Glenn Reynolds says something so incisive about lefty movements:
“I’m beginning to think that most lefty movements are just about broken people trying to manipulate the rest of us so they can feel good about their broken selves.”
If you want to find broken selves, visit Netroots Nation, the lefty grassroots conference. I attended a couple years ago and it was depressing.
At Netroots, one of the women’s bathrooms was renamed. There was a computer printed sign on white paper that said, “UNISEX” or “All Genders” or some such taped over the “Women” sign. Basically, anyone could go in there.
So, for the couple days of the conference, every time I had to go to the bathroom, I went to the Pansexual john hoping that something exciting would happen. Would I see a man dressed as a woman? A woman dressed as a man? How would I know, if I did? Would I feel weird peeing around sexually ambiguous strangers? Would they feel weird around me, a middle aged woman dressed in traditional American garb signifying patriarchal expectations and oppression? (I wore jeans and a shirt.)
I figured the bathroom would have no shortage of visitors considering the conference attendees. There was the LGBT table. The Take-A-Picture-With-Michelle-Obama table had no line. The NOW booth gave out pink condoms. Patchouli wafted through the air. Self-unaware socialists would hazily ask you questions from behind their tables while selling campaign buttons. Incongruously, the Teamsters and the UAW and other big, burly, angry looking union members lumbered amongst the hippie riffraff. Surely, some of the above would go to the gender ambiguous (cis-and trans- gender had yet to become trendy) bathroom.
To my disappointment and delight, I had the pleasure of a pristine potty every time nature called. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was the only person to use the Gender Ambiguous bathroom the entire weekend. If you’ve attended a conference, you’ll know the joy of finding an unexpectedly spotless and empty bathroom. I had not just one empty clean stall but 20 of them to choose from. It seemed too good to be true, so I used only that bathroom every time, and every time I peed alone. Water closet nirvana at Netroots!
Netroots, the left’s radical heartbeat, was and is a collective persecution complex fighting a phantom enemy Out There (but mostly the evil Koch Brothers.) Even at Netroots, there were no sexually ambiguous people looking, like Goldilocks, for a bathroom that fit them just right. Or at least the persecuted went out of their way to find either a Men’s or Women’s bathroom. See how much self-loathing even lefties must possess?
I felt oppressed being at Netroots, but not by the bathrooms or lack thereof (although, if I had been intent on a women’s bathroom, I’d have had to go up or down stairs). The collective vibe felt, well, heavy, to borrow the 60’s term. All these miserable, yes broken, people fearful that a person might feel bad about being left out–of a bathroom. It’s pure projection. These folks feel left out, marginalized, weird, and consigned to loser status. To feel better about their sad selves, they inconvenienced the majority–who were, ironically, women. I’d blame the patriarchy but I loved having my own bathroom.
Here’s what Lefties are worried about today, in case you think that their movement is promoting very important topics most days and save their silliness for Netroots conferences:
The Burden of Home Cooked Dinners (to be followed up by the evil rich people who eat out and kill the environment)
Jennifer Lawrence’s Boobs [Scant mention of Muslim Rape Gangs]
The War on Women panel featuring Elizabeth Warren revealed much about the leftist perspective on abortion. In an act of public bullying, one of the three speakers, Darcy Burner of Washington (the others being Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii), asked women who had had an abortion to stand up in front of other attendees.
It was difficult to estimate the number of women as they were sprinkled through out the audience. They stood alone while Burner admonished the attendees to hold their applause.
Then Burner asked the others seated in the audience to stand and give these women a standing ovation. The audience complied enthusiastically.
I sat during this spectacle.
Burner said,”If you are a woman in this room, and statistically this is true of about 1/3 of the women in this room, if you’re a woman in this room who has had an abortion and is willing to come out about it, please stand up.”
She continued, “Now, if you are willing to stand with every woman who is willing to come out about having had an abortion, please stand up.”
Nearly everyone stood.
Burner said,”This is how we change the stories in people’s past. We need to make it okay for women to come out about the choices they make.”
The left will say that they’re not pro-abortion, they’re pro-choice or they’re pro-women. It was clear, though, that abortion itself was elevated as something good and something to be celebrated.
The speaker and the audience was honoring women who had an abortion as though the action was an objectively good thing.
You can listen for yourself here:
Burner had some other interesting advice, too. She spoke of the six elements of Power versus the less effective, in her mind, use of Force by the Republicans. I don’t know if her speech was an allusion to the book Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior-Author’s Official Revised Edition 2012.
Anyway, her advice, shortened for brevity’s sake (her whole speech is on the audio) is as follows. As much as possible, these are direct quotes from Bower’s speech:
In the war on women there’s an obvious application of economic power. Bower mention that women make 80% of consumer buying decisions. She talked about all the products made by the evil Koch brothers and how it is difficult to keep track of their products.
“It’s a difficult thing to remember all the things you’re not supposed to buy,” she said.
So Burner suggested an iPhone application that would scan the product to see “how good it is for you to buy.”
Get women to vote.
Cultural Power – stories we tell about ourselves
Burner spoke of changing the culture through TV and how it’s paid huge cultural dividends. She used as an example the perception of gay people now.
“Because of television, now everybody has a gay best friend whether they do or not.”
This is where Burner talked about coming out about abortion would change the culture to positively value it. She found it offensive that there was still a fight for abortion rights and cultural acceptance.
Perhaps one of the most shocking parts of Burner’s presentation, second only to the abortion talk, was her prescription to gain moral power.
She consistently recommended using people who were innocent to get public opinion on their side. She included the use of children as a means to change public perception. Her examples included an old lady at an Occupy rebellion with a bloodied face and a young teen on the ground.
1. Innocents — the protest has to use innocent children (explicit advocacy for using children)
3. Use of official force
4. Widely communicated
5. Shocks conscience
Burner said that it was about “high time we pass the equal rights amendment.” She suggesting using older women as the face of the campaign. The “American public considers older women to be innocent.” So, older women should be used for the equal rights movement.
Here she talked about proactive steps to combat the War on Women.
What to do in the next year, to go on offense in the War Against Women:
1. Boycott everything that “feeds the Koch brothers machine.”
2. Get women to vote.
3. Court/police power: proactive suits against discrimination; shareholder lawsuits
4. Cultural power: coming out project about women who’ve had abortion
5. Moral power ERA protests
6. Build networks. “One of the biggest holes in the women’s movement. We need a network of networks.”
Darcy Burner’s presentation gives insight to how the left sees women and their place in the world. It is abortion focused and rooted in the past.