@StevieJWest on: The Federalist, The Feminisn’t, and #WAR

guest post by Stevie J. West

Brooks Bayne calls himself “The Patriarchy”. Seriously.

It’s entirely possible that Brooks Bayne’s severe superiority complex could be passed off as a “joke”, at least with regards to the way he behaves toward women working with him. (It’s impossible to describe my time at The Trenches as working “for” Bayne, since unlike some  of the men, I was never paid.) In any case, perhaps he believed that referring to himself as “The Patriarchy” in almost all communication with me was just a cute thing to do and took my replies in kind as the cutesy he was looking for instead of the mockery it was.

It is also entirely possible he truly sees himself as “The Patriarchy”, some kind of big strapping federalist who slays eunuchorns while flying the American flag upside down and patting women on their pretty little heads. Indeed, while I cannot be  entirely sure because I lack the ability to rationalize the irrational, it seems that this is the more likely scenario. The longer we worked together, the deeper he spiralled into this delusion that the empty-headed female editor he “hired” was good for things like shielding The Patriarchy from accusations of sexism when we were targeting leftist females but not too useful for things like “thinking” or “having ideas”.

I have never suffered from the belief that being a woman puts me at a disadvantage. I find knee jerk accusations of sexism to be wildly obnoxious. I do not believe there exists a societal norm that inherently oppresses women and I certainly reject the stereotype of conservative misogyny that the Left loves to advance at every opportunity.

That’s why it is especially frustrating to see someone who claims to be on the Right live up to these stereotypes. So frustrating, in fact, that I hesitated to highlight it. I hate to give ammunition to the Left, which is why I initially decided to stay quiet about this, but it occurred to me it is not my discussing the behavior that provides the ammo. It is the behavior itself.

We are not leftists, which means we cannot embrace our radical fringe; we must distance ourselves from those who engage in antics that hurt, rather than help, our movement. We must denounce bigotry vehemently and swiftly cast aside any who claim to be on our side but insist on the validity of such vile behavior. After this culling of the herd is complete, when we have sent the message disagreement is welcome but hateful fanaticism will not be tolerated, we must refocus our energies on combating the cancer of leftism.

I have no intention of mentioning Brooks Bayne or The Trenches from this point forward. I would encourage everyone else to do the same; he doesn’t need our help destroying himself. He is doing a perfectly adequate job of imploding all on his own, and we have a war to wage.

Comments

  1. Hi Stevie,

    In the interest of full disclosure: I’m a feminist and what you would probably consider a “leftist”.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say you felt hesitant. I’ve felt the same hesitation in pointing out sexist behavior of men on the left. But sexism really isn’t a partisan issue. And most of us who are trying to effect real change for women’s rights understand that fact from long, bitter experience, even if you don’t hear it said out loud as often as it should be in the mainstream left-wing media (this is for the same reason, I suspect, that articles like this one rarely appear in the mainstream right-wing media — kudos to Stranahan for publishing it).

    When I read this, my first reaction was to laugh my ass off. Not at you, obviously, but at Brooks: he’s like an absurd cartoon caricature, isn’t he? My second reaction was to think to myself, “Yep, we have guys just exactly like that on this side, too.” And my third was, “Good for her for calling it out.”

    It never occurred to me to use Brooks as a club to beat you with in order to score some partisan point, and fuck anyone who tries to do that to you. The last thing I want is for you to feel like you can’t call this kind of thing out because someone on the left might make hay out of it, or, for that matter, that someone on the right might question your conservative bona fides because they think you’re doing damage to the right by speaking the truth. You’re not responsible for other people’s behavior, and anyone who tries to say otherwise is attempting to silence you because the truth is interrupting their narrative. That’s their problem, not yours.

    The more women like you who point out when sexism is real and happening, the less the issue is something that “belongs” to the left, and the more we can actually have a rational discussion about what to do about it. THAT is what feminism is supposed to be — not some political stick to beat women with when they aren’t a member of our partisan tribe.

    I know Brooks is not necessarily exemplary of anything other than the much larger issue of sexism in our culture that pervades all politics, and has always been an obstacle to the women’s movement. There are just as many sexist men on the left as there are on the right. And there are just as many women on the left who feel uncomfortable calling out those men for more or less the same reasons you felt hesitation. We are only supposed to attack men on the right for their sexism, and woe betide us when we do speak up about men on this side of the aisle (or attempt to defend women on the right from leftist sexism). There’s nothing quite so depressing to me as reading the comments section of HuffPo on an article written by a feminist trying to do exactly that.

    So, you see, we are really not that different at all. I hope that gives you some reassurance. And I hope that you continue to write. Perhaps not about Brooks, but about the truth of your experience. As a right-wing woman, you have just as much ownership of feminism as any woman, and every time you lay claim to that, you do something fantastic for all women.

    So for whatever it’s worth to you, I sincerely thank you for having the courage to do that, and I wish you all the very best success in your political media career…even though I will continue to ardently disagree with many of your policy positions… lol

  2. I’ve often thought Baynes was some sort of Moby but that might be wishful thinking. The Internet is full of cretin and weirdos and the online right has it’s fair share unfortunately. Marginalizing these people is something we need to be better at – people should have stopped taking him seriously when he took a great story about self-entitled rich liberals in Sandra Fluke and inserted his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories into it.

    Ignoring them however can only be short term, there needs to be a clear trail on the Internet for people to see that shows the right does not hold truck with this type of person.

  3. Feminazi Slut says:

    Great comment , Woman Says! I totally agree with all of the above. And Stevie, great post! Good for you for not working with the condescending prick anymore! Indeed, feminism is not about claiming victimhood but instead reclaiming your OWN voice as a person and as a woman, and not letting any person or party dictate it. This is exactly the reason I turned against Shoq. And you bet some folks on the left didn’t like it and even accused me of being a right-wing plant for tweeting Stranahan’s post comparing Shoq and Bayne. As far as I am concerned, I’m first a woman and won’t tolerate sexism on EITHER side regardless of what it costs politically.

  4. At least there is some hope for the Right concerning women’s issues and by that I mean standing up for a woman’s right to equal to a man.

  5. daleyrocks says:

    Heh! If your boss refers to himself in the third person by a misogynistic term you might be working for a giant douche bag.

    Great post Stevie.

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