I finally kind of figured what’s wrong with modern ‘feminism’. I’ve often repeated that while second wave feminism was needed the third wave went off the rails into obsessing about private behavior (and a fair amount of nonsense) rather than take the next logical step after the second wave: Take on mysogyny entrenched in non-western cultures. Instead feminism retreated into self-absorbed reflection and nonsense.
And then a thing or two finally clicked in my mind. Modern feminism is no longer about affecting public policy – it’s all about do-it-yourself self-help therapy for broken and/or damaged people.
Much of the otherwise…. misguided rhetoric about “I believe her!” or “lived experience” or “microagressions” or even the dreaded “intersectionality” make sense within the context of damaged people trying to get things together and become happier.
Of course what’s useful for self-help therapy is less-than-useless for making changes in public policy. You don’t expect a goat to fly or a bird to chop down trees. But a lot of my…. exasperation with the likes of shakesville or feministing or the latest SJW silliness evaporates as soon as I understand that. The social policy slogans are part of the therapy – imagining a better world as part of the goal to heal inner hurt and chase away inner demons, but it’s secondary and sacrificed when it conflicts with the self-healing mission.
I’m beginning to wonder if most of ‘progressive’ politics hasn’t actually moved in that direction… I also imagine that other people have figured this out too (and may have written as much but I was too dense to understand).
It also means the space for groups actively trying to change public policy (effectively) is missing.
I suspect that to be effective, those who are actually interested in changing policy need a new banner because all of the old ones are no longer available.