The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Identity Politics and Interest

identity2Identity is not nonsense.

The stats on rape or attempted rate for women are somewhere between one in four and one in six. Those are high stats.

Women earn less money than men in general. Yes, an unmarried, white professional woman without children probably does as well or even better than an equivalent male, but a lot of women want to get married or have children and not suffer financially for it. (Males do better when married.)

If you are black, you get about half the interview request from resumes that a white would on the same resume. You are subject to “driving while black.” For the exact same crime, you are more likely to be arrested, you are more likely to be convicted, and, if convicted, you will almost certainly suffer a greater penalty than a white would.

As a result, you have interests in common with other people with the same ethnicity. This is true of males, whites, Latinos, and so on. White males are an identity group with shared interests.

Identity is not a bad parser of interest. You do have interests in common with the average person of the same identity. Especially given identities which usually cannot be chosen like your biological sex or your skin color.

There are three issues with identity and interest.

The first is that not everyone who has the same identity markers as you puts their identity as their most important interest. Obama is black. He has done very little for blacks as blacks.  There are plenty of woman politicians who do nothing for other women, including on basic women’s issues- like abortion.

This is the second issue. Identity as, say, evangelical Christians may be more important to them, or they may simply be acting out of more narrow self-interest.

Since it is the topic du jour, let’s discuss Sanders and Clinton.

Bernie is as good as Clinton in feminist issues, better on race issues (at least according to Black Lives Matters and, well, Clinton’s record), and better on economic issues.

There is a tendency to assume clustering. If a person is a lesbian (in Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, in the US, Liz Cheney), many assume she is also a left-winger in general. Wynne has been very good on gay issues in Ontario, but she is terrible on economic issues. She is a neo-liberal economically, a left-winger socially.

This is super common. Clinton is a left-winger for women, and a conservative for pretty much everything else. She has no actual beliefs on non-female social issues. If it is politically expedient, she’ll talk about black super predators and support terrible criminal policies which punish blacks. She’ll be against gay marriage. But she’ll be for this stuff, too, if she thinks it’s expedient.

Identity does not have to cluster. It is less likely to cluster in important people, who identity strongly with other important people.

This leads to the third issue: You have interests as your primary identity, but you have other interests with which you may not identify as strongly (or not strongly enough to vote or act on them).

Poor whites who want to keep down ethnicities and thus vote hard conservative are hurting their economic class interests, yes. But they are competing with new immigrants for a lot of the same bad jobs. Business owners whine that native born Americans don’t want shitty jobs, but they’ll do them if they pay more, and are treated better. Minus immigrants, a lot of jobs that couldn’t be moved overseas would have to pay more and treat people better.

This is not irrational. It is based on daily lived experience. It is, I believe, a mistake.  Immigration is a secondary effect, and there are better ways to make labor markets tight, which generally involve what an economic left-winger would call “class solidarity.”

From an identity point of view, class solidarity is just taking your class identity as a primary interest.

Still, there is no question, you can hurt yourself really, really badly by parsing the world in identity terms. Most of the people who voted for Clinton in the primary will do worse under her than they would have with Bernie as President.

Clinton can be expected to continue neo-liberal policies. Under Obama, those policies made only about the top three to five percent of the US population better off. If you aren’t in that class, Bernie is a better bet. Again, he’s as good as Clinton on women’s issues, and better on race and economics.

Most people don’t think this way. They don’t go the extra steps. They choose a primary identity, assume anyone else with the markers is like them, and vote on that identity.

They may also simply decide that the identity IS more important than their other interests. I doubt most Clinton supporters would admit “I”ll lose money under Clinton, a lot more people will die overseas, but I think having a woman as President is more important because it will change how people think about gende–even if Bernie’s policies were every bit as good.”

Most wouldn’t, but some certainly do. And that is the implicit argument.

If you want to change behaviour, your job is to change the cluster with whom people identity. This isn’t some post-modern realization; communists, socialists, and Marxists have been obsessed with this issue for as long as they have existed (read Mobilization theory for the Marxist/Conflict Theory take).

People use shorthands to think. They mostly don’t think, actually–they use emotion to make decisions. This is a really good way to make decisions as a hunter-gatherer in a band where you’ve known everyone since you or they were born, whichever is shorter, and where most decisions are about environments you know very well and where, if you fuck up, you’re very likely dead.

It is a bad way to make decisions in our world, where you don’t really know important people, where most decisions will kill you years down the road, not now, and where lots of people are effectively con-artists using your mental shortcuts to fleece you.

Being gay, or female, or colored is a really strong asset when dealing with most modern left-wing types because they tend to assume clustering, discount sell-outs and not understand that their assumptions are being used against them by con-artists.

This is the critique of modern identity. That it has led to a lot of bad decisions about who to trust and that biological marker identity is often not the most important identity.

Is that right? I suppose it depends. Some groups have done very well in this era–gays, for example.

But others, like women in the US (losing effective abortion treatment, but a general reduction in rape), have mixed records; while still others have done terribly over the last few decades (African Americans). The Black Congressional Caucus has been particularly bad for poor blacks, and includes some of the biggest recipients of, for example, payday loan industry money.

Visible identity is a terrible parser of whether someone will act in your interests, especially if you assume clustering. This is especially true when someone has a record, like Clinton and Sanders do. We know who they are, because they have very long records.

So, identity is basic to humans. It is a way of quickly making sense of the world and choosing who you can trust because they have interests and experiences in common with you. But it has serious limits. It is subject to manipulation. And which identity you take as primary is very important if you’re going to make decisions based on identity.

Women are right to think men keep them down; blacks are right to think that whites keep them down; gays that straight people are a problem.


But that does not always mean that someone who has the visible signs of that identity will act on those interests when in power (i.e., Blacks and Obama). Even if it does, it does not mean they will act on clustered interests (economic, local, your industry).

Those interests might, an outside observer would think, outweigh the pure identity interests. If you lose your job and wind up on the street, an economic populist might point out, the rest of it is crap.

But for those who are trying to change how people act, the real lesson of identity is that changing how people think about identity matters.

And perhaps the other lesson is to teach people just not to trust anything powerful people say, but instead watch what they do, because powerful people are far more likely to be con-artists than Jane or Joe on the street.

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How Bernie Gives Hope for the Future


Trump vs. Clinton


  1. TRV

    Sanders generally polled higher among women than Clinton. “Most people” aren’t quite as gullible as all that.

  2. bruce wilder

    The solidarity of common interest is certainly important, but it must live beside and often inside the morality of good for me and mine opposed to the bad of outsiders and the assumed righteous purity of me and mine. That’s not thinking exactly, but it is motivational and not just of action, but of imaginative association and perception.

    People get attached to an identity because that identity provides order and purpose and self-worth and (low-cost) moral focus. So much focus, that it is possible to hide an elephant in the shadow of its spotlight.

    Economically, the modern world involves steep hierarchies, both of status and power and as a sense of elite dependence on the masses has eroded, it has become increasingly problematic to find any way for the commons to control elites.

    Enter Clinton, at the head of an ideology of liberal-professionalism laden with a righteousness you could cut with a knife, it is so thick and sticky. And, it substitutes nicely for, ethics and a sense of fairness — like any cancer-causing sugar substitute providing sweetness without nutrition.

    Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal is absolutely great on observing this phenomenon.

  3. I draw your attention to this discussion of what Hillary Clinton’s nomination means to women:

    I think, in retrospect, this past decade’s politics have been about blacks and women asserting their identities. Good, so far. But it seems to be at the expense of so many other things, even lives. Much is going to depend on Clinton’s performance in office. I wish she would repudiate that monster Kissinger. Has he ever devised a policy that succeeded in anything other than killing people in job lots?

    Meantime, it seems that Sanders is going to form a political organization of some sort. I’m waiting to find out where I go to sign up.

  4. nihil obstet

    As I think you imply and bruce wilder points out more explicitly, there’s a strong emotional component quite aside from desire for material advantage. We want respect. We’ll sacrifice quite a lot of material gain to be well regarded by others. So “How can you be so stupid that you vote against your own interests?” is counterproductive rather than persuasive.

    But also, we seek value for ourselves in valuable associations. One is identifying ourselves with the powerful to overcome a sense of powerlessness. Most obviously, “USA, we’re number one!” and our saturating our consciousness in celebrities. Today, Trump is our Stalin. Clinton would be, but we won’t yet accept a woman in that role. Another method of value-seeking is asserting “I’m a member of a group that deserves more respect than you are granting.” That’s the identity politics. It works in that politicians routinely give flattering speeches about how much they’re concerned for women/blacks/hispanics/. . . .

    The question that the labor movement has been flummoxed by since Reagan is how to maintain/revive the feelings of solidarity that made people identify with the working class and get a sense of power and value from unions.

  5. TK421

    I’m sorry, but the two paragraphs after the opening line are such pure, unmitigated bunkum that I stopped reading. No reputable survey gives a 1 in 4 figure. No reputable study shows a gender pay gap (all else being equal). This is supposed to be a site for harsh truths, not urban legends on the level of “vaccines cause autism”.

  6. DMC

    1 in 5 is the usual figure cited, so between 1 in 4 to 1 in 6 is well within the overall statistical ballpark. Unless you are claiming that its much lower or something, in which case all you need to do is ask any 5 women you know if they’ve ever been raped. You’ll need to preface the question with an explanation that you are informally attempting to verify a commonly bruited about figure. And really the larger the sample the better. But the shocking thing is you probably won’t make it through the first 10 without hitting at least 1 rape victim. There are doubtless segments of the population where the rate is lower and others where it is higher(say cloistered nuns vs. sorority girls), but the rule of thumb figures that I’ve seen in the past as Ian posted.

  7. Jill

    I agree. Powerful people are more likely to be con artists. “Democrats took giant steps toward party unity Thursday as Bernie Sanders vowed to work together with Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump in November…” CNN

    Sandernista is an identity also.

  8. EmilianoZ

    Tribalism is in our DNA. We aint gonna change millions of years of evolution in a few decades. It’s hopeless. Utterly hopeless.

  9. Ian Welsh

    Ah yes, the “if women stopped having kids, getting married and being primary caregivers, they’d do just as well as men in the job market” argument.

    Often held by men who think that women should pop out babies and take care of them, I’ve noticed, though perhaps TK421 is a libertarian or a MRA.

  10. Some Guy

    What you say here is common sense Ian, so let me digress and note that when you say, “Clinton is a left winger for women, and a conservative for pretty much everything else. She has no actual beliefs on non-female social issue” I think this is unfair to Clinton, as I really think the war-hawkery is a truly held sentiment for her.

  11. reslez

    Tribalism probably as old as agriculture, meaning not that old at all. Historically, human population density was too low to support groups in perpetual conflict. People didn’t live in fixed settlements and had extensive kinship networks. The world was wide and resource-rich. When there were disagreements they simply moved away to live with other family. People grew up from infancy surrounded by kin who helped raise them. They weren’t surrounded by “others” they needed to hate and fear.

    What is striking about the worldviews of foragers (among people as widely dispersed as the Mbuti of Central Africa, Nayaka foragers of South India, the Batek of Malaysia, Australian Aborigines, and the North American Cree) is that they tend to share a view of their physical environment as a “giving” place occupied by others who are also liable to be well-disposed and generous. They view their physical world as being in line with benevolent social relationships. Thus, the Mbuti refer to the forest as a place that gives “food, shelter and clothing just like their parents.” The Nayaka simply say, “The forest is a parent.”

    … People with French and German agricultural ancestors like my own are more likely to have been reared to beware of strangers. Many of us were put to bed with folktales about the world “outside over there,” a scary place peopled by impoverished widows, cruel stepmothers, hungry orphans, and unwanted children who lived surrounded by a dangerous forest where malign creatures–wolves and witches–lurked. To an Mbuti child, the forest is not so much dangerous as nurturing–it is a benignly encompassing mother-figure. Such a child is taught to be at least initially (until encountering information to the contrary) curious rather than fearful of outsiders.

    Quoted from Mothers and others: The evolutionary origins of mutual understanding. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, 2009.

  12. tony

    There is sort of a prisoner’s dilemma here. In an ethnically diverse country, each ethnic group would find it easier to ally with capital to extract resources from other groups than fight against capital.

    An ethnic group fighting a class warfare would then have to fight other groups and the ruling elites. However, since they are fighting a class war, even their victories benefit other ethnic groups. So it’s a losing game.

  13. Ché Pasa

    Identity politics has been extremely useful and comforting to our neoLibCon Overlords, that’s for sure. So long as the Rabble can be kept focused on bathrooms and who has the right or privilege to use which one, so long will fundamental issues of social, economic, and legal justice be set to the side, so long will the struggles against war and exploitation be marginalized, etc.

    That’s not to say there aren’t real issues tied up with “identity.” That’s not the point. The point is that identity politics is used effectively by our Overlords to maintain their own power while we the Rabble squabble among ourselves over what — to our rulers — are irrelevancies.

    It works.
    I’d like to see some clever dick mix it up with the Overlords’ identity politics… They are just as vulnerable after all…

  14. highrpm

    what does one’s performance on identity issues have to do with qualifying the same as a competent chief executive? a society’s chief executive must be competent in keeping many more “balls in the air” than just the identity sphere. (but, hell, the media says its time for a woman pres, so it is. and its time for a confrontation with russia, and she’s proven herself qualified for that.)

  15. bruce wilder

    Some of the commenters are writing as if the penchant of human nature for tribalism is some terrible defect marring the surface of the Platonic Ideal of Rational, Ethical Political Man. That is not even silly.

    If there is a problem with tribalism implicated in identity politics it is that tribalism of this kind is so superficial, so easily manipulated by symbolic communications. Identity politics is bad because it is so superficial.

    Say what you will about the ethnic balkanization and sexist caste system of pre-1960 America, but it was not superficial. It had roots in the real investment of time and personal energy. People went to union meetings, to church, to the Lodge meeting, to the Chamber of Commerce luncheon, to the Women’s Club. They listened and read.

    And, here is the thing that matters: the investment was sometimes sufficient — not always, but often enough — to create a leadership and bind that leadership to the identity and welfare of the group. A Samuel Gompers or WEB DuBois or Brandeis — however capable — was bound to the section of the Commons that made him.

    The problem we have in our politics is that we have a steep technocratic hierarchy. And that is new to civilization. It has existed outside militaries for only 150 years, maybe a bit more, if you count railroads. And, we have gained and apparently lost the ability of the commons to discipline elites in those few generations.

    Identity politics is a degeneracy of tribalism, where so little energy is invested and the binding is loose enough that it becomes nothing more than a means by which elites manipulate the rubes. A War on Women is the product of a few hours of brainstorming clever PR. If you saw the NYT magazine article on the White House foreign policy PR effort, you know this is how the country is governed.

    A key aspect of it is the emergence of corporate business management as the elite’s social and economic class, with a tiny dominating CEO super elite as the kleptocrats in charge. They are invested in their class identity, having gone to specialized schools, attending all kinds of corporate and trade and professional meetings. But, by its nature, this is an elite set at odds against the commons, especially at the C-suite level and among financial managers. And, increasingly, it is all we have.

    Identity politics is the window dressing for rule by the corporate executive class. It is Clinton’s feminism of “lean-in”. It is the social justice of no ceilings, a social justice of no floors either. It is a black Congressional Caucus worried that inheritance taxes will inhibit capital accumulation.

  16. Jill

    It is shameful that the US did not have a person of color as president until 2008. It is shameful that the US has not yet had a woman of any color as president. What identity politics does is take facts of racism and sexism and use them against ordinary people. Identity politics is actually extremely racist and sexist in that it posits the literal interchanability of human beings. It doesn’t matter which woman may be elected and it didn’t matter which black man was elected. It just mattered that any black man get elected and now it will only matter that any woman will get elected.

    It’s quite shocking actually. There are really great black men and wonderful white women whom I would be proud to have as president. There are people who are decent, intelligent, who have a good will towards others AND they are black and they are female. Why, if it’s so important to have a black president or a female president, can’t one of these people be the nominee? Is there really only one qualified black man, a murderer and torture supporter who can be president? Is there really only one woman, a murderer and torture supporter who can be president? Really? These are the only black men or white women qualified for the post?

    People aren’t interchangeable. Black men and white women really aren’t all the same. Only racist and sexist people believe such things. Those type of people exist on the right and they exist in another form on the left. This racism and sexism makes people easy to manipulate. They are willing to turn on their fellow citizens, quick and easy. They are an ideal population for control by the oligarchy. And, I will add, they are strong agents of control against others.

  17. Jill

    This is at

    “As many on this blog know, I have been highly critical of Donald Trump. However, there has been a campaign of violence against Trump supporters that is highly unnerving and dangerous. While there were a few incidents of Trump supporters acting violently, there has not been the same level of outrage at the widespread violence against Trump supporters and police at these events. Now, a liberal Huffington Post columnist Jesse Benn has defended the “violent response” to Trump — a reckless and provocative column that seeks to legitimate mob justice…”

  18. Peter*


    Excellent analysis, Jill all that is needed for this to be the perfect IP election is for Liz Warren to actually be NA and come out as gay.

    The violent demonstrations against Trump started in Albuquerque near where I live and it is possible they are and were being funded and directed or at least motivated by the Liberal elite in the media whining about the few incidents at Trump rallies.

    It is not a surprise that Liberal talking heads condone this behavior, they need it to promote their agenda of fear and lesser-evilism and deflect the rubes from the despicable candidate they champion.

  19. Jill

    Thanks Peter. I have long thought that Warren will be put in place, ultimately as president. She is a most excellent brand for liberals. Sanders is darn good but Warren is a even more worshiped than Sanders. She is an excellent brand, not as good as Obama, but still a very good brand. She confuses many, many people of good will and they will feel quite righteous in supporting her.

    The oligarchy most needs a candidate who people feel righteous in supporting. It’s difficult for people to question the candidate who makes them feel they are good people for supporting. This explains why people who supported Obama were/are so hateful to any person who questioned what he was/is doing.

    Belonging to “team goodness”, be that team woman, team black man, or team Sandernista–that’s the kind of righteousness which we are used to on so many levels. It’s why people support priests who rape children. Father is good. I am good for supporting him. Anyone who shows that Father isn’t good is EVIL and should be shut up.

    Well just see what happens when Team Warren coalesces into the new righteousness. That will wipe Trump off the map. Team Trump just can’t compete with it. Unless people wake up really fast the oligarchy will win the election–period.

  20. BlizzardOfOz

    @tony, good comment. I read De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America recently, and he could have easily predicted the dilemma you mention.

    One fact of democracy that seems to have been lost to our public discourse, is that it tends to tyranny because there is nothing to restrain the will of the majority. In his evaluation of American democracy, he cited two factors mitigating that risk: its decentralized administration, and the ethnic, linguistic, and racial homogeneity of the country. We can see that the first is long gone, and the second is going fast.

    Liberals seem to be betting on a secular/national identity subsuming tribal and religious ones. And yet, we can see that such an identity is weak, and already cracking under the strain. And further the mass media complex is actively hostile to assimilation to a shared national identity. The western multi-racial nations seem destined for breakup or civil war within a few generations. White liberals are so far unable to see this, and still think they are in class solidarity with the racial and religious minorities they acquiesce to importing in large numbers.

  21. cripes

    Does anybody notice how relentlessly they catapult the propaganda at us 24/365? I am coming to believe the purpose is to indoctrinate the masses into the belief they must do more for the overlords.

    I come home at 10:30pm from a crap job, search for parking that won’t get me insane ticket fees, talk to a girlfriend who needs me at her apt first thing tomorrow to get it ready for bank inspection to sell the crap building for the crap landlord who plays the guilt card for tenant sympathy so they’ll figure out how to put more money in his pocket–or get put out when he sells the dilapidated building out from under them. It’s the asset appreciation, y’know.

    My girlfriend actually canvassed the tenants asking if they could pay MORE rent to the slumlord who’s not “making enough” money. My sister is reliant on an endless stream of AirBNB boobs to pay her insane rent in Brooklyn. We must do more for the poor rich!

    As I rush to make a sandwich before bed, I am greeted on the TV with a commercial looping every 10 minutes from an outfit called the “Internet Freedom Committee” — an Air BNB PAC I guess — playing the guilt card by displaying closeups of a proto-elderly black male homeowner with puppy eyes.

    He’s an AirBNB host, and we would be hurting him if we don’t vote against a weak Chicago ordinance proposal to regulate internet apartment rentals that have gutted Paris, Barcelona and London. And he plays keyboards!

    The commercial silently scrolls statistics like “54% of hosts need to rent to visitors to pay their bills.” Sharing!

    The rest of Jimmy Fallon is devoted to shameless “slow-jam” pimping with Obama for his “legacy” of full employment and green energy, and caps it with a pitch that TPP will bring 500,000 more jobs. How bad everyone treated Obama, who did so much for us. And Trump! Say it with me slow…Oh, yeaaah.

    The girlfriend does TV and industrial commercials. Recently she did a hush-hush no client named shoot about tearful Moms greeting their ethnic sons as they are released from prison. Who doesn’t like that? No one on set seemed to register, but it’s named the “Koch” project. If you haven’t yet, Google Koch and prison reform.

    What we have here is a never-ending stream of carefully crafted class-war mind-control messaging that fills every waking second of TV, Radio, Internet and gas-station screen time as you fill your fossil-fuel burner. It’s ubiquitous, it’s all-encompassing and it’s highly effective
    Regardless of who comes to befoul the White House bed, the assault on the minds of the populace, and our laws and resources, will continue. Every crisis, every scandal, every perfidy and war crime will be re-framed into another demand to send more money to billionaires.

    I despair.

  22. Hugh

    If you have seen the video of Warren railing against Trump, you already know that Team Trump has nothing to fear from her. What they have to fear is Trump re-enacting the scene from Woody Allen’s Bananas where the triumphant rebel leader goes loon and declares that henceforward everyone will have to wear their underwear on the outside so they can show the world how clean they are. They also have to fear the new line of attack by the MSM led by USAToday showing how Trump uses his wealth to avoid paying ordinary Americans who worked for him and made it in most cases to expensive for them to sue him. Hello world, this was such an obvious subject that I am surprised that it wasn’t brought out months ago, you know when it might have made a difference, –well not really considering what a bunch of lazy, studiously uncurious wankers they all are. Billionaires make their billions by stealing from and screwing over the little guy. Who knew?

    Much the same could be said about the Clintons, only more so. Talk about a target rich environment. They are grifters so follow the con. They love money waaaay too much, so follow the money. They’re paranoid, so find out what they have to be paranoid about. Bill can’t keep it in his pants, do we really want that back in the White House? Hillary has a terrible record, so look at her record. The Clinton Global Initiative, the email server, the speeches to Wall Street. What more could a famously free press want?

    As for Warren, I never got the appeal. Except for a few positions on restraining some of banking’s more blatantly criminal activities, she’s basically Washington Consensus. If you want the short story for why she didn’t endorse Sanders, it’s that. As Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism said recently, she had only one contact with Warren and found her to be one of the most “dominant”, i.e. domineering people she ever met. She is a lot like Hillary, only without the identity political groups behind her.

  23. EmilianoZ

    I’m sure you can find tribalism in apes and monkeys. It predates humanity. It has been documented that bands of chimps sometimes go on genocidal wars against other bands of chimps.

    There’s a text by Primo Levi where he cites Konrad Lorenz’ “On aggression” about rats spontaneously forming tribes and tearing foreign rats to pieces.

  24. Jill


    Do you really think people don’t love Warren? (I’m not being ironic. I’m asking a genuine question.)

    I see her being plumped everywhere. I got in some trouble with NC for criticizing her so I’m very surprised that Yves has changed her mind about how wonderful Warren is. When I still looked regularly at NC there was always a story of how great Warren is. You are close to principles on that site so I will value your word on the situation.

    Outside of NC I see Warren plumped in multiple newz stories, magazines and blogs. Lefties can’t seem to get enough of her. Many people have breathlessly described her greatness to me. She is a woman who is single handedly taking on the banks from what I am told. You aren’t running into that?

  25. nihil obstet


    You might want to look at the work of primatologists who study apes and monkeys more closely than the anecdotes which Lorenz recounts, and who specifically look at sameness and difference in humans and other primates. Frans de Waal has a number of books on the subject. You should especially look at some of the information if you are basing an interpretation of human beings on assumptions about apes.

  26. Hugh

    Jill, not close. Yves has criticized Warren on her weak tea approach to student loans for some time now. I think it comes down to this. Progressives have a really bad habit of reading into people and ideas their hopes without looking closely enough at their histories or what they are saying, and often more importantly what they aren’t saying. I would say that Warren is not a progressive at all, however you wish to define that term. I would call her rather an offended academic conservative. She simply can’t stomach some of the swill that the banking sector has been peddling. She has too much ego to act like she doesn’t see through it. But she is far from a bomb thrower or out to fundamentally change banking in this country. She just wishes the sector would be a little less rapacious and a little more sophisticated about it. For anything else, she is pretty much a standard conservative. So it is bizarre that progressives read all this other stuff into her. I think now Warren has endorsed Clinton, a lot of taboos about criticizing her will disappear in progressive venues.

    People may think that I am kidding about my “Show me the blood on the floor” approach, but I’m not. Look at Clinton. She had a nationally known name and huge soapbox as a member of the Senate, but I cannot think of a single instance where she used them to stand up for anything or take the lead on any important issue. Or heaven forbid, help build a viable progressive movement. And you have to understand, as Harry Reid of all people once said, a single Senator can bring the Senate to a standstill if he or she wanted to.

    Look at Warren. She has the banking issue, but mostly it’s a letter here, a statement there. Zero organizing. She seldom leaves her ivory tower and while she has some concerns about the proles, she certainly doesn’t want to fraternize with any of them.

    Look at Sanders. He would raise progressive issues on the Senate floor, but he never spilled one drop of blood over them. Before his current campaign, he was considered a long running Washington joke. We used to say of him that he folded like a cheap suit or a cheap lawn chair. His idea of raising hell was to get prior permission for a filibuster that he conducted on a Friday after most of his colleagues had already left town and when it wouldn’t inconvenience them or the Senate leadership. I think his Presidential run was more of the same and that he was as surprised as anyone when it morphed into the real thing.

    The point I am getting at here is that there needs to be blood on the floor. People keep saying that they are fighting for us, heck even Clinton says it, but until we see their blood on the floor, win, lose, or draw, it’s just words for the rubes. This is why Sanders cannot finesse endorsing Clinton. There can be no lukewarm, half-hearted backing of Clinton because TRUMP. If he stands with her, then there is no blood, once again, on the floor. It was all just another star turn among the progressive saps, another case of going through the motions. If he stands with us, then for the first time in decades, there will be blood on the floor and we will know there really is someone out there fighting for us.

  27. Jill


    Thanks for the update on NC.

    You and I do have different experiences with people extolling the virtue of Warren. Most “liberals” I know would love to have her as the presidential candidate. I suspect she is a strong contender for the VP.

    I agree with your criticism of her and your analysis of progressive tendency to ignore successive candidates (I would say, saviors) whose deeds clearly don’t match up with actual liberal ideas.

    Sanders said yesterday he will work with Clinton for the purpose of defeating Trump.

  28. S Brennan

    Just a historical note;

    Had Jimmy Carter shown some courage, he would have won a second term and we would have been past all this crap. Had Carter chosen Barbara Jordan as VP, we’d have had a [1] Black, [2] Woman, [3] Lesbian in the White House who knew how to get things done, deliver a speech that moved people politically and most importantly…right from wrong. Additionally, given Jordan’s forceful nature, Reagan/Brzezinski[see neocon]/Volker would be a unknown or forgotten names.

    Action starts around 3:40

  29. tony

    Elizabeth Warren was a Republican until the 90s: It’s just that what is Left now was Right wing a few decades ago. Apart from the identity politics, but even there abortion rights might have taken a hit.

  30. different clue

    Here’s another example of people with a particular identity not clustering with other identities the way onlookers might want or expect . . . the Log Mansion Republicans.

  31. V. Arnold

    June 10, 2016

    I can relate to and sympathize with a lot of what you say, however; I have a question; why do you stay?
    It’s a big world out there with many, many options; but not for the faint of heart…

  32. Peter*


    I doubt that Warren has the skills to be effective as HRC’s attack dog in this contest and her growling and snapping at Trump while welcomed by the faithful has been summarily dismissed by Trump as ranting’s of a goofy Pocahontas.

    Her Liberal supporters and adorers are already in lockstep with the Party and they are not the people who will decide this election, if we can ever be sure voters actually decide elections.

  33. Lisa

    Correct, that is what is called ‘intersectionality’ and why it is important. That is the combination of clusters you below to.

    Identity politics has always existed, just that in the past a few groups dominated and the others had to ‘suck it up’.

    Take a simple example: (1) A black, unemployed, lesbian woman with children.
    (2) A white upper class, professionally employed heterosexual woman with no children.

    What interests do they share in common? Very few.

    Even the similar specific woman’s interest in specialised healthcare, abortion, contraception, etc.

    (1) Has a desperate interest in them being publicly and cheaply available to them.
    (2) Has and always will have access to them, all that changes is the price for them, greater restrictions just increase it a bit.

    Now will (2) fight for cheap availability of them for poorer women if it means higher taxes for them?
    The answer is mostly not, in the US even the so called Democratic states have been cutting such services.

    Expand that to social security, wages and all the rest and they have very, very few common interests whatsoever, in fact the majority of their interests are at odds.

    So in this case the Shared Identity of being a woman means little compared to the different race, class and sexuality identities.

    That is amplified by their ‘insider’ elites and lobby groups, which nearly always sell them out as they identify (or aspire to) far more with type (2) than their constituent type (1).
    If you look at the insider DC feminist and black elites they have endlessly sold out blacks and women….

    LGBTI have done better, though we have our own internal divisions and ‘sell outs’ (white successful gay men are quite happy to, and have, throw transgender people under a bus for example). But there are a combination of reasons for that, we are more locally based, have always been outsiders to everyone, are very cynical about either parties as both would (and have) throw us under a bus for a few votes and we are far better a policing our own elites. We are also far better are ‘taking the long game’ as an approach.

    The result of that is clear, in the end the NC (etc) ‘bathroom laws’ will be thrown out.. BUT at the same time as they brought it in NC threw out a lot of discrimination protection for many other groups…will anyone do anything about that? Nope.

    You can’t blame LGBTI activists for that though, we are small and have to fight our own corner and that is more than big enough a fight, but where are all the others? Nowhere basically.
    The frustration by trans activists at not being able to get together a coalition of the various affected groups has led us to just start going our own way these days.
    That started in Houston by the way, where local trans activists tried desperately to do that since throwing out HERO would impact a vast number of different people over and above the much smaller number of trans people. You think a veteran activist group will ally itself with a trans one even though they have a major common interest?

    Note: Trans people are still way behind the curve in equal rights, discrimination protection by the way…we have a long fight just to get level with others.

    Other issues come to mind, (forgot the State) proposing to force women to identify the fathers of their children otherwise no social security. Where were all the DC feminists fighting about that one?

    We, especially transgender people, are getting tough and will fight. Someone comes out with an anti-trans howler and we get stuck into them, social media gets filled.
    Someone does the same about women (like the recent ‘compulsory sterilisation’ comments by a politician ) … incredible silence by the DC feminist elites, sadly because I suspect some of them actually agree with it.

    Then there has been the massive misuse of Identity Politics. The classic and by far the biggest has been the selling to white working class conservatives of: ‘we will keep the poofs/ blacks/women/trannies/etc in their place…just let us keep picking you pockets’ that was used to con them for decades. They were being paid a ‘psychological wage’ of feeling superior …while getting poorer financially and they were all to happy to take that deal.
    Far too many still do of course, their sexuality/race/gender Identity outweighs their class and personal financial one by a long margin.

    So a Single Identity means little to nothing, unless you are in a really marginalised group (like transgender people).

  34. Everythings Jake

    I don’t think Hillary is a left winger for all women, but a narrow subset. The welfare reform act hurt poor white mothers as well as black, and in fact, during at least the Reagan years, I believe statistics showed that poor white mothers outnumbered the “black welfare queens.” I don’t believe Libyan women are better off today than they were before the Hillary-sponsored disastrous intervention. Perhaps the ones who could afford to get out and play kissy-kissy at State Department and tony Georgetown, Riverside Drive and Upper East and West side affairs, but not those left behind. Somehow the GMMR was bombed to bits from one end to the other, probably so French water companies could come in and loot the place. How’s that good for women (or men) and children? I think Hillary is good for elite women who “deserve” to be elite. So really that leaves Hillary good for basically no one at all.

  35. Tom

    The problem with Sanders is he didn’t fight the blatant vote rigging Clinton engaged in. Nor did he force the issue in New York and Pennsylvania on the blatant disenfranchisement of independent voters and start street riots till they were allowed to vote. He also failed to make his case to blacks.

    Trump on the other hand fought the establishment and won.

  36. Jill


    You make a very good analysis. We’ll see how it plays out but I think your point is well argued. With the voting machines in place and other forms of voter disenfranchisement techniques, I don’t think we have much chance of having our votes count (unless we vote the “correct” way).

    Everything Jake,

    I agree with most of what you said. I’m glad you pointed in out. I only disagree that elite women shouldn’t have rights. Everyone should have the rights of this society.

  37. Stephen Douglas

    @DMC @Ian Welsh, Check your stats. TRV is completely correct that the rate of rape has been enormously inflated by ideological-based (not reason-based) feminists.

    According to the DOJ and FBI reporting it is more like 1 in 50, not 1 in 5.

    And no, DMC, anectotal asking of 10 women does not qualify as representative.

    And here I thought the writing was so rock solid and incisive. Never expected to see that nonsense parrotted here.

    As for the wage gap nonsense that has been elegantly debunked by Professor Christina Hoff Summer, hardly an MRA, Ian. As well as many others.

    You both might want hold back your ad hominem attacks. Facts are facts. Try spouting them, not ridiculous myths that infest the public square.

  38. Jill


    Would you please put in the links to your DOJ and FBI sources on rape?


  39. TRV

    That was TK421, not me.

  40. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    One of many reasons I would not want a blog of my own is the task of policing it to sweep out riffraff such as MRAs, racists, and armchair advocates of violent revolution–or else letting them through, as Ian does, and risking my reputation by associating with such disreputable folk.

  41. mellobrew

    @Stephen Douglas

    Ian buys the whole SJW bullshit line. It’s his one major flaw as a thinker. Other than that, he’s pretty spot on the vast majority of time.

  42. Hugh

    IBW, as John Jay Chapman wrote more than a century ago:

    “The quarrel that the world has with its agitators is that they do really agitate. People express this by saying that the men are dangerous or have bad taste. The epithets vary with the age. They are intended to excite public contempt, and they embody the aversions of society. In a martial age the reformer is called a molly-coddle; in a commercial age an incompetent, a disturber of values; in a fanatical age, a heretic. If an agitator is not reviled, he is a quack.”

    Thank you for proving Chapman’s point.

  43. Ian Welsh

    I assume people are not so stupid as to think I agree with most of my commenters. Even the ones I agree with most of the time, I do not agree with all the time and I agree with very few of my commenters most of the time.

    Also most people never read the comments. Really, less than one percent of people who read the post will dive into the “hive of scum and villainy” that is the typical comment section. (Though my commenters, as a group, are better than most newspaper sections, say. If they weren’t, I’d shut them down. Still, a lot of stupidity and vileness finds its way here.)

    I will note that police stats are too low, as most women do not report to the cops.

    Anyone who actually has female friends who trust them will suspect this is true. Personally, about one-third of my close female friends over the course of my life have told me they have been raped and they have also told me many of their friends have been raped.

    Rape and torture are the two crimes I have no tolerance for. I do not consider that there is ever a good reason for either, but you have to be even more vile to make an argument for rape than for torture.

  44. nihil obstet

    Stephen Douglas, IBW, mellobrew,

    A woman is highly likely to be poorer than a man throughout most of her life, and much more likely to need stingy assistance delivered in a humiliating way. She is constantly warned about the physical risks of free movement; if she ignores them and goes out to, say, an evening meeting and is attacked, it is pointed out to her how stupid she was. She will get less protection from the legal system if a man gets “twenty minutes of action.”

    Your reaction to this will depend on your ideology. You will either believe that a woman should have the same access to a full life as a man, or you will believe that a man’s access is the norm and find studies of women who resemble men most in the subject under investigation to be “elegant” and sources of women’s poverty to be “nonsense”. You will find record-keeping on prosecutable rape as more factual than surveys showing the widespread experience of attempted rape which has the effect of reminding women of their vulnerability as targets — what qualifies as “attempted” rape is indeed ideological depending on the amount of force and objections necessary to make the man get his unwanted hands off and keep it in his pants. What’s a little fun and what’s an actual threat? YMMV

    In short, you will find perspectives convincing that explain that such facts as women’s lower access to resources and safety come from women’s own fault. You will find the perspectives “reason-based”, even though they erase quite large categories of facts. However, the issue here is the role identity plays in politics, and the facts do create a sense of identity.

  45. BlizzardOfOz

    If the left actually cared about rape, they would be screaming from the rooftops about Rotherham, where groups of men systematically groomed and raped thousands of teenage girls. But there’s not a peep. And we all know why: the victims were white and the perpetrators were Muslim immigrants. If the opposite were true, we would see a never-ending deluge of outrage. Ergo, the left does not care about rape, except when it can be used to advance Marxist politics.

    Intersectional politics is incoherent, an attempt to cobble together a political coalition from free-floating grievance groups. So for example stopping rape is supposedly a priority for feminists, yet feminists support open-ended immigration of Muslims, a culture that embodies “rape culture” if any may. So it’s fair to ask what is the true agenda of intersectional politics. Of course the agenda is purely negative, subversion and destruction of social norms and institutions, on the ashes of which they think to build their egalitarian utopia.

  46. BlizzardOfOz

    nihil obstet,

    Your reaction to this will depend on your ideology.

    Absolutely true. But your ideology (“radical egalitarianism” or whatever you want to call it) has no successful manifestation in human history. Not only that, but women can give birth and men can’t; equality is ruled out by nature. Your ideology is disproven by facts known to a newborn baby.

  47. Lisa

    “…..stopping rape is supposedly a priority for feminists, yet feminists support open-ended immigration of Muslims, “….and there was no rape before Muslims immigrated?

    What nonsense on multiple levels.
    First to assume all feminists have the same political position on immigration…they don’t.
    Secondly to assume (very similar to the old black ‘super predator’ Myth) that Muslims have a higher rape rate than, say, white ‘Christian’ men. Unlikely…so prove it.
    Thirdly nonsense implied ‘conspiracy theories’… “the true agenda of intersectional politics”…..


    Some Australian statistics:
    17% of women and 4% of men experienced sexual assault since the age of 15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Personal Safety Survey, 2012)
    A University study found 20.6% of women and 10.5% of men reported non-penetrative childhood sexual abuse by the age of 16 and that 7.9% of women and 7.5% of men reported penetrative childhood sexual abuse by the age 16 years. (Mamun, Lawlor, O’Calloghan, Bor, Williams. & Najman, 2007 Queensland University study)
    93% of offenders are male (Australian Bureau of Statistics – Recorded Crime – Offenders, 2013-14)
    1 in 6 reports to Police of rape and less than 1 in 7 reports of incest or sexual penetration of a child result in prosecution (Sexual Offences: Law & Procedure Final Report, Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2004)
    Only about 17% of reported sexual offences result in a conviction, a figure consistent with data from other States and overseas. (Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission, 2003)

    A 2001 Study (still pertinent though) showed:
    The survey estimated that:
    • 113,500 women born in Australia (2.2%) experienced an incident of
    sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey;
    • 19,600 women who experienced an incident of sexual violence (1.2%)
    were born outside Australia; and
    • 10,100 (1.0%) were from a non-English-speaking country.

    That shows a lower rate for immigrants….

    Then, while sexual violence potentially affects all members of the community,
    there are certain subgroups that are more likely to be targeted than others.
    The statistics indicate that:
    • sexual violence is predominantly committed by males against females;
    • young women in particular are most at risk of experiencing sexual
    • within the male population, the most at-risk group is boys under the age
    of 14;
    • offenders are more likely than not to be known to the victim;

    There there are sexual attack on children.
    In a US study 93% of paedophiles were religious, many sexual predators consider churches as “safe havens, religious people can be “easier to fool” than most people, say researchers, and, even when an accusation of child sexual abuse is made, will often stand with the offender, vouching for his good character and even showing up in courtrooms for support.’

    By GRACE, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.

    Compared to other prosecuted criminals, child molesters are more likely to be:
    European American
    Older than 30 years of age

    Sex offenders are often religious and many of them attend church. In a study of 3,952 male sex offenders, 93% of these perpetrators described themselves as “religious” (Abel & Harlow,2001).
    Sex offenders maintaining significant involvement with religious institutions have “more sexual offense convictions, more victims, and younger victims” (Eshuys & Smallbone, 2006; Firestone & Moulden, 2009)


    So ‘we have a problem Houston’….. And getting rid of those ‘terrible feminists’ and stopping Muslim immigration is not going to do anything about it.

    Sadly, even today there are far too many men who are active members, passive supporters or apologists for rape culture. There is something deeply wrong with how many men are brought up, how they see themselves, what they think ‘masculinity’ is and how they view women ….. and children.

    “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

  48. Lisa

    Ken Lay Police Commissioner for Victoria nails it:
    “Violence against women—in whatever form—is not solely a feminist issue.
    It’s a social issue… It’s a blokes’ issue.”

    “Our culture is filled with men who hold an indecent sense of entitlement towards women.
    Our culture is heavy with warped and misspent masculinity.
    And every single day the casual groping and lewd comments that go unchallenged erode our standards.
    And if none of us are saying anything, then this feral atmosphere gets worse, until it becomes an endorsement of violence against women.”

    “Men, I need your help in making any form of indecency against women deeply shameful.
    I want you to use the full measure of your profession and your passion to try to correct this.
    I want you to use radio and newspaper and TV; I want you to use boardroom and community meetings; I want you to talk about it with colleagues and children.
    Men, when an estimated 20% of Australian women have been sexually assaulted—and when we know that sexual assault is massively underreported—we can’t say we don’t have a problem.
    I want you to consider what shallow sense of masculinity validates abuse.
    I want you to consider what twisted sense of entitlement compels a man to grab a woman in a bar or call her a slut.
    Men, I want you to consider why blokes are so quiet on these issues.
    Then I need you to correct that silence.
    To all of you, I ask that you help repel a callousness that has crept into our society.
    Callousness and complacency.
    What I want to leave you with is a sense of the complacency we must battle.
    And a sense of the prevailing, damaging attitudes towards women.
    We must all stand up to these things wherever they occur.
    Not just at community forums.
    But on trams and trains and streets.
    In the workplace and our sporting clubs.
    With our children.”

  49. Tom


    RE: Rape

    Tell me about it. As an EMT those calls are the worst. If my partner is also male, it makes trying to gather evidence even harder.

    One case a cop actually raped a drug addict and then tried to cover it up by giving her a lethal overdose. Thankfully we had Narcan on hand and reversed it, and the cop’s story didn’t match the scene. Luckily our boss was a former cop and backed us up in putting that fucker away on attempted murder charges though the jury didn’t convict on rape.

  50. BlizzardOfOz


    I’ll just add a couple of comments:

    * You call my “true agenda” comments a conspiracy theory, and yet you put your anti-Christian and anti-masculinity agenda right up front.

    * I’m not surprised if Australia has high-quality immigrants: they have the tightest immigration system of any Western country (with a small population and generous welfare system, they can’t afford to mess around). Countries with laxer immigration controls are admitted rapists by the boatload, but you’ll never hear a word about that from feminists.

    * We used to have a system of protecting young women. It was called religious patriarchy, and it’s what your ilk have been hell-bent on dismantling, in which you have largely succeeded. Normally we don’t put the people who broke something in charge of fixing it.

    * Your solutions – more Marxist indoctrination by the state, normalization of gender dysphoria and sexual perversions, attacking and stigmatizing traditional masculinity – are unknown to human history. As I said, you’re a radical utopian intent on subverting and destroying the civilization our ancestors bequeathed us.

  51. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    ” You will either believe that a woman should have the same access to a full life as a man…”

    I agree with this, in case anyone is confused.

    I disagree that male supremacy represents the will and wisdom of the Almighty.

    Blizzard’s god is too small, still very much the primitive, arbitrary, sadistic Great Thunder Fairy In The Sky of atheist caricature.

  52. Peter*

    Jill, I’m not sure where or if I stated elite women shouldn’t have rights, it seems they have more rights or at least privilege in our society than other women enjoy. Universal human rights should be the goal but elites make certain it is always an unattainable goal.

  53. gaikokumaniakku

    The USA’s bureaucracy made the following claim about rape of college students:

    Data were collected using a Web-based survey from over 6,800 undergraduate students (5,466 women
    and 1,375 men). Data indicate that 13.7% of undergraduate women had been victims of at
    least one completed sexual assault since entering college: 4.7% were victims of physically
    forced sexual assault; 7.8% of women were sexually assaulted when they were
    incapacitated after voluntarily consuming drugs and/or alcohol (i.e., they were victims of
    alcohol and/or other drug- [AOD] enabled sexual assault); 0.6% were sexually assaulted
    when they were incapacitated after having been given a drug without their knowledge (i.e.,
    they were certain they had been victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault [DFSA]).


    I have many objections the the study’s design and execution. However, even if we accept that study as representative for the sake of argument, I will note that 13.7% is not equal to 20%. We could approximate 13.7% as “1 in 7,” not “somewhere between one in four and one in six.”

  54. Peter*


    Using the numbers from this small sampling of a segment of the female population to attempt to diminish the impact of our rape culture is quite tiring and typical. These young women are just starting their adult lives and already have this high rate of violent mistreatment and predation to report. As they live their lives these percentages of women attacked cannot decrease or remain static, they will increase.

    All these stats really tell us is that a large percentage of young men are conditioned and primed to commit rape and abuse of women, which is at the core of Patriarchy and that that philosophy is deeply ingrained in our society with no real attempt being made to counter this disease.

  55. Patricia

    Eyeeeesshhh, BOS. My Dutch Reformed pastor-father sexually abused me for years and then the community turned a blind eye. You can take your religious patriarchy, and all that goes on in both protestantism and catholicism, and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    Lisa even had the generosity to quote from GRACE, so truly, you are just an ass.

    And to gaiku’s parsimonious piecing of bits from his memory and imagination, the same.

    So much shit going on in this world and you two scumble around in a dark corner of your beseiged brains, trying to scrape up something to beat back the wimmins.

  56. reslez

    Patriarchies are shitty places in which to live for women as well as men. Under patriarchy most men are genetic losers, too poor to buy a wife to give them babies. Among humans, paternal investment is highly variable. A male breadwinner who skips town or dies is a major problem for the wife and children he leaves behind. This is why, in a just system, resources cannot be tied to gender. Patriarchies are oppressive regimes. They require an incredible amount of indoctrination and violence to sustain. The violence is always present.

    Patriarchies developed to protect women and children and agricultural resources from the violence of other men. If all they did was protect I doubt there would be strong objections to them. But they do a lot more than that. Giving one group too much power over another group always results in tyranny — this is undeniable human experience. Patriarchies enslave and strangle the intellectual gifts of half of humanity and force men into roles that deny them emotions and choice.

    The best part of the West, the glorious part, is the recognition of the universal spirit of humankind… where it rises above the identity-splintered decadence of the past. When Western conservatives wallow in patriarchy they participate in the destruction of their own culture. A system that truly protects young women is one that enables them to thoroughly participate in public life and reach the full flower of their abilities. Traditional patriarchies condemn half the population to prison within the home. They are, objectively speaking, evil.

  57. BlizzardOfOz

    reslez, what nonsense. Women won more physics Nobel Prizes before the age of feminism. But you would have us believe they were oppressed. Western patriarchy has respected women’s freedom while encouraging them in the role of mothers ordained by nature and required for the survival of our race. Meanwhile, if your ilk succeed in your goal of turning the West into an Islamic caliphate, women will not be allowed to drive a car or go outside without a hijab and a male guardian.

  58. Jill


    You did not write anything of the sort. I had put two responses in one post. The first was to you. The second was to everything jake.

    I agree with your analysis of what happens within the oligarchy or (elites). I also agree with what you said about rape.

  59. gaikokumaniakku

    “Using the numbers from this small sampling of a segment of the female population to attempt to diminish the impact of our rape culture is quite tiring and typical”

    If you claim to have better numbers, post them.

    You claim the linked study used an excessively small sample. I agree and I actually alluded to that:

    “I have many objections the the study’s design and execution. However, even if we accept that study as representative for the sake of argument, I will note that 13.7% is not equal to 20%.”

    So by all means, post links to the superior statistical studies with larger and more representative sample sizes, if you have them.

    If you don’t have that statistical information, then you should be willing to admit that you don’t have statistics to support your claims. That doesn’t mean your claims are wrong. It means that people who want to see statistics must consult authorities other than you.

    You are no doubt an expert on experiences that make you feel tired and experiences that you regard as “typical.” However, your failure to respond with statistics does not convince me that you are an expert on the world outside your experiences. Thus if you claim that “rape culture” is typical of some country, e.g. the USA, Zimbabwe, etc., people who use statistics are going to ask for actual statistical arguments.

  60. Lee

    Typo. In the 22nd paragraph, if I understand it correctly, it should say “I’ll lose money under Hillary” rather than “Bernie” —
    They may also simply decide that the identity IS more important than their other interests. I doubt most Clinton supporters would admit “I”ll lose money under Bernie, a lot more people will die overseas, but I think having a woman as President is more important because it will change how people think about gende–even if Bernie’s policies were every bit as good.”

  61. tony

    Patriachies also bully women into pumping out a huge amount of kids. That probably has more to do with their success than anything else. At the moment, patriachal religions are on their way to majority in a lot of Western countries.

  62. Lisa

    For those arguing about the statistics the Australian ones come from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and have to be considered as definitive for our country.

    For details on the survey.

    Sadly BoS argues the tired old and very debunked ‘white heterosexual Christian men’ are at the top (when adjusted for class, etc) therefore they must be ‘better’ than the others.

    Sadly the stats show this is completely untrue. They are no better (and in some areas far worse) than other segments of society. They are just are prone to misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, rape, violence, prejudice as any other group.

    It is well noted and studied that the more extremely ‘Christian’ they are the worse they are on many of those measures.

    Plus paedophilia is almost an exclusively white, male, ‘Christian’ activity in the US for example (and in some other places too) .
    It is no surprise that my uncle in the UK who tried to rape me many times as a kid was …Catholic (and very high in the lay system no less) and a member of the Conservative Party.

    The Australian Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse has unearthed many decades of systematic physical and sexual abuse of children by so many ‘Christian’ religions and organisations. We are talking a massive scale here, tens of thousands of kids abused, some in horrific ways.

    Hence my Jesus quote about hypocrisy. Something those noisy white male heterosexual so called ‘Christians’ have turned into an art form…. If there is anything they are the ‘best’ at .. it is hypocrisy.

    Meanwhile the quiet Real Christians get on with following the real teachings of Christ and, though I am personally an atheist, some of those people deeply impress me.
    The people a G.R.A.C.E I see as Real Christians. They see a problem and really follow their teachings and work on it.

    While so many other so called ‘Christians’ dig their heads into sand, going on about 3-5% of the population being LGBTI while (in the US and many other places) 15-20% of kids are sexually abused by other white heterosexual ‘Christian’ males.

    It has to be noted that overall the less religious a country is, by and large the better, more accepting and more civilised the people are (but not always of course) . Though there are many, many wonderful caring religious people (some I personally know) far too many use it as an excuse for their bad behaviour. They use it to ‘wag fingers’ at others while never, ever applying the same to themselves.

    To take a simple example when some idiot quotes Leviticus to justify their homophobia, then let them set an example by not eating any bacon ..or selling land permanently .. or shaving, trimming their beard .. or cutting their hair.

  63. Peter*


    Statistics/numbers can be useful tools to understand the magnitude of degenerate male behavior in society and other topics but making them central to the discussion, even with passive-aggressive disclaimers is a diversion from examining the causes of this conditioned behavior and instead debating the results. Is 15% raped young women really ‘better’ than 20%?

    Personal experience, constant reporting in the media and survey data show the effects of our rape culture and how it is not being addressed in any meaningful way because that would require examining the male dominance that our civilization is built upon which created this and the death cult we live in.

  64. I’m really sorry I missed this thread but I was mostly away from keyboard/offline. I appreciate Ian’s intentions in this post but I still think it suffers from some of the same errors of thought. It’s an attempt to reconcile a very materialistic notion of interest and political choices with the underpinnings of human political motivations. I’m trying to find the comment where someone mentioned that people are willing to give up money for respect, I think that heads more in the right direction.

    The truth is that no progressive or left-wing movement can gain traction in a society like the USA until it acknowledges that there is an experience of life that a poor black woman and billionaire like Oprah has in common, and that the former is not “wrong” or in need of “correction” if she decides to give such things weight in her political choices.

    As for the patriarchy question, ie, whether women were “better off” somehow under a racial-purity-enforcing religious patriarchy, the very issue was ironically raised and identified by the second-wave radical feminists themselves. ie, the question is whether or not a woman is better off with her genitalia as a piece of property gifted or sold by her father to a future ally, or some variation thereof. Right-wing women identify this arrangement as “safety”, insofar as it involves ownership by one person who will die before you, leaving you in the best case scenario with personal freedom in your twilight years and even loyal children whose father is “absent” in life through work and masculine distance and eventually in death. Unfortunately, the “best case scenario” requires sticking to a single life script, accepting it if the new legal owner of your genitals likes to kick his stuff around — and that for likely decades. This could, I guess, be better than your genitals being communal property, which is what the cultural right assumes is the outcome of ending this system.

    The idea of feminism in this area of life was, instead, that a woman’s genitals should be neither public property nor the private property of others.

  65. gaikokumaniakku

    “Is 15% raped young women really ‘better’ than 20%?”

    The difference between 15% and 20% matters to very few people. About 95% of the people don’t care about it.

    You may have heard of Jane Smith the sociologist, and Kathleen Jones the idiot savant with a genius for probability. The two of the were walking past an orphanage of 100 orphans when a fire broke out. Kathleen Jones, with a conspicuous disregard for common sense, calculated the probability of walking into the burning building and then walking out again. In a split second, she decided that the odds were good. She ran into the building and accidentally opened a door that had been trapping five orphans. She and the orphans ran out together.

    After the smoke cleared, the police counted the bodies and found that fifteen orphans had burned to death, and eighty-five had survived. The police had trouble questioning Kathleen Jones, because she was an idiot at everything but math.

    Jane Smith was very angry at Kathleen Jones for talking about math. Jane Smith said, “It doesn’t matter whether fifteen orphans died or twenty – the root cause is that an unjust society forces orphans to live in flammable buildings.”

    One of the orphans disagreed: “Our five lives don’t matter to you, and they don’t matter to the idiot, but they matter to US. Only five people out of every hundred give a damn about whether fifteen or twenty people die.”

  66. Lisa

    Why understanding intersectionality matters:

    “Throughout, it is clear that trans women, queer women of color, older women and women with children face some of the sharpest disparities in income, access to health insurance and other factors that contribute to poverty.

    For example:

    It is much more difficult for two partnered women to access resources like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, meaning their incomes don’t go as far.

    Older LGBT women have reduced Social Security benefits because their lifetime earnings are lower, meaning a lower return from the program, and because they have less access to spousal and survivor benefits.

    Transgender women often can’t access adequate health insurance leading to higher costs associated with poor health. 36 percent of trans women report losing a job because of their gender identity or expression, compared to 26 percent of the overall trans population.

    Queer women of color experience oppression on multiple axes including race, gender and sexuality. Trans women of color experience poverty at particularly alarming rates.”

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