Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Passing Parade: It's so hard being The Left

It's a great time to be crazy. We stopped locking up the crazy ones years ago, and so you're free to march and be quoted in the Opposition Party.

Maybe he's a gay Muslim. The Democratic National Committee is kicking a candidate out of the chairman’s race after he told The Hill that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) should not be the party’s next leader because he is a Muslim. In a January 5 email to The Hill, Vincent Tolliver, a former House candidate in Arkansas, said that Ellison, the first-ever Muslim elected to Congress, should not be chairman because of Islamic positions on homosexuality.

Maybe he's a white gay Muslim. The DNC held a forum for candidates hoping to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee on Monday at George Washington University. One candidate, Sally Boynton Brown, the executive director of Idaho's Democratic Party, urged Democrats to provide "training" to teach people to be "sensitive" and "how to shut their mouths if they are white." We pull people in and they are volunteers. They don’t know anything and then we send them out to have conversations with people, hard conversations. We promote them to chair of a party where they have power and they have no clue what they are doing. We have to, at the DNC, provide training. We have to teach them how to communicate, how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white. So I think I made my point.

You can't get there from here. On Saturday night there were protests all around the US in response to President Trump's new executive order concerning individuals born in seven particular countries. As part of this, the NY Taxi Workers Association announced a one-hour work stoppage to protest. That afternoon, entirely separate from this, Uber announced that it had turned off surge pricing at JFK. This resulted in many people assuming that this was Uber "breaking the strike" and basically undermining the protest by the taxi drivers. And a meme was born. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick made it clear that he didn't support the plan and planned to use his access to tell Trump why the plan was bad. But it didn't matter. Tons and tons of people started tweeting that Uber was evil for supporting Trump and "breaking the strike."

Hey, what's that on your head? It was this exclusion of sex workers and the overwhelming focus on genitalia as markers of womanhood that, at first, made me not want to participate in the women's march. The genitalia-focused signs and chants felt, at first, very much like the arguments many trans-exclusionary radical feminists use to exclude trans women from the feminist movement in general. It tied womanhood in with genitalia and body parts, playing at the belief that trans women (not all of whom opt for surgery) are not women because of what is in their pants. It’s that kind of gender essentialist and sexist thinking that often drives trans women away from such functions, because it just about confirms that trans-exclusionary radical feminists will be present.

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