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Hogarth judge

February 2018



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Hogarth judge

A Marxist heresy

A transgendered friend of mine elsewhere was annoyed that a group of people she described as 'radfems' refused to acknowledge people like her as women. By way of background, you should know that she is a firm believer and fluent speaker of the Cant: (patriarchy, male gaze, rape culture, sexual objectification &c. &c.)

One of the core tenets of identity politics seems to me to be that people acquire greater moral worth by being members of oppressed classes. We're dealing with what was originally a Marxist heresy, one that tried to recompensate after the orthodox Marxist class struggle failed to catch on in the US and western Europe. Instead, the actual social movements that were actually moving at the time were based on race, and somewhat later, sex. Some clever little Commie -- there were probably several -- came up with the idea to swap in race or sex for proletarian status in the Marxist hoodoo, so that they could constitute themselves a revolutionary vanguard. (Herbert Marcuse was a key figure: he came up with the idea that 'false consciousness' was what blocked the Western proletariat from becoming a revolutionary proletariat; "consciousness raising", not much different from the process of tent-meeting religious conversion, was the result.)

It seemed like a good idea at the time. This breaks Marxism; while revolutionary proletarians were supposed to throw off their proletarian status and become instead the revolutionary vanguard, no one was expected to throw off the chains of their race or sex. But Marxism was pretty broken anyways.

But making race or sex the centerpieces of a political ideology necessarily raises questions of authentication (Who is really Black? Who is a woman?) and authenticity (How should a Black American talk? Is her behavior unbecoming a feminist?) These questions are logically necessary once you make race or sex That Important, the cornerstones of your political belief system. And these 'radfems' have answered these questions that flow from the logic of the doctrine, and some have answered them in ways that exclude you. I'd be peeved at them too.

I'm not trying to formulate an explanation for their making these statements. No doubt there's a quite long explanation in some blog somewhere, or some academic journal about deconstructing the patriarchal phallus, and reading it would just give me a headache. From my perspective it's a battle as indecisive as the war between the hummingbirds and the yellowjackets at the feeder. If all of these radfems gathered en masse and linked arms and tried to block the freeway, I suspect you could still pass in the left lane.

What you have experienced at the hands of these radfems is not much difference from the treatment that I as a male have come to expect at the hands of the pop gender feminism that permeates the culture. Rejoice! your own foes are few in number, and nobody pays them much heed.