The Woman’s March Situation may be Unique (1)
While the issue of growing anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party could blow up into an open scandal as it has in the Woman’s March, this result is far from certain. For example, since the major media is dominated by Progressives who view the Democrat party as their vehicle to power, it can be counted upon to obscure this issue. Additionally, most Democrat politicians have the good sense not to highlight their friendly associations with open anti-Semites.
But for the case of the Woman’s March both of these barriers to open scandal were breached. The reasons for this result may well be unique.
The Woman’s March Sought to Combine Radical Progressivism and a Mass Movement
The seeds of the scandal may have been planted when the Woman’s March embraced two contradictory paths, those being:
- A cutting-edge ideological Progressive movement
- A broad-based woman’s movement.
By virtue of item 1 a radical group was able to seize control of the national organization. However, by virtue of item 2 many of the movement’s members were not familiar with, or necessarily supportive of, the radical positions of the national leadership. In fact, the proximate issue that brought together this movement was opposition to the election of Donald Trump, not support of some esoteric academic theory. These leaders’ ideology is best characterized as Intersectionality. One helpful definition can be found here.
the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect—especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.
Note that this concept attempts to tie together multiple forms of presumed discrimination into a general theory under which the marginalized groups can unite. However, it also appears to support a hierarchy of victimhood in which those who’s identity includes the most forms of discrimination have greater moral standing.
I wonder about the experience of many white suburban women who, disgusted by Donald Trump’s crude, cruel treatment of women, came out to march against his presidency. They found themselves surrounded by women dressed as female genitalia, both symbolically and literally. Then they experience the uncontrolled rage of people who’s existence is entirely defined by their sense of victimhood. And on the stage they see speakers fantasizing about blowing up the White House and screaming bizarre, obscenity-laced statements.
My guess is that many were embarrassed and appalled. But, they might well have continued in the movement since it appeared to be the most effective vehicle buy which to oppose President Trump.
However, one need not guess about how the Woman’s March leadership felt about the opinions of these same women — utter contempt. When the charge of anti-Semitism was first raised their immediate defense was that these “white women,” and particularly “white Jewish women,” had no moral standing to criticize these most victimized of marginalized people (i.e., those who could check multiple victimhood boxes). In fact, ALL white Jewish women were themselves victimizers!
Then, when The New York Times spoke to Mallory about the meeting, she uttered a statement that might well be taken as an indictment of Jews themselves for white supremacist attacks on them, saying, “Since that conversation, we’ve all learned a lot about how while white Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy, ALL Jews are targeted by it.”
Returning to The Tablet article that set this scandal in motion we find in the leadership’s visceral hatred and distrust of “white women” along with clear implication that they pose a problem that must be “solved.”
Carmen and I were very clear at that [first] meeting that we would not take on roles as workers or staff, but that we had to be in a leadership position in order for us to engage in the march,” Mallory told Tablet, in an interview last week, adding that they had been particularly sensitive to the fact that they had been invited to the meeting by white women, and wanted to be sure they weren’t about to enter into an unfair arrangement. …
They should have been basking in the afterglow of their massive success, but—according to Harmon—the air was thick with conflict. “We sat in that room for hours,” Harmon told Tablet recently. “Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. …
Over the year that followed, the Women’s March continued to grow, publishing its book, raising money, and putting on new events. In October 2017, the group held a Women’s Convention. Attendance was reported to be high for the whole event, and was packed for the summit’s most popular panel, “Confronting White Womanhood.”
This is the ideological environment in which many white women, to their great surprise, found themselves. They were not accustomed to thinking of themselves as victimizers, and likely bristled at the accusation. Thus, ideological gasoline had been sprayed all over the movement. All that was required was a match to trigger the conflagration.