If you have taken part in a progressive demonstration or rally for any cause what so ever in the last forty years or so you have chanted that phrase or at least heard that phrase chanted.
Great phase, extremely accurate and reflective of American progressive sentiments dating to the Abolition Movement and the early days of the labor movement.
Hell the American Labor Movement was built on the idea that as individuals, workers were powerless against the well organized bosses of the corporations, who had the weight of the government and the strong arm of various police agencies to back them up.
One of the slogans of the Industrial Workers of the World aka The Wobblies was “One Big Union.”
When progressives try to get together as one big group, united for common purposes in this country the right wing calls them a bunch of commies and tries to break them up.
I also noticed how Godwin’s rule leaves the right wingers free to label everyone to the left of a conservative Democrat like Obama as a “Communist” and nobody says shit to them or tells them they lose for red baiting.
I’ve also noticed how the second a progressive movement starts to unite with others outside their particular small identity group suddenly a groups of purer than thou and more radical than thou individuals pop up and start to destroy any possibility of a unified movement that brings various minority groups together.
The much maligned LGBT alphabet coalition has been an attempt to unite different groups with similar, if slightly different, needs together to withstand the buffeting of attacks from the ‘conservatives” and the religious right.
Has it been a marriage of identical needs? No, it hasn’t but then it was never meant to be that. It is more like a family, sometimes a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.
Transgender was supposed to unite the various groups of people whose lives have been impacted by trans-prefixed words.
I actually recall a point in the pre-internet period between the time when the rat fuckers, um er radical feminists at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival threw the transsexual woman out for the sin of not quite passing. I say the sin of not quite passing because it turned out that one of the people who led the attack was herself transsexual.
Then the more radical than thou dogmatic set took over and started issuing edicts demanding allegiance to an ideology of gender and a worship of political correctness to what had been a coalition of people who ranged from lawyers and professionals to gender queer punks with bad attitudes.
Thus killing the possibility of working together because everyone knows how ridiculous it is to expect those who think of themselves as pure and proper to work with trash like those other people.
Someone whose idea of proper activism entails visiting a politician in his/her office while wearing proper pumps and professional power suit is going to have a hard time relating to throwaway kids doing survival sex whose idea of activism includes cans of spray paint and an occasional rock thrown through a window.
It breaks down even further when you have one class of people who are comfortably ensconced in a profession and can afford surgeries that have become ridiculously expensive and another class of people living in single room hovels getting hormones from free clinics and/or boticas where one can buy hormones without prescriptions.
Last fall I saw a whole lot of sisters and brothers getting involved with Occupy. This spring I saw other groups like Move-On become involved because reality dictates that we have to support Obama and the Democrats to avoid slipping into full-blown fascism/Nazism. Up pop the ultra radicals because Gaia forbid we work to re-elect the candidate who is slightly to the left of Attila instead of the full blown Fascist, who will after all heighten the contradictions and bring on the revolution. By the way that strategy has been a total failure since 1968.
Any excuse to stay pure and perfect victims.
There is this incredible right wing/religious right war on women. Women are losing all the gains of reproductive rights that have been made over the last 50 years.
What a perfect time for the “Radical Feminists” to pop up spouting their garbage about “men in the women’s room.” Just as predictable the sisters of transsexual purity take their side. I get a bunch of news feeds and Wing Nut Daily had the following post: ‘Coed showers’ plan could hit even churches. The funny thing about this bullshit is that one can find the same sort of blood libel at “Radfem Hub”.
Things are pretty fucking pathetic when I can’t tell the difference between crap from Phyllis Schlafly/Maggie Gallagher and shit from Cathy Brennan/Elizabeth Hungerford.
Near as I can tell the only difference is that we aren’t supposed to attack the transphobic bigotry when it comes from Brennan/Hungerford.
We aren’t supposed to notice how this clique of self-anointed “radical feminist” crops up every time transsexual and transgender people start making gains and start being accepted as part of the women’s movement.
These same people have viciously attacked people like Julia Serano.
Isn’t it odd and who profits?
Who profits when the right wing bribes Black ministers to join them in attacking LGBT people? Who profits when women are distracted from feminism and the war on women to attack an even more powerless minority group?
One of my friends commented the other day about how the right wing trolls seem almost organized. The only other alternative to their getting paid for trolling is their being total social misfits without lives beyond trolling.
There is a War on Women just as there was during the first time the “radical feminists” pulled this distracting bullshit.
Anything to prevent minority groups from uniting with other minority groups.
Identity politics did the trick for some thirty years until Obama and later Occupy started pulling us into thinking about uniting
Who does this sort of minority inter-group hostility serve?
It has an old history. The slave-owners of the South used it with Blacks and the poorest of Whites who weren’t much better off.
Divide and conquer.
One has to wonder what people like Brennan and Hungerford are gaining from their attacks on transsexual and transgender people. Is it the thrill of being important, of leading the lynch mob? Or is it something else?
“The People United, Will Never Be Defeated.” has an equal and opposite corollary. “The People Divided Will Always Be Defeated.”
Which Side Are You On?