Mansplaining feminism, identity politics, & provincialism in politics

Women's liberation fist symbol

Reposting this (slightly edited) from August 27th, 2013 because it addresses “mansplaining” of women’s rights, now so in vogue; the political bankruptcy of opposing “identity politics” for those oppressed precisely for their identities; & the supremacist fetish that considers the preoccupations of European & US women as feminist & more important than the massive struggles & revolutions led by women elsewhere in the world.
When the hell did slut-shaming become a theoretical concept in feminism? Why is it that male progressives & some socialists discuss feminism only in terms of porno & prostitution & slut-shaming? Why are they preoccupied only with prostitutes & not much with sweatshop or office workers or underpaid & unemployed women or the serious challenges to reproductive rights? Quite frankly, it’s not only a disturbing development; it’s outright creepy. Not to mention completely misogynist.

When did the broad concerns & achievements of feminism start going down the tubes to a banal focus only on sexual exhibitionism & the prurient? And how the hell did raunch get all confused with female sexuality? Are male progressives watching too much MTV or reading too much porn? And then trying to justify it by long quotations from Marx & Engels?

Feminists who object are told with insular stupidity that we are sex-negative & politically passé. But bucko, there’s another explanation for our protests. We don’t like when men, who quite frankly don’t know a damn thing about feminist history or theoretics, try to control the renewal of feminism that is erupting like wildfire by taking hold of the debate & channeling it into their pornographic notions of our sexuality & human potentials. Imagine people who call themselves socialists who can’t imagine a world without prostitution, where women’s bodies are not considered commodities to be bought & sold!

They chide the women’s movement for lack of intersectionality & then consider the racist slut walks of half-naked women promoting prostitution as the epitome of feminist activism. They laud FEMEN for showing up bare-breasted even though they’re chanting racist crap against Arabs & Muslims. They ignore the veiled Arab women leading revolutions in Yemen & Bahrain; the Egyptian women fighting for their place in Tahrir Square; the Mayan women taking on a corrupt regime for genocide & rape; the Dalit & other oppressed castes in India standing up against rape & sexual violence, & against land grabs; the mothers of Bhopal continuing to fight for over 30 years for justice for their children; Palestinian & Kashmiri women so central to the struggle for self-determination. What about them, bucko? Do they have to show up naked to get your attention or your approval?