Why do women fail to vote as a class?

Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

In the wake of Trump’s victory, we have sought explanations: how can this nightmare have actually come true? Always a popular scapegoat, women have been getting a lot of the blame. While the majority of U.S. women voted for Clinton (54 per cent), the majority of white women voted for Trump (53 per cent). In The Atlantic, Clare Foran explains:

Women failed Hillary Clinton — and none more so than white women. That idea has congealed into conventional wisdom in the aftermath of the election. Vanity Fair published an article titled: ‘Why Hillary Clinton Couldn’t Win Over Female Voters’ while Time ran a story headlined: ‘Why So Many Women Abandoned Hillary Clinton.’ Slate declared: ‘White Women Sold Out the Sisterhood and the World by Voting for Trump.’”

The focus on women and the invisibilization of the fact that the majority of males (53 per cent) voted for Trump (including the majority of white males) betrays a nasty boys-will-be-boys dismissal of men’s actions. In every political party and in every recorded racial category, a higher percentage of men voted for Trump than women.

However, there is still a conversation to be had around women’s failure to vote in their own interests. It is shocking that more women didn’t vote for Clinton, considering Trump’s egregious misogyny and the fact he is a self-professed sexual assaulter. It’s true more women voted for Clinton than Trump, but there was no notable surge of women voting as a bloc beyond the usual female slant to the left. In fact, a higher percentage of women voted for Obama in 2012 than they did for Clinton this year. Post-election, the question remains for stunned and disheartened feminists: why don’t women unite in order to collectively fight for their political interests?

Simone De Beauvoir famously attributed this, in part, to the fact that women are  uniquely “dispersed” — not grouped together like other oppressed peoples, but always intimately attached to their oppressors. She writes, “If [women] belong to the bourgeoisie, they feel solidarity with men of that class, not with proletarian women; if they are white, their allegiance is to white men, not to black women.”

However, the liberation of women is not hopeless, according to Beauvoir, as women’s failure to unite is not a facet of their nature, but rather the result of an intentional engineering of society for the benefit of males. Because this engineering is socially constructed, it can be resisted. We can see that the American right thwarts female class consciousness by promoting women’s attachment to and dependence on men in the traditional familial mode of patriarchal control — they achieve this by enforcing compulsory heterosexuality, demonizing reproductive autonomy (literally), and downplaying the realities of sexual inequality. (Conservative anti-feminist Christina Hoff Sommers, for example, argues that females aren’t oppressed at all —  rather, she says, “it is [males] who are the second sex”).

The American left is less straightforward in its promotion of this division among women, but it is nonetheless present. After all, there wasn’t a notable uptick of Democratic and Independent women voting against the Republican candidate, either, despite him being a frothing-at-the-mouth, humping-at-the-chair sexual exploiter, assaulter, and all-around hater of women. (His grandfather first amassed the Trump fortune as a brothel owner in NYC, for crying out loud.) And yet it still seemed like, throughout the campaign period, leftist women — even some feminists — just as readily declared that they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the terribly inadequate Clinton, despite it meaning a Trump presidency.

While the right was able to take a piece of human garbage, straight out of reality television with no political experience, and stand behind him (even begrudgingly — as Republican leaders who had been personally insulted by Trump still supported him, in the end), the left still could not bring itself to come together in a decisive and categorical opposition to Trump. The fragmentation of the left is reflective of the fact that its rhetoric has become increasingly steeped in postmodernist ideology — particularly on women’s issues.

Postmodernist feminism sees the path to political change as not something achieved by females uniting as a class to change the material conditions of their lives, but rather, as carried out through erasing the “exclusionary” category of femaleness itself. Feminism, we’re told, can happen on a symbolic level. Postmodernist feminism says that gender oppression, for example, can be abolished by adopting gender-neutral language, and that males will stop exploiting females if we simply make the words “male” and “female” meaningless. Oppression is not seen as something that happens when one class subordinates the other, but instead as something rooted only in the social labeling of the those two classes in a binary way: male vs. female.

Marxist theory (once influential to leftists), which advocates for the exploited class to unite against the exploiter class, seems unfashionable today, as it relies on a “binary opposition” between economic classes. Even worse, it is a binary opposition that sorts people into categories of either/or, without recognizing that each individual is a special snowflake — a complex and unique being unlike any other. Contemporary theorists like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have tried to remedy this awkward gap in thinking. In their book, Multitude, Hardt and Negri claim that Marx’s class binary was really meant to refer to a more nuanced field of unique individuals: “a multitude,” who are each an “irreducible multiplicity,” and thus “can never be flattened out into sameness, [or] unity” of one class of the binary opposition or the other.

This hollowing out of Marxist theory, represented in the push to make everything “non-binary,” works to obliterate the potential for class conscious — the fundamental condition behind political revolution. Women are told they cannot join in resistance because joining the class of women (in order to fight the oppression of females as a sex class) is said to reinforce the gender binary. Female political unity is said to erase the various differences between women — that, tied to the fact that female unity excludes men, has been turned into a sin. Women are told they are not supposed to fight against men, but rather, work to erase the distinguishing lines between themselves and men entirely — to erase sex-specificity from language, social spaces, infrastructure, and even political consciousness. (It’s quite an ingenious move, really). In the rubble of female solidarity, postmodernist ideology erects the liberatory promise of individuality. Women are told they can each find their own freedom by expressing their unique, individual identity.

With such a perfect system of ideological control choking the women’s movement and discouraging female political solidarity, it sadly makes perfect sense that the left failed to act decisively to stop Trump. Women have comprised the majority of votes for every Democratic candidate in the U.S. since 1980. We are a crucial political force.

So, the bad news is that we are currently in hell. There’s no reversing this election. The senate and house are both under Republican control. We are facing a terrifying intensification of the GOP War on Women and a societal valorization of racism and sexism embodied in the soon-to-be President Rapist.

The good news is that women will most likely be the group who puts a stop to this madness.  Sisterhood is powerful, and we can resist the strategies that keep us divided. I will be marching in D.C. on January 21st with my sisters. Thousands of women will unite in opposition to Trump and his male-supremacist regime, because female liberation is the path to a better world. As Gail Dines says: “Women have been the leaders of every single major movement that has made this world livable. We have moved this world. And we have the power to change it.”

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • Ruth Barrett

    This is a brilliant article! Thank you so much to Susan Cox! It is so important that she named post-modern feminism as to why so many women (white especially) did not come together as a class to vote against Trump! I just published an anthology called, Female Erasure – What You Need To Know About Gender Politics’ War On Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights. Forty-eight contributors in various writing styles challenge gender identity ideology and how post-modernism discourages female solidarity. I hope that readers of this blog will choose to read it. Here’s a direct link for the paperback (it’s also available as a Kindle e-book): https://www.createspace.com/5958702

    • Susan Cox

      Thanks, Ruth. Female Erasure is a fantastic anthology!

  • lk

    One thing I noticed on FC whenever an article was posted about Hillary Clinton was a number of comments from people stating that voting won’t change the system so they won’t vote and that Hillary wasn’t radical/progressive enough.

    I don’t vote because I thinking voting will overthrow the system…While I have to live and survive in the current system (as unjust as it may be) I try to vote in a way that will minimize the suffering of women and the working class.

    Under someone like Trump, we know that abortion rights will suffer, public services will be cut and worker’s rights/environmental protections will suffer.

    I do wonder about the class of women who voted for Trump…were they mostly upper class or working class?Do upper class women think voting for their own political interests means thinking about their economic position first and their sex last (if at all)? Because if you are a wealthy woman then you don’t really need to worry about abortion access or public services because these are not things you need. I’m assuming that for wealthy white women, the anxiety about a Trump presidency isnt the same as it might be for a working class woman or minority woman (or for women who care about the lives of working class women).

    • Blazing Fire

      Hi lk,
      “>> I do wonder about the class of women who voted for Trump”..
      White women with a college degree favoured Ms. Clinton.
      Those without college degree favoured Trump.
      Even though the women with a college degree are less likely to get lured or trapped by vile fools, and then needing an abortion, they still voted for Hillary, because (I think) everyday they see how cruelly AND cunningly & methodically women are being pushed down even in the so called “fortune 500” & other “posh” workplaces at all levels (including STEM fields. Though STEM is relatively better than other fields, the men still gang up & find ways to suppress women AND paint them much less brilliant than they are, after stealing ideas/learning from them. It would take a long time for a new female graduate to realize this pattern), and this banding-up-together by men & the crushing of women fueled their solidarity with Hillary.

      And, you said “>>cuz if you have enough money, you can get a safe aborti”
      No, if it is outlawed, then unless you can fly to another country, you won’t have any safe options. No one will be allowed to provide you one. And even a natural miscarriage will be probed on the scale of a genocide (remember Purvi Patel?). And who knows, even getting one done overseas may also be criminalized.

  • Unree

    Excellent post … except postmodernism doesn’t deserve this much of the blame for where we are now, “in hell” for sure. Divide-and-conquer is patriarchy’s most ancient tactic to keep women subordinated. Postmodern disdain for the gender binary helps our oppressors do their dirty work, but they have other weapons we’ll feel when this fad goes out of style.

  • Karla Gjini

    Susan, you’re brilliant.. I keep thinking of the phrase “death by a thousand cuts” and how crucial it is for us to break through the isolation and come together in sisterhood. Thanks for this article!

    • Susan Cox

      Thank you, Karla! I am hopeful about the future for women to unite across the political spectrum.

      • FierceMild

        Consider me united! And also campaigning to get every woman I know to join with all of us. We can be Bonobos if we join together!

  • Polly MacDavid

    We have been discussing this on Facebook. The problem is, as I see it, that most younger women view feminism as something that includes men. & rich white women are a class unto themselves & don’t care about anyone but themselves. Therefore they voted for the orange monster.

  • susannunes

    That is because women are seen by men on the left as not being worth bothering with unless they provide these guys with unlimited sexual access. It has always been the case, ever since the 1960s, when women finally got sick of the assholery of the left and formed an independent women’s movement.

    Sex/human rights issues like “sexual liberation,” porn, and prostitution are the achilles heel of the left males. They are even more vile than men on the right.

    • radwonka

      ” They are even more vile than men on the right.”

      I agree!

  • Susan Cox

    Postmodernist feminism is pretty terrible in how it is esoteric, jargon-y and very difficult to understand. This is a big way it gains its aura of authority. I do my best to decode it and explain it in a straight-forward way. I hear you on the importance of writing clearly and accessibly, and I strive to always improve on this. Meghan is such a great editor in helping me on this. I know it is an important value of Feminist Current to be clear and accessible to all.

    • Mtu Flani

      You are very kind. God bless you and your cause.

  • FierceMild

    That is absolutely true. Also, many on the left completely bought into the Trumpism that being married to a sexual predator is morally equivalent to being a sexual predator.

  • FierceMild

    Pretend to be stupid so people will like you…it really feels like I’ve heard that before.

    • Wren


    • Mtu Flani

      Don’t pretend to be stupid. But assume that your audience is not as informed as you are. Why all the hostility here? I’m starting to think that you guys assume the worst about men as a defense mechanism. Now I’m not here to pledge my allegiance, but neither I’m I here to bring down your movement. Relax your guard sometimes. It may help you to be more alert when there’s an actual threat.

  • Alienigena

    Meanwhile on planet earth … You know nothing about women’s experience you pompous blowhard. No, most men would not help anyone (especially women), unless that someone had some utility for them (e.g. wife (performed housekeeping duties, sexual partner, childcare provider), girlfriend, mother, etc.). You overestimate the magnanimity of your sex.

    “most men would gladly die for the women they love (toxic masculinity aside)”

    I really don’t care what you would do for the women you love … that is of no significance. Feminism is a mass movement, a global movement, it is about women en masse, not women who have indulgent daddies or non-abusive male intimates. That’s one of problems with liberal feminists and celebrity feminists, they see the world solely through their personal lense, their choice. They don’t care for example, that their male colleague is abusive towards other women, because that colleague treats them just fine. They are often as likely as men to blame the woman being abused by a colleague of doing something to provoke the abuse. Look at all the cases of men in the public eye who have been accused of sexual assault (Trump, Bill Crosby, Jian Gomeshi (in Canada)) and the absolute contempt shown to their accusers. If you assume the man being accused is a person of good will (before any evidence to contrary) based on the fact that you found him entering or funny as a performer (but you know nothing about his personal life), why aren’t the women also seen as people of good will, who don’t want the infamy that making statements about sexual assault will garner them. Basically what you are saying is that the world is just fine, that we feminists don’t know what we are talking about and we should just shut up.

    ‘Speaking in a language men understand’? You realize until the 1960s and 1970s many educational institutions were not open to women and men came up with pretentious verbiage (and literally secret languages, see alchemy) to set themselves apart from the common herd. Postmodernism was a male enterprise, initially (https://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/postmodernism/modules/introduction.html). One postmodern practitioner was Andy Warhol. If you don’t understand something just crack open a dictionary or better yet, enter a term in a search engine.

    The feminism on this site is radical feminism, which means it looks at the root of female oppression, patriarchy, male dominance, male originated institutions, male dominated religions, and so on. You have some kind of gall coming on a feminist site and telling us to get off our academic high horses. The women who write for this site are also activists, I believe, as are a proportion of the commenters. Activists/volunteers in the real world. I volunteered for a number of women’s and feminist organizations (e.g. helping women in poverty). We, as women know all too well the reality of our oppression, we have lived it. But thanks for being patronising, it is the least we could expect.

    • Mtu Flani

      “… that we feminists don’t know what we are talking about and we should just shut up.” I think you’ll find that I was saying that we don’t know what feminists are talking about and that they should consider engaging us by speaking in terms we can understand.

  • FierceMild

    Also I do not currently (get paid to) work outside the home and I surely voted for Clinton as did many of the SAHM I know.

  • libkid08

    You can really tell how violent the pushback against feminism is by reading how a wonderful, brilliant, courageous, accomplished, compassionate woman just wasn’t perfect therefore, duh! Default to any dude who isnt rotting in a coffin. Let you in on a little secret…no woman will ever be perfect so it looks like we are gonna have nothing but men. Susan, thank you for your article.

    • Susan Cox

      There was so much equating going on between Clinton and Trump.

  • Alienigena

    Great comment. But I have always felt that men gossip too, they just don’t call it gossip. Listen to the way they talk about athletes and sports, players on a team, politics on a team. They gossip … the information they relate is no more or less reliable than that women share during a coffee klatsch.

  • Cassandra

    Okay, Dad!

  • Topazthecat

    I always knew this post-feminism claim was total bullsh*t and now we have further sad proof!

  • Topazthecat

    I don’t think it’s true that Hillary Clinton isn’t a feminist,she totally supports women and girls equality and she has been doing important things for girls and women’s rights for 30 years. And what she said in her brave,brilliant concession speech to little girls to know they have worth and power and to follow their dreams is feminist.

  • FakeFeminist

    Yeah, it was OK for black people to be legitimately excited for the possibility of the first black president, but it’s not OK for women to be legitimately excited for the possibility of the first woman president. It’s so messed up. Clinton isn’t perfect, but omg, compared to Trump… If the lefties hadn’t spent so much time gleefully tearing her apart, maybe more Democrats would have actually shown up to vote. The regressive left takes just as much pleasure in tearing women apart as the right does. Only difference is the framing, they have to frame it as tearing apart “white women” or “cis women” in order to get away with it. When lefty white men attack “white women”, or “cis” lefty men attack “cis women”, this is considered punching up by proxy, because reasons. Even if the actual content of their critiques just consists of punching at women for being women.

  • Anthocerotopsida

    “I’d like to remind everyone ~gee thanks~ that [postmodernist feminism] was constructed by feminists- ostensibly to advance equality. It is therefore confusing to then blame the patriarchy in the same breath…the writer’s [sic] here limit their audience when they become pedantic. And that’s why Trump one,” Mtu Flani said in the same breath.
    So, the feminists here, who altogether have a hugely extensive and well-rounded grasp of feminism from all angles, they’re being narrow and hasty when they declare that a bastardized form of feminism is harmful to the feminist cause, up to and including preventing trump’s win. But YOU, who admits and demonstrates that he has no real knowledge of feminism nor a desire to be receptive to learning about feminism, you’re being what? insightful? when you say that radical feminists writing about radical feminism are THE reason why trump won.
    Thanks for the advice, dingus.

  • radwonka

    IKR? They dismissed the experiences of women, saying it is… bourgeois (gaslighting => “your experiences are not that terrible!”). Any criticism of the misogynistic left has been silenced. Now I understand why the left is so powerless with such incorrect “analysis” (It’s not even an analysis at this point, it’s just victim blaming and being pro MVAW). “You were raped and abused? That’s nothing! Clinton has done worse, so shut the fuck up”. That’s why I hate leftists, MVAW is always downplayed, if not totally erased.
    Also about their “MVAW will disappear when capitalism ends!!” argument, I dont believe that crap, because it is not capitalism that creates MVAW (capitalism is not even an entity lol, its just a tool, a tool that can be replaced); but men only. They can stop being violent any time. The left doesnt want to talk about MVAW because they want their free market at all cost, and a radical stance goes against the free market. Poor leftists :'(
    My favorite part is still when they accuse feminists of being pro war and pro death. That’s rich coming from people who think that MVAW is “bourgeois talk”. That’s why I dont believe their anti war stance either, you cant claim to be worried about children, and then tell women to stfu. They arent worried about victims, they use victims (victims that fit their agenda only. Rotten utilitarianism again.) so they can have that “fuck the state” pseudo rebel position. ‘Cause I cant take seriously anyone who says that X violence is ok, and then whine about Y violence. It’s very dishonest and hypocrite.

    And you’re right, instead of thinking about an alternate society, they can only whine about Clinton (what a useful scapegoat, in 2050 you will still hear them whine about Clinton lmao) and talk about the free market. Which again shows that it’s not the victims that they want to protect, but their ideology (and on a side note, using victims to push an agenda that has nothing to do with them is vile and disgusting). A rotten ideology at that.

    It reminds me of an article where leftists, obviously, wanted the legalization of “sex work” and drugs, but also where they said that we shouldnt put violent males in prisons, that violent males need “mediation”. lol. That, and their pro pedos (you know, they think that pedos need therapists to tell them that there is nothing wrong with them, because pedos are soooo oppressed!) makes me hate the actual left SO MUCH. I knew that their “labor labor labor” and “anti prison” ideologies would lead to anti feminists politics sooner or later. The left is basically a more solid patriarchal brotherhood than the right because they oppose any kind of condemnation against their bros and patriarchal norms. smh

    Thanks for the video btw, I’ll watch it 😀

    • will

      Just a heads up, the film is VERY long, but totally worth the watch. 🙂

  • Tired feminist

    Robin why are you still hanging around your “bullies”? By now we know your concern about the future of feminism is a farce, so you can no longer claim to be “trying to help”. Why then?

  • Susan Cox

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Through out the campaign Clinton dressed very feminine, and I’m pretty sure she HAS had plastic surgery. Look at her! She’s 69 and was radiant during this campaign. Always well put together, hair, make-up and a stunning smile. I’m sure she did that because she HAD TO. Women are seen as incompetent if they don’t look good. Can you imagine if Hillary looked like a dumpy mess as much as Bernie let himself look? By actually showing her age, wearing ill-fitting suits and wild whispy hair that turned white years ago.

    • gryswtr

      This. Hillary was altogether different when younger, though I supported her still in this election. When she was First Lady of Arkansas, the way she was demeaned and mistreated was hideous. She was forced to change her mannerisms, appearance, even accent. I was so surprised more women didn’t seem to have empathy for this.

      Off topic, I’ve never commented here before but have been reading here in the last few days and your writing has opened my eyes to…a lot. Thanks.

  • Susan Cox

    It’s not good rhetorically to use the language that women are “doing drag.” Drag is what men put on for playing at being the subordinate group. It’s true that femininity is a superficial construct for women, but we are coerced into it through the system of gender. “Women doing drag” implies there is no difference between males and females in relation to femininity.

    • will

      I respect where you’re coming from in terms of relationship to the costly work of performing femininity. However, I find calling it Drag for both sexes useful in that it underscores and makes explicit the construct and the act of performance. I hope we can agree to disagree on this.

      • Susan Cox

        It’s telling to look at the intellectual history of a concept. Funny enough, the concept of “women doing drag”/”gender as drag” actually originated from postmodern feminism (Judith Butler). And I already wrote that article above talking about postmodern feminism, so you have some context for what colours this concept.

  • Wren

    “…but I think that across the political spectrum men respond with approval for women doing drag.”

  • Wren

    Haha! Thanks. That explains a lot 🙂

  • Mtu Flani

    I appreciate your polite response. While it’s true that I don’t understand the feminist movement as well as active feminists do, I can tell you with some certainty that your movement will benefit from a larger audience. Now, I’m neither a genius nor a dingus (as a feminist here declared me to be), but I have found that the plainest terms are often the most effective. As a black man, I take a keen interest in the history of the Civil Rights movement and I’m often stirred by Malcolm X’s language and Carmichael’s fire breathing. I often thought that MLK was too patient and conciliatory. The truth is, however, that Malcolm X was less effective and MLK was ultimately successful. MLK spoke to everyone while Malcolm’s language was at times inflammatory and often delivered to an exclusive audience. I bring this up because this is my frame of reference. Feminists have a prerogative to speak among themselves as they do here and it seems to me that perhaps I am intruding on your conversation. However, let me just say that I made an effort to be thoughtful and to use measured terms and so I’m rather disappointed by the hostility in most responses. All I did was offer my point of view, you don’t have to accept it or even consider it. Although, for all the hell caused by assigned gender roles, there’s still something to be said about grace.

    • Cassandra

      But Malcom X was important, nonetheless. It always takes moderates and radicals to get anything done. Ultimately it’s the radicals who keep pushing though.

  • Mtu Flani

    It’s shameful in of itself. It becomes comical when they decry the lack of intellectualism as they declare me a dingus.

  • Mtu Flani

    I gave my opinion and emphasized that I am a layman. Apparently, I shouldn’t offer my perspective here until I have studied feminism in depth. What’s not easy to conflate, sir, is your condescending attitude and your skittishness whenever a new speaker voices their perspective.

    • Cassandra

      You are not a “new speaker.” You’re saying the same bullshit males always say to women. Males are the oppressors. Females are the oppressed. For a male to go into a female space and tell us how to be more pleasing to them and make things simple for them is oppressive. We’ve tried that. We’ve tried being nice. Being nice is why we are where we are today, with liberal feminism working in tandem with conservatives to roll back women’s progress. You’re assuming that males will *listen* if we just makes things more understandable for them. They don’t.

  • Mtu Flani

    “I think the generally anti-intellectual, soundbite focused, simplified versions of complex issues, lazy culture is a huge problem.” So what would be a suitable response to this problem? Turning everyone into an expert or tailoring your message to fit their dispositions?

    • FakeFeminist

      There are two different types of discussions that feminists need to have. First, we need internal spaces for feminists to talk to other feminists. It’s no good if we all simply agree “women deserve to be equal” but don’t discuss what exactly that means or how we make it happen. The end result of that would be everyone chaotically pulling the cart in every which direction, and nothing getting done. We need places to debate, talk strategy, and build solidarity. In these spaces, a common foundation of theory and vocabulary makes communication more precise and efficient. Historically all of these internal discussion spaces have been physical spaces in the real world, where random people aren’t likely to stumble on them, but this is changing as the popularity of the internet grows.

      (Feminists *could* lock off all online spaces to be invite-only but it would severely limit our ability to grow as a movement. I got into radical feminism because I stumbled on open sites like this and spent a lot of time reading them before commenting. As the article mentions, one of our challenges is that women are more dispersed relative to other social minorities. We need all the help we can get in connecting with like-minded women.)

      Secondly, there are external spaces, where feminists talk to the public. In these spaces, the language used is often (and should be) more simple and accessible, because the target audience doesn’t share that common foundation.

      I guarantee you that MLK and all the other “conciliatory-style” civil rights activists were doing the same. Rosa Parks was not an accident of history. She was not even the first black woman to refuse to give up her seat on a bus, but the women before her were not taken seriously because they were spontaneous unplanned events, and they were not the kind of “perfect victims” that played well in the white media. Parks was chosen for this action within her local NAACP chapter because her persona and background made her more sympathetic to white audiences. This was specifically planned within an internal space, then executed in an external space.

      If you want to participate in an internal space then, yes, it’s polite to educate yourself to some extent first. There are 101 level spaces and it’s OK to be at a 101 level. It’s just not OK to come into a space and then complain that you don’t understand it, when it wasn’t really meant for you and you didn’t make an effort to understand it. Trying to lecture us when you admit you don’t understand is only adding insult to injury, and it’s not going to win you any friends.

      Here are some relevant 101 links if you’re interested:

      Liberal vs Radical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkXrS0NnQM0 (3 part series)
      Radical Feminism in a Nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHS9IwNCggo
      Gender for Dummies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjmJtLfiZhU
      Transgender and transexuality explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2lWIfsrdo8

      I couldn’t find a good one that explains pomo feminism in simple language (they are the masters of academic jargon), but the basic idea is that there’s no such thing as an objective sex or gender category system, and that having such a system would be undesirable anyway. They spend a lot of time harping on edge cases. Less than 1% of the population has an intersex condition (disorder of the development of genitalia or other sex characteristics), so this apparently means that the biological sex categories of “male” and “female” are completely arbitrary. They apply similar logic to gender roles. Not everyone is 100% masculine or feminine therefore the categories of “man” and “woman” have no objectively-determinable definition, and there’s also a near-infinite number of “nonbinary genders”. Because there’s no way to objectively categorize someone’s sex or gender, the only “fair” way to determine a person’s sex or gender is to let them self-determine.

      So, a person born into a 100% male body, who has not done anything to alter his body, who has a full beard, who adheres completely to stereotypically-masculine gender expectations (clothing, appearance, hobbies, career) can say he’s a woman, and boom, a woman is made. This person, being a woman, should now be allowed to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, compete on women’s sports teams, be eligible for women’s scholarships, and demand sexual attention from lesbians. If you think this is an exaggeration, it’s not. Danielle Muscato is the most famous example, but he’s far from the only one.

      From the POV of the radical feminist, pomo feminism essentially boils down to, “if we pretend our problems don’t exist and get rid of the language we use to discuss them, the problems will go away”. Even if we don’t have words to talk about male and female people, we can still distinguish male and female people in the vast majority of cases, which means we can still treat them differently based on their sex. Though the postmodernists will say otherwise. 🙂

    • Leo

      This is not a 101 site aimed at non-feminists, as already stated, in any case. I think however a culture of higher expectations (academically, and for men’s behaviour towards women) would stop them coming on feminist sites and acting like they know better than we do despite being too lazy to do any research themselves… Someone who knows they don’t know it all, has an attitude of more humility and intellectual curiosity, is unlikely to behave in that way but will instead go do some research if they don’t follow.

      If we had to dumb down for lazy dudes we’d still be arguing if sexism is even a thing, never mind anything more complicated.

      101 feminism ought to be taught, and included in the teaching of other subjects (literature, history…), more anyway, especially in the US, I’m too-often shocked by the level of ignorance.

  • Cassandra

    Oh look it’s Robin Goodfellow back to help us!

  • Unreal

    that’s not accurate that more black men voted for Trump than Clinton. Exit polls showed only 13% of black men who voted said they voted for Trump. Hardly a majority.

    • Susan Cox

      The article is not talking about the majority of all men. It says “in every recorded racial category, a higher percentage of men voted for Trump than women.” Exit polls showed 13% of black men voted for Trump, while only 4% of black women voted for Trump. So the statement is accurate.

  • Blazing Fire

    In fact, a lot of men gladly burn their “beloved” girl’s face with acid.
    Forget about “dying” for her, a lot of men count pennies like anything to buy her a birthday/anniversary gift. And when they finally do, they think that they have done some momentous thing for which the girl has to worship them for the rest of her life, irrespective of how they treat her. On the other hand, contrary to what they tell young, growing girls, men shamelessly grab (and forcibly grab too) a lot more money from women – but this happens AFTER their relationship is established, after the girl had said “yes”. This will never be shown in any novel or fairly tale or movie. I bet any such novel or movie would be shot down by the “MRA”s, who profit from luring women, robbing them, and crying out first that they are victims of “gold-diggers” (oh wow).

  • Leo

    Right, but for instance, given I don’t know much about astronomy (Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe being the first textbook we have in English is about as far as it goes, and the Maths is a bit much for me, given my dyscalculia, I’m mostly just interested as a Chaucerian), I wouldn’t go bug people who did and complain that they’re not dumbing it down for me and how can they expect anyone to be interested in astronomy when they use all these unfamiliar terms. I’d listen patiently and go Wiki the terms. Because I don’t have that arrogance and sense of entitlement to walk in and make it all about me, not having been socialised that way. It’s even worse when the subject is not astronomy but feminism and a man is doing that, because feminism is about women and is our political movement, men should expect not to instantly get it, and to respect that. If they come across as too lazy to learn it’s down to that attitude – surely you wouldn’t think I was trying very hard to learn about astronomy if I went straight into an astronomy forum discussion just to complain it was too confusing and should be simplified? Even simply asking politely ‘I don’t understand this aspect, could you explain it please?’ is a more reasonable response, though one should be willing to put in effort oneself first not just be spoonfed.

    We’re not stopping you if you’d rather be on YouTube. I’m glad if you learned something though.