It's no accident that the justified anger of left-wing women is being ignored in favour of cynical weaponisationby Abi Wilkinson / July 17, 2017 / Leave a comment
A few years ago, if you’d informed me that the misogyny on the left would soon become a mainstream political concern, I’d have been delighted. After decades in the wilderness, the left being taken seriously at all feels like a breakthrough. The thought that journalists and commentators would also, finally, listen to leftist women’s specific concerns about harassment, violence and marginalisation by men ostensibly on ‘our side’ would have sounded too good to be true.
Perhaps that’s because it is. If there’s one thing that can be said about the current debate around leftwing politics, misogyny and online abuse it’s that women like me aren’t being listened to. In the narrative that has gained most mainstream currency, we don’t even exist. Women in politics are situated somewhere on a spectrum that stretches from Andrea Leadsom to Stella Creasy. Anything to the left of that is the domain of “brocialists”: aggressive, bitter woman-haters wallowing in a swamp of Marxist dogma and undiluted testosterone.
A cynical agenda
It’s grimly ironic that men who’ve developed a sudden and keen interest in opposing misogyny (sometimes, in a direct contradiction of their previous stance) so frequently erase a whole category of women as part of this crusade. The longer it continues, the harder it is to interpret their concern as anything other than entirely cynical. This is a straightforward smear campaign: the point is to discredit an entire political tendency by associating it, inextricably, with the worst behaviour of a minority of its adherents. Ignoring the existence of leftwing women isn’t some unfortunate oversight—it’s the point.