Good article Wellsy. Please remember that my point was that what we refer to as feminism has allowed itself to be painted with that brush. As you say, it is a perception that the movement did little to dispel.
You and I know that what is broadly referred to as feminism obtained for women better pay and working conditions, better opportunities for advancement and even more fair treatment in divorce matters. But that is not how they have allowed themselves to be perceived.
There is a general I know who has a saying and it applies to left/liberal causes perfectly. It should be their hue and cry:
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."
There is a sort of OCD behavior I see in progressives. They follow way to many scents if you will. Instead of keeping their eye on the ball they have allowed themselves to be distracted by unpopular causes rather than waiting to consolidate their power and whittle away at these at their leisure. In doing so they have given conservatives the tools required to dilute their power and keep them on the defensive.
Look at the issue of transgendered people and bathrooms. This is a problem for the national political stage? It is if you are a savvy republican. You paint your opponent who has supported choice in this issue as; "My opponent who wants men to use the same bathroom as your 13 year old daughter". (The door slamming sound you hear is the few percent of people who really give a shit about this issue leaving the room to go vote for that republican.)
It is this method that has allowed Fox to carve out its niche. They have very sagely put together a news agenda for the millions of Americans who are just frozen in the headlights. They feel they are on the tip of the blade. As long as nothing changes they will not fall off.
There is no denying that the middle class is under assault in America. Mostly by forces aligned with the right. They needed a Fox News to act as their propaganda arm. And the folks frightened as they see themselves slip sliding away need explanations that do not point to themselves as a major part of the problem.
My republican party has been masterful in its efforts to maintain its power. It has appointed ruthless leadership while the left cast around for "diversity first". I believe that it did not matter which candidate won the republican nomination last time. Any one of them would have been at the head of an organization that was simply designed from the ground up to beat the wimpy democrats. Hillary needed the bulldog James Carville not the cream puff crew that she had. At the height of the campaign. While the republicans were shouting "crooked Hillary" from the rooftops and carping on the worlds greatest who-gives-a-damn Benghazi, what was Podesta doing? He was burning headlines on CNN with this:
No. It is all of a piece. A masterfully constructed strategy that is still holding and is why, in all likelihood Trump will not only survive the investigations but also stand a good chance of being elected in 2020.
I'm not sure how much it's let itself as much as the movement has just degenerated as a result of other general political conflicts. Because under the umbrella feminism I perceived an array of different politics that gave particular attention to the woman question of their societies.
And it just seems now that liberalism dominates which I, without having really studied the history, put it in relation to how leftism in developed countries suffered significant fragmentation and attacks out of their own weaknesses, the loss of pivotal leaders/thinkers, significant events like the west winning the cold war and the fall of Berlin and the sense that there is no alternative to liberal capitalism.
It just seems it all turned to shit and I see that you can see how utterly diluted it all is. So I'm not sure how much of it is let, as much as there isn't really many to really resist and try and disrupt the dominant framings of the movement, even at it's strongest it didn't dominate media though now it's in a complicated position.https://uniteyouthdublin.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/john_storey_cultural_theory_and_popular_culturebookzz-org.pdf
Discussing Spare Rib’s reviews of popular film and television, Winship responds with comments that echo through much recent ‘post-feminist’ analysis (and much of the work discussed in this chapter) on popular culture:
These reviews . . . bolster the reviewer’s position and raise feminism and feminists to the lofty pedestal of ‘having seen the light’, with the consequent dismissal not only of a whole range of cultural events but also of many women’s pleasurable and posting.php?mode=quoteinterested experiences of them. Whether intentionally or not, feminists are setting themselves distinctly apart: ‘us’ who know and reject most popular cultural forms (including women’s magazines), ‘them’ who remain in ignorance and continue to buy Woman’s Own or watch Dallas. The irony, however, is that many of ‘us’ feel like ‘them’: closet readers and viewers of this fare (140).
Winship’s comments bring us to the complex question of post-feminism. Does the term imply that the moment of feminism has been and gone; that it is now a movement of the past? Certainly, there are those who would wish to suggest that this is the case. According to Winship, ‘if it means anything useful’, the term refers to the way in which the ‘boundaries between feminists and non-feminists have become fuzzy’ (149). This is to a large extent due to the way in which ‘with the “success” of feminism some feminist ideas no longer have an oppositional charge but have become part of many people’s, not just a minority’s, common sense’ (ibid.). Of course this does not mean that all feminist demands have been met (far from it), and that feminism is now redundant. On the contrary, ‘it suggests that feminism no longer has a simple coherence around a set of easily defined principles . . . but instead is a much richer, more diverse and contradictory mix than it ever was in the 1970s’ (ibid.).
Feminism isn't positioned in a pure anti-establishment way that is simplistic to express, but now is seen simply as part of the establishment in those that often act out against it because many things are done under it's label and may be seen as part of an establishment.
I'm kind of wondering what other people think is the means to rectify such fragmentation, because many would assert class as the fundamental category which has been rejected and replaced by an infinity or arbitrary categories that are more like strata within class than classes themselves.
As Giddens noticed in what is also the foundation of my critique of neo-Weberian and neo-Marxist class schemes, the approach which bases class categories on the variable market-based individual resources and capabilities includes the possibility of constructing “as many classes as there are concrete individuals participating in market relationships“ (Giddens, 1973, 78), leading to possibly innumerable, under-theorised, ad hoc divisions. Variables concerning the character of the work experience entail a similar flaw as far as constructing class schemes is concerned (considering that differences in work conditions exist along a continuum), as illustrated in the critique made by the architects of the Cambridge Scale (which I shall briefly discuss later).https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch52.htm
In effect, through identifying the extraction of a skill-based and organisation-based “rent”, Wright is trying to give a Marxist account of the closure strategies used by professional and skilled workers, as well as by supervisors and managers, to strengthen their position on the labour market, which had already been analysed by “Weberians” like Parkin (1979), among others. However, he has made a welcome modification of his position by suggesting that what “this relative vagueness in the link between skill exploitation and class relations may imply is that the expert-versus-nonexpert distinction should perhaps be treated as a form of stratification within classes rather than a class relation itself. This could, for example, define a type of class fraction within particular classes“ (Wrights, 1989, 22-23).
However, from this standpoint, physicians and officials, e.g., would also constitute two classes, for they belong to two distinct social groups, the members of each of these groups receiving their revenue from one and the same source. The same would also be true of the infinite fragmentation of interest and rank into which the division of social labour splits labourers as well as capitalists and landlords-the latter, e.g., into owners of vineyards, farm owners, owners of forests, mine owners and owners of fisheries.https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ot/zizek1.htm
Today, we already can discern the signs of a kind of general unease — recall the series of events usually listed under the name of “Seattle.” The 10 years honeymoon of the triumphant global capitalism is over, the long-overdue “seven years itch” is here — witness the panicky reactions of the big media, which — from the Time magazine to CNN — all of a sudden started to warn about the Marxists manipulating the crowd of the “honest” protesters. The problem is now the strictly Leninist one — how to ACTUALIZE the media’s accusations: how to invent the organizational structure which will confer on this unrest the FORM of the universal political demand. Otherwise, the momentum will be lost, and what will remain is the marginal disturbance, perhaps organized as a new Greenpeace, with certain efficiency, but also strictly limited goals, marketing strategy, etc. In other words, the key “Leninist” lesson today is: politics without the organizational FORM of the party is politics without politics, so the answer to those who want just the (quite adequately named) “New SOCIAL Movements” is the same as the answer of the Jacobins to the Girondin compromisers: “You want revolution without a revolution!” Today’s blockade is that there are two ways open for the socio-political engagement: either play the game of the system, engage in the “long march through the institutions,” or get active in new social movements, from feminism through ecology to anti-racism. And, again, the limit of these movements is that they are not POLITICAL in the sense of the Universal Singular: they are “one issue movements” which lack the dimension of the universality, i.e. they do not relate to the social TOTALITY.
To which the general solution would be to show that this diversity is in fact expressed within the fundamental category of class and doesn't exclude it but include it. As noted in how one can see the strata within the fundamental categories of class.http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/sp-talk.htm
The communist ideal has always been connected with the modern wage labourer insofar as he or she thinks in and for his or her class. The task of Marxists today is to figure out how to translate that vision into forms of social consciousness which make sense in today’s world, in a form which embraces the irreducible diversity of modern society. The writings of Karl Marx and the experience of millions who have fought the good fight over the past 150 years remain a priceless resource, ... so long as we are prepared to find new solutions to new problems.
I suppose people would have to see the way in which Marx's work isn't reductionistic which would entail a sympathetic reading that doesn't rely on their own incompatible presumptions to interpret. And I think an emphasis in how racial and gender issues are intimately connected to class and to explain such a point that doesn't sound like their concerns are dismissed but clarified through it.
It's not clear how such stuff is overcome other than I guess people who are on the ground working to address issues in people's lives and bring clarity to the nature of those problems. Which entails something more ambitious than passing a single piece of legislation but wants something broader, something where the there is an awareness of the rational self interest of people of such diversity to particular ends.http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
Calls for sacrifice become necessary for a political theory when the link between rational self-interest and the prescribed ends can no longer be demonstrated through reason.
Though it's not clear to me specifically how one gets people to develop their class consciousness in the sense of seeing their common condition and thus shared interests. I'm guessing part of it is the basic organizing of groups that make these issues a more active part of people's lives and thoughts. That when people go form a union or what ever, it becomes a place in which they kind of propagandize one another with certain ideas. As such it becomes a space for developing an opposing ideology and organizing action. But things as already said, deteriorated and need to be rebuilt.
Indeed, the Republican party for all of it's own faults and incompetence is not as much of a loser party as the democrats who seem just set on not winning votes or developing a viable political strategy. Especially as they push things like abortion and such in regions where the population straight up isn't down for it. I'm not sure what there is to save the democratic party from itself. It's this sort of single issue to be played up between the parties that seems often to be a farce for the voting population. But I like to think in the coming years with the hurt many Americans are feeling, healthcare is going to explode as an issue. I hear a lot of people scaring their local senators in coming in wanting to vent their anger at their pains for a lack of affordable healthcare. I think in spite of the impression of Americans being so political rightist that they can't even articulate basic leftist sentiments that capitalized on anti-american prejudice hides how many people are absolutely pissed with their current circumstances. Problem would be though, it's not clear either party will really push for a universal healthcare or it won't be able to get through congress unopposed. But I do think healthcare is the issue that will explode up a lot of problems that have simmered, as a small issue can harbor a lot of other things.