Mulling over James Comey’s (ambiguous) “bombshell” announcement on October 28, 2016, earlier today, I posted this item on my Facebook wall: “After the initial euphoria, today I am still wondering if the Hillary supporters are motivated by faux feminism and/or compelling personal advantage in the welfare state/progressivism.”
This blog is about the meaning of “faux feminism”—my own attempt to distinguish the excitement over “the first woman candidate of a major political party” from the enthusiasm that some of us felt in the 1970s. I am guessing that it is faux feminism that may have taken in (moralizing) progressives of the “Left” in 2016.
For instance, I remember that the late Francine Parker organized a whole bunch of us in Los Angeles to protest an experimental production of the Mark Taper Forum because a male director was in charge, presumably messing with women’s heads. Francine, an antiwar documentary director herself http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/arts/22parker.html) , used to declare that she would defend “all women” anytime and anywhere. Yet this separatist impulse (reflected in Women’s Studies departments and in role-reversal*), stood in contradiction to the feminism that I preferred at the time—consciousness-raising that would ostensibly alert all women to their true conditioning as “the second sex.” (Such enlightened radical women would be distinguished from liberal feminists; Francine Parker fell between two stools)
Of course, “the movement” would end up as a hodge-podge of motives: Great Goddess Feminists, right-on Feminists (who, as NYC radicals, largely faded fast), New Age bourgeois Feminists, postmodern Feminists, and so on.
It is hardly surprising, given the confusion of “what women want” that Hillary and her “liberal” supporters would play “the Woman Card,” hoping to snare as many votes as possible. (For an anti-Trump review of feminism, see http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/06/27/hillary-clinton-and-the-history-of-women-in-american-politics; for a prior treatment by leftist-feminists of “faux feminism” see https://www.amazon.com/False-Choices-Feminism-Hillary-Clinton/dp/1784784613; for some of the reasons I left the Left, see https://clarespark.com/2014/05/10/why-i-left-the-left/.)
*role reversal: assuming that male characteristics are better, and that women and men are identical.