Patriarchy is the sea in which Trump and his sharks gather

The far right wants to return to a time when men were men, and women were sanctified mothers or whores. Let’s call this by its proper name.

If someone declared publicly that some of their best friends were racists, there would surely be a sharp intake of liberal breath – even if they were to follow it up with the “I just like to get out of my echo chamber and have friends of all political persuasions” argument. Tolerance has it limits. Being openly racist is at that limit. Being openly misogynistic, however, is apparently fine.

How else can we have TV host and blancmange of smugness Piers Morgan boasting of his friendship with Donald Trump while declaring himself a feminist and a supporter of women’s rights? As Trump – surrounded by his consiglieri, the newly made men, nervous of their Twitter-y boss – signs an executive order that will result in the death of women, I care not for an explanation of how Trump isn’t as bad as he seems. He is.

I care not for these delusional men crawling out like woodlice from under a rotting log. In turn, they each tell us they support feminism while doing it down. There is a slew of them everywhere you look. Conservatives posing as radicals. They often claim to love women, but are impelled to impart common sense; the segregated golf-bore wisdom of “funny chaps, women”. They know what women want. They are all for equality, just not extremity. They laud each other for saying dull things routinely deemed “unsayable”. This is wit, we are told, this predictability – iconoclasm even – this grey, elderly skewering of liberalism. It is enlivened only when one of these primates lamps another.

The online equivalent are the young guys, pumped on inchoate rage, semi-literate, radicalised by the “alt-right”, spewing hatred at women. These guys don’t say they love women; they don’t even pretend to like them. They are at least honest. Indeed, one of the reasons that the establishment/Republican party failed to challenge Trump was because of its own dishonesty. It has legitimised a level of woman-hating and racism that it pretends is not there. It kids itself that it is decent, while knowing that what festers underneath are expressions of white supremacy and rage against women that it does not want to name and cannot control. To identify all this as the rage of the left-behinds, as simple class war, too often becomes a way of justifying it.

Those on the frontline of this rage know it is there. Millions of us marched last Saturday. This has rattled Trump, who is obsessed with size, with ratings and with reviews. But let us now pursue clarity and strategy, and name what is happening.

Patriarchy is the sea in which these sharks gather. I am glad to see that people are using this word again. It went out of fashion for a bit when feminism was portrayed as a series of tedious personal choices over shoes, shopping and sex toys. But the concept of patriarchy is essential to understanding what is happening right now. It is a system by which men hold power over political leadership, moral authority and every kind of social privilege, over women and children.

Continue reading The Guardian article HERE.

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