Linda Hirshman, not everybody’s favorite feminist made an interesting and provocative state during an on line interview about the Democratic party in general and by inference, progressive men. The on line conversation talked essentially about the future and challenges of “feminism.”
As my young friend Jill Filipovic put it in her interview, the progressive white men who run the Democratic Party do not have to pay attention to women, because they know we always will come back to them. And we lower our value even further by adopting their causes — civil rights, the environment, etc. — as our own, whole cloth, without any trade off.
Oddly enough, I both agree and disagree with her. She welcomes ire and controversy and has established a career out of it.
I disagree that issues like civil rights and the environment are “their” issues, clearly they belong to all of us. But I do wonder about the first part of her statement.
Is that accurate? Nobody in this campaign has mentioned for example that affordable day care for families who have two working parents is rarely discussed. For good reason. Mention the words “daycare” in this country and critics on the left and the right will jump in with a haughty opinion about “who should be raising children”. Mention the pay gap that exists and pundits will blah blah on about how women leave the work force to have children and that explains it quite nicely than you. HRC is being touted as “proof” that the ceiling has cracks in it and several self described feminists have actively supported Barack Obama.
In many ways there is not an actual feminist movement in this country in the same way that a progressive movement does not actually exist. The feminist movement has largely been castigated as a group of middle class white women who have not been attuned to issues of class or race or particularly respectful to women who actively chose more traditional roles. Feminism has been blamed for making women unhappy and alienating men in much the same way that people who discuss class have been accused of fueling “class hatred and resentment.”