by Grania Spingies
Elizabeth Warren tweeted about the latest Scandal Du Jour involving Donald Trump. (Don’t worry, this post is not about him or what he may or may not have meant – I personally think you would need a Ouija board to divine the true meaning and intent of his words).
I was entertained to see male Democrat “feminists” telling Warren off for her misogyny.
[JAC: See how lightly “misogyny”, which means “hatred of women”, is thrown around these days? Warren is certainly no misogynist!]
Who knew that there were so many brave individuals out there, calling out dog-whistle everyday sexism of Senator Warren on the internet?
And, yes I considered that some of them were being facetious. But of them went on to elaborate at length, making it clear that they were absolutely serious. They have been told that it is Good to call out anything that could be construed—or in this case woefully misconstrued—as sexism.
I am sure that Senator Warren is now a chastened and enlightened woman. No, I’m kidding. I am sure that Senator Warren rolled her eyeballs if she even made the mistake of reading the responses to her tweet.
Rule #1: If you are going to call someone out on the internet for misogyny, make sure that they actually are a misogynist. Otherwise you are just a finger-wagging nag-bag who nitpicks language on the internet. Or as Shakespeare might have said in his play about misogyny: “Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense.”
Rule #2: If you decide you are right and they are wrong and you are going to call them out, spare two seconds of thought about what you are hoping to achieve by your action.
- Are you going to change the hearts and minds of people? (useful)
- Are you going to start a constructive conversation with someone about the subject? (also useful)
- Are you just announcing your disapproval so you will feel better? (go ahead)
- Are you signaling what a good person you are? This is called virtue-twerking1: you will get people’s attention, but they may not respect you in the morning.
All of this brings me to another somewhat related point.
Hillary supporters2 don’t always realise how badly they serve their own candidate when they feel the need to lecture anyone who doesn’t show the required deference to their preferred contender. Clinton needs all the votes that she can get, and the November elections need as high a turnout of voters as it can get. But a percentage of Clinton supporters don’t seem to think that people are allowed to vote for her only because they concede she’s the better candidate. Instead they insist that such voters speak more respectfully and praisingly of her. This probably needs a special hashtag #NotAllHillarySupporters
There are an awful lot of comments on the internet these days addressed to people who have chosen to vote for Clinton even though she was not their ideal candidate. They tend to go a little like this:
Clap louder and put a happier smile on your face! Show more enthusiasm for the dear leader3. Your faltering and slight hesitation has been noticed!
[JAC: I, too, have been chastised on this site for failing to show sufficient enthusiasm for Hillary, and for suggesting that her political record is far from stellar, that she’s too beholden to Wall Street, and that she has a history of dissimulation. And the disapprobation for saying this comes despite my promise to vote for her.]
No wonder US politics is so polarised. The tactic is as likely to convince a potential ally to shrug and stay at home as it is to persuade them to turn up and vote the way you want them to come Election day in November.
Wanting to change people’s minds is admirable. By all means, educate those around you with facts you believe they may have missed. But your stern disapproval on the internet probably won’t win your candidate any more votes. That’s a tactic that probably only works on TV shows.
1. Like Virtue Signalling, only with more posing.
2. As most of you know, I am not an American. If I were an American, I would vote for Hillary Clinton, although I have reservations about some of her policy positions past and present.
3. No, I don’t think there is any resemblance between Hillary Clinton and Kim Jong-il at all.