debate. Tolerance has it restrictions. Being openly racist is at that limit. Being openly misogynistic, however, is apparently fine. How else can we have Tv host and blancmange of smugness Piers Morgan boasting of his friendship with Donald Trump while declaring himself a feminist and a supporter of womens rights? As Trump surrounded by his consiglieri, the freshly built humen, nervous of their Twitter-y boss signs an executive order that will result in the death of women, I care not for an explanation of how Trump isnt even worse as he seems. He is.
I care not for these delusional humen crawling out like woodlice from under a decompose log. In turn, they each tell us they support feminism while doing it down. There is a slew of them everywhere you looking. Conservatives posing as radicals. They often claim to love girls, but are impelled to impart common sense; the segregated golf-bore wisdom of funny chaps, girls. They know what females want. They are all for equality, simply not extremity. They laud one another for saying dull things routinely deemed unsayable. This is wit, we are told, this predictability iconoclasm even this grey, elderly skewering of liberalism. It is enlivened only when one of these primates lamps another.
The online equivalent are the young guys, pumped on inchoate fury, semi-literate, radicalised by the alt-right, spewing hatred at women. These guys dont “says hes” love women; they dont even pretend to like them. They are at least honest. Indeed, one of the reasons that the establishment/ Republican party failed to challenge Trump was because of its own dishonesty. It has legitimised a level of woman-hating and racism that it feigns is not there. It kids itself that it is decent, while knowing that what festers underneath are expressions of white ascendancy and fury against girls that it does not want to name and cannot control. To identify all this as the rage of the left-behinds, as simple class war, too often becomes a way of justifying it.
Those on the frontline of this rage know it is there. Millions of us marched last Saturday. This has rattled Trump, who is obsessed with sizing, with ratings and with reviews. But let we are currently pursue clarity and strategy, and name what is happening.
Patriarchy is the sea in which these sharks gather. I am glad to see that people are using this term again. It went out of manner for a little bit when feminism was portrayed as a series of tedious personal selections over shoes, shopping and sex dolls. But the concept of patriarchy is essential to understanding what is happening right now. It is a system by which men hold power over political leadership, moral authority and every kind of social privilege, over women and children.
Patriarchy is not some men-only affair. Many women play a role in sustaining it. The far right, by the way, is not afraid of using this word. It claims it as the basis for all that is good in western civilisation. The altitude of Trump is absolutely patriarchal fundamentalism. He has swept up a lot of the Christian vote because of it. The adulation of Putin is the worship of another white power based on patriarchal rule: unapologetically anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black and anti-Muslim. It is obsessed with displays of masculinity to the point of fascist camp. The right promises the restoration of a hour when men were men and women were sanctified moms or harlots. Such authoritarianism may be delivered by both men and women. As the American author and feminist buzzer hooks says, patriarchy has no gender. It is not situated only within the individual which is why calling Sexist! at someone merely get you so far. Were the women who voted for Trump furthering patriarchy? Yes, obviously. They may believe it can protect them.
The dismantling of this power cannot possibly come from those who wont name it and expend the entire period shoring it up, largely reaping its benefits: that is, much of the liberal establishment. By assuming the culture war had been won, the myths of impartiality and neutrality have allowed farright voices to go unchallenged. The assumption that we all believe in equality, are anti-racist, love an art gallery and some heated debate turned out to be wrong.
Patriarchal power asserts itself through culture as well as economic rancor. And that is everywhere. The oft-repeated sentiment that feminism is itself an extreme movement is evidence of how liberalism bows down to authoritarianism.
So much more important now than whether dullards profess their allegiance to women rights while refusing to listen to women is understanding who will get down on their knees to service the new man-child patriarchy. And those of us who wont. The power of telling it like it is is ours.
Read more: www.theguardian.com