Feminism: the good, the bad and the ugly

Is Feminism a Tough Badge to Wear? | Clarissa's Blog
musteryou:
I think the ressentiment that some people have in the realm of identity politics has to do with not being able to handle their revelations about systemic injustice. 
Danny: I wonder just what revelations could generate such responses (by responses I mean the resentment that you mention).

—-There’s a woman of my age, whom I met on Facebook. An American. Described herself as a working class feminist — i.e. using the sociological terminology that categorizes her as poor. She suddenly flipped out and became rad-fem — but that’s another story. Before that change, she seemed very logical in documenting various sorts of legislative oppression. But suddenly, she expressed herself in only an emotional mode and used some very boring rhetorical tactics against me. I think she’d got to the point where she had become emotionally overloaded. She no longer wanted to relate her observations in terms of the facts. Instead, she wanted to make out that somehow I had more “privilege” than she. I was supposedly looking down on her because of my education. Well, she was also educated to a very high degree. She had a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and she was clearly self-educated beyond that in a way I found to be particularly impressive. I had previously told her so. But, somehow she had suffered from a sudden lack of confidence. She began to project quite strongly in my direction. Let me say, I know when someone is projecting cultural baggage and concepts that do not belong to me, because they accuse me of having an ego. Supposedly, I am egoistic in the bourgeois, individualistic sense. In this case, I’m to be viewed as uppity because I have an education and caution against falling into the identity politics trap of letting of steam by attacking other “identities”. Thing is, I’ve never really mastered Western individualism, much as I tried, so the assumption that I’m competing individualistically is very bizarre. That’s not how my character is constructed — I only have a superficial understanding of Western egoism as an expression of economic force or intent. So, all I know is she freaked out about something — probably a relationship with a man — and then blamed me for what she was feeling.

my:…but there is a point when you have to get beyond the obsession with primeval issues of belonging and try to attack the system that produces inequality. 
Danny:I think a part of the problem is that people are still getting some sort of benefits based around those group identifications.

—I’m sure you’re right.

my: Yeah, you bring to light another point, which is that people try to develop group identity not only on the basis of a shared ideology, but on the basis of re-instating the ideologies of the oppressors. 
Danny: Perhaps for the sake of protecting their own? And then justified with some thought along the lines of, “It’s oppressive when you do it but it’s not oppressive when we do it.”?

—Yeah, the status of victim can and does offer some protection in many instances, primarily when it is taken on by a group.
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