Women’s March splintering over anti-Semitism, communications director mounts a bizarre defense

November 12, 2018 • 8:45 am

My beef with the Women’s March is not over its goals, which (I think) are to promote equality of women everywhere; I certainly agree with that. And in general I think the movement has been a net good: by promoting women’s activism in politics and society, it must have been at least partly responsible for the rise of progressive women candidates in this fall’s elections, many of whom were voted in.

No, my beef is with the leadership of the Women’s March and the tone they’ve imparted to the March. I refer in particular to Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour, and Tamika Mallory, who have regularly praised terrorists (including cop killers as well as Hamas), associated themselves with anti-Zionism and the eliminate-Israel BDS movement, and osculated the tuchas of Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam and America’s most famous anti-Semite and homophobe. He’s also a sexist and a critic of against transgender people.

The views of the leadership have trickled down to some of the feminists in the movement. So, for example, Chicago’s Dyke March, which occurred several months after the Women’s March, kicked out a group of Jewish lesbians who wanted to march under the “Jewish Pride” flag, simply because it showed a Jewish Star of David imposed on a rainbow-striped flag.

It just won’t do for a progressive and supposedly intersectionalist group (its formal name is “Women’s March Inc.”) to demonize other historically oppressed groups, namely Jews and gays. But one of the implicit aims of at least the leaders of Women’s March, Inc. seems to be eliminating the state of Israel and promoting anti-Semitism.

Note that the “Unity Principles” of the Women’s March, Inc. (I use its name to distinguish it from different Women’s March groups; see below), are these:

We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. We must create a society in which women – including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.

As the NY Post article below points out, Jewish women are conspicuously absent from this statement, even though, on a per capita basis, U.S. Jews are subject to more hate crimes than members of any other group.

At any rate, in just the past few days the Women’s March seems to be fracturing over the anti-Semitism of its leadership. A few days ago, I reported that actor Alyssa Milano said she won’t speak at the Women’s March in the future unless its leaders disavow their association with Louis Farrakhan and his reprehensible views.

Now, as reported by Advocate.com (click on screenshot below), actor Debra Messing has joined Milano in repudiating the anti-Semitism of the Women’s March. Messing is Jewish, a big advocate of LGBTQ rights, and was an active presence at the first Women’s March in 2017.

Here’s her statement; I expect there will be more from other people, but I also expect the Women’s March spokespeople will dismiss these statements as the patronizing views of “privileged white women”—indeed, they have already done so (see below). So much for women’s unity!

Third, we have the think tank of Germany’s Social Democratic Party—one of that nation’s two major political parties—rescinding its Humanitarian Award to the Women’s March because of Sarsour’s anti-Semitism (click on screenshot below):

The Jerusalem Post reports the contents of the letter that led to rescinding the humanitarian award:

“An organization that may support feminism, but discriminates against Jews and Zionists and denies Israel’s right to exist should not be honored by a democratic foundation that advocates diversity and speaks out against discrimination,” the young academics added in their letter.

The letter stated that “Since its inception in 2017, Women’s March USA has attracted media attention due to the antisemitism of its board members and chair women. Linda Sarsour, a member of the board and former president of Women’s March USA, is notorious for her propagation of antisemitism toward Israel. This transpired not only through her statement from March 2017 claiming that feminists could not be Zionists simultaneously and that Zionists were Nazis, but also through her demonization and delegitimization of Israel, as well as the application of a double standard. She also calls herself a ‘very staunch supporter of the BDS movement.’ These forms of antisemitism were also visible at the Berlin Women’s March in January 2018. The organizers did not show any attempt of critique or disassociation.”

The graduate student academics said Sarsour “also spreads antisemitic conspiracy theories that resemble the classic antisemitic trope of blood libel. In September 2018, for instance, she claimed that when US police officers shoot unarmed black people, Jewish persons responsible would lurk in the background.

. . . According to the open letter, “Sarsour, Carmen Perez [another board member of Women’s March USA], and Tamika D. Mallory [co-chairwoman of Women’s March USA who is [JAC: was] to receive the FES Human Rights Award], have attracted attention due to their long-standing support of the notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan, who, among other things, called Adolf Hitler a ‘very great man’ while recently comparing Jews to termites.”
Fourth, we have this recent editorial in the New York Post, also calling attention to the anti-Semitism of the Women’s March leaders (click on screenshot):

After recounting some of the praise for Farrakhan and terrorists emitted by the Women’s March leaders, the paper says this:

But in September, Sarsour said American Muslims shouldn’t “humanize” Israelis. There was no overwhelming response from the left to remind her that Israelis are actually human. American Jews who ignore this hatred are fooling themselves. Anti-Semitism is specifically about dehumanizing Jews until their murder makes sense.

In July, she tweeted birthday wishes at a fugitive cop-killer. This is not a woman who has done a lot of introspection and changed her views. Why stand with her?

Make no mistake: These aren’t comments made years ago; they’re happening now. Just last May, Mallory praised the “bravery” of Hamas terrorists. Two weeks ago, Farrakhan compared Jews to termites.

Some marchers think they can find common ground with these women. That’s misguided. A conservative marching alongside white nationalist Richard Spencer, because they both happen to agree on, say, economic issues, would rightly be pilloried. This should be no different.

Sure, protest Donald Trump, if you like. Free expression is vital. But don’t do it under the Women’s March umbrella. Start another march, join with friends, do something different. It’s November, you have more than two months to think and plan.

In fact, an important “splinter group”, the Women’s March Alliance—the one that organizes the Marches in New York City—is now breaking away from the Women’s March, Inc., which organizes only the march in Washington, D.C.. Further, there now lawsuits over which group can use the “Women’s March” name. The fracture between the NYC and DC marches is apparently because of bullying by the national leaders, including Sarsour. The report from Newsday says this:

Organizers of the Women’s March on NYC say the group behind the inaugural Washington, D.C., demonstration tried to bully its way into planning the 2019 march in Manhattan.

. . . Katherine Siemionko, founder of the nonprofit WMA, said Women’s March, Inc., board member Linda Sarsour demanded recently that some of her team members be added to the planning committee for the Women’s March on NYC. If not, then Women’s March, Inc., would create its own march, Siemionko said she was told.

Now, Women’s March, Inc., is planning its own march in the city separate from the Women’s March on NYC, the organization said on Wednesday.

“I think it’s unfortunate that Women’s March, Inc., has used bullying and threats to attempt to hijack the inclusive and beautiful Women’s March on NYC,” Siemionko said. “Their rhetoric represents the toxic patriarchy our women’s movement is fighting against. WMA is working to redirect the movement back to its true purpose — gender equality.”

Indeed! And about those lawsuits:

The branding dispute has now spilled over to the courts, as Women’s March, Inc., attempts to trademark “Women’s March.” WMA, March On and the organizers of sister marches in Los Angeles and Chicago have filed lawsuits in opposition to the trademark application on the basis that the movement’s branding does not belong solely to Women’s March, Inc.

“The fact of the matter is that there are many different Women’s March organizations,” Wruble said. [JAC: Vanessa Wruble was a former organizer of the D.C. Women’s March who left the group and started her own activist organization.]

Perhaps it was inevitable that identity politics—or rather, the explicit marginalization of Jews by a group supposedly dedicated to women’s inclusivity—would fracture the March. The Newsday article adds this:

The different factions born out of the inaugural march are split along ideological lines, as well.

Siemionko and Wruble said their organizations have missions different from that of Women’s March, Inc., and both have distanced themselves from the organization’s approach to leadership.

“We believe in the power of local women versus something that comes more top-down in which there are a few people at the top dictating what happens,” Wruble said of March On.

Following a New York Post opinion article that called for a boycott of the 2019 Women’s March over allegations of anti-Semitism, Siemionko said she felt compelled to  issue a statement reiterating that the WMA is not affiliated with Women’s March Inc.

Sarsour, as well as using the Women’s March to further an Islamist agenda, is, I think, using it to further her own career and ambitions, for I believe she really wants to run for Congress. She’s deeply into her own personal power. But even if she doesn’t have legislative ambitions, I see her as an odious and unctuous bully—a woman whom no progressive person should admire, much less follow. I’m stymied why so many self-styled progressivists see her as a role model. (Actually, I’m not that stymied: Sarsour wears a hijab and therefore by definition is both oppressed and a woman of color. In reality, she is neither.)

Get a load of this doublethink. Fendlay seems to take Milano’s withdrawal from the organization pending its disavowal of anti-Semitism as the actor’s “forcing people what to do and think”:

This moment, with Alyssa Milano, is exactly the type of thing black women were expecting. Alyssa is acting in accordance with the tradition of white women who use the labor of women of color when it’s convenient for them, and then use their power to trash those women when it becomes more expedient. Without being invited to speak at all, Alyssa brought up a 7 month old controversy in an attempt to force women of color to do exactly what she wants them to do. Yet these things weren’t a problem for her last month, when she was posting pictures of herself in D.C. protesting Kavanaugh, at demonstrations organized in large part by Women’s March.

And here’s some good doublethink: we should be free to criticize each other, unless you are criticizing someone for anti-Semitism or for supporting anti-Semites:

. . .We must be free to ask questions and offer criticisms of each other, but it matters greatly how these questions and criticisms are framed, and who they really serve. When you attempt to put people in situations where their only option is to behave exactly as you prescribe, that is an attempt to dominate. When misinformation is being spread, when someone’s character is being attacked, it prevents dialogue and understanding because it robs them and their allies of the chance to respond from a place that is anything other than defensive. It takes away our power to speak our truth as truth — only to say “but that’s not true”.

I doubt that Fendlay would say the same thing about supporters of Trump that she says about supporters of Farrkahan!

Here’s some whataboutery: Farrakhan won’t change, and there are more important issues than distancing oneself from Jew-hatred:

. . . All of this isn’t to say that hate speech doesn’t matter. It does. But white supremacists are not joining the Nation of Islam, not now nor ever. And because of their proximity to power in our society — literal access to the highest office in the nation — real white supremacists are who we all need to be focused on, together. As Tim Wise insightfully writes, there is a history here. “This shifting of attention from right-wing, white bigotry and anti-Semitism to Farrakhan is a predictable pivot… And it’s one about which most white folks don’t know very much, but about which black folks certainly do. It’s a history of white people telling black people who their ‘legitimate’ leaders and spokespeople are, or should be, and who among them is illegitimate and needs to be rejected.”

My emphases below. This really is a prime example of Authoritarian leftist deflection and distortion:

. . . Alyssa Milano is calling for this specific kind of performative outrage, making a public statement condemning a Black man. This demand will have no impact on curbing anti-Semitism, neither in the Nation of Islam nor in our society. In conceding to her demand [JAC: What demand?], the roughly 50,000 people who follow Farrakhan, plus the thousands more who work with the NOI in their communities, will also see themselves as denounced, which will have quite the opposite impact. Farrakhan will never change, but if we want the members of Nation of Islam to be more open to different points of view, then having people like Tamika Mallory — who has very clearly organized a movement that is at odds with his views — in the space as a leader is an important liberalizing influence.

Umm. . . it’s not just Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam’s own theology is as loony as that of Scientology, not only full of crazy and wild assertions, but also of anti-White and anti-Semitic sentiments (see here). Yes, the Nation of Islam does do good things in prisons and in the community, but, like most religions, it also spreads a toxic and bigoted view of humanity.

Finally, Fendlay dismisses Alyssa Milano’s dissent because she’s just a privileged white woman whose criticism of anti-Semitism promotes white supremacy. How is that supposed to work?

Alyssa Milano and all the white women lined up behind her are actually enforcing the power of white supremacy through their misguided attempt to challenge hate speech. There are two sinister assumptions happening, which I will pose as questions. Whose power is a threat to who? And, who is worth the labor of our compassion and who needs to be eliminated?

Cassady is doing the Women’s March, Inc. no favors. While thinking she’s defending people of color against racist whites, she’s keeping the March on the rails of anti-Semitism, transphobia, and yes, the NoI’s sexism.  Rather than admit that Farrakhan is a hateful bigot and that anti-Semitism and bigotry against gays and transsexuals has no place in an inclusive march, Cassady, Sarsour, and Mallory are sticking to their script.

And they probably must keep sticking to that script, for if they backtrack and admit error (something Control-Leftists don’t do), then millions of women will discover they were misled. And that would be a big loss for the Women’s March.

I’m not a woman, and thus haven’t experienced sexism. But I have experienced anti-Semitism, and I wouldn’t want to be part of a movement whose leaders dance around Jew-hatred while uttering propiatory weasel words.

h/t: Orli

86 thoughts on “Women’s March splintering over anti-Semitism, communications director mounts a bizarre defense

  1. “… was an active presence at the first Women’s March in 1917”

    Ms Messing’s certainly looks good for her age!

  2. Sarsour has a history of resorting to dog-standard SJW identity politics defence tropes, and making it all about race, when cornered.

    There is a video where someone asks her a “difficult” question, and she responds by dismissing the question on the basis that the person asking the question is a “white man”.

    Sarsour is a fraud.

    1. I have experienced sexism, as a male. (One was as a child, so “as a boy” is better for that case than “as a man”.)

      One case was when there was a bit of a curfuffle in the school yard in grade 2. I remember that the girls got off without punishment somehow and the boys were given detentions.

  3. … the rise of progressive women candidates in this fall’s elections, many of whom were voted in.

    Gonna be over 100 women in congress come January. First time ever.

  4. I would think that “Women’s March” can’t be trademarked as it is self-descriptive. It’s the same reason a paper company can’t trademark “Paper” and a beer company can’t trademark “Beer”.

  5. Fendlay’s article is a perfect example of how utterly toxic it is to view everything through the lens of racism and power, where the “racism card” is held at all times in the back pocket to whip out, in particular at any white person, who disagrees with you.


    1. And also bad here is that by doing so, it can be used by online trolls and other unsavories to broadly discredit those who call out racism and misogyny when there is actual racism and misogyny.

    2. I actually made the mistake of getting back on Twitter to tweet regarding Milano, Messing, and the March. I got called a KKK member for simply pointing out the obvious, that Farrakhan is bigoted against Jews, women, LGBT, etc. Claiming every disagreement here is a sing of one person’s racism is quite, ahem, problematic.

  6. I genuinely do not understand the vile hypocrisy of the Women’s March leaders re Farrakhan, because to champion him in this (or any context, they they must turn a blind eye to Farrakhan’s and the Nation of Islam’s patent mysogyny. For these leaders of the Women’s March, it’s anti-Semitism Über Alles. Their romance with anti-Semitism is far more important than the principles of women’s liberation, which is supposed to be the raison d’être of the Women’s March.

    1. And the enormous support for Palestine among the wider social justice crowd is just as confusing for similar reasons. The way Palestine treats women and LGBTQ people is horrendous.

  7. I desperately hope that this is the beginning of a movement on the Left to address the deep-seated, longstanding antisemitism that seems to not only remain in their ranks, but continue to grow day by day. Milano and Messing should be proud of their willingness to take a stand, especially considering the inevitable amount of hatred and vitriol directed at them. And I’m glad to see the NYC Women’s March take a stand too (although it’s strange to call one group of women trying to bully another group of women “the toxic patriarchy our women’s movement is fighting against”).

    I will continue to hope that this gets the ball rolling toward seriously addressing antisemitism on the Left, but I’m not all that optimistic. We’ll have to see where this goes, but, if this is the beginning of something, then Milano, Messing, and others who are joining them will have done a service far greater than just taking personal stands for their beliefs. Regardless of what happens, I’m thankful to them.

    1. Perhaps I’m just uninformed on this issue but I was not aware that anti-semitism was a general problem on the Left. While I am sure that the Women’s march leaders are not the only anti-semites on the Left, what evidence do you have that this a much bigger problem?

      1. Pathological hatred of Israel is virtually an article of faith for much of the “progressive” left/SJW crowd. This almost invariably morphs into abuse of Jews in general, whether in Israel or outside it – unless of course those Jews prove themselves to be good little “anti-zionists” worthy of acceptance by denouncing Israel with as much vitriol as their leftist “comrades”.

        And no, before anyone asks, I’m not suggesting that all criticism of Israel is necessarily motivated by anti-Semitism, but in practice you’d often be hard-pressed to tell the difference between pro-Palestinian propaganda and the utterances of Dr Goebbels.

        1. I have friends that likely would be considered SJWs but I’ve never heard them express anti-semitic views. They might disagree with some of Israel’s policies but, as you say, that’s not anti-semitism.

          1. I’m on mobile now, but I’ll post links later for evidence of what I’m about to write.

            Antisemisitism can be found in many places in the social justice Left. Start with academia, with a story I’ve told many timesbefore. When I spent my first year at a very “progressive” liberal arts school, my professors regularly expressed hatred for and conspiracy theories about Israel (e.g. they kidnap and torture Palestinian children, poison Palestinian water, etc.), and even thinly veiled conspiracies about Jews (Rothschild family and others controlling world finances, etc.). Israeli flags were regularly torn down by students, and there were regular “performance activism” events to show how Israel was an “apartheid state,” like when the campus BDS group stopped students from entering the cafeteria using fake guns as if it was Israel’s birder security wall. Sometimes, drawings and posters for BDS would show up with well-known antisemitic imagery, like the hook-nosed Jews towering over the rest of the globe to demonstrate Jewish global conspiracy/domination/control. This was back at the turn of the millenium, we’ll before BDS and all the rest of this gained real steam. The board of the wchool was forced by the students to divest from all stocks and other investments that were in any way connected to Israelis owned businesses. All of what I’ve described here was not only tolerated by the administrators, but encouraged and assisted by campus professors. Things on campuses have become much worse regarding this issue since those 15 years ago.

            Later, I will post links of various professors around the country who have written explicitly antisemitic articles, papers, and tweets, all of which have received no rebuke or punishment from their administrations (they would be fired immediately and their administration’s forced to apologize profusely and spend money on anti-hate initiatives if they made any similar tweets about, say, blacks or gay people or women).

            Here’s a link I know off the top of my head, so I can post it now:

            That link shows how antisemitism has been tolerated by the Labour party in the UK and it’s supporters.

            Then we have someone like Keith Ellison, a high-ranking member of the Democratic party who wrote several essays supporting Louis Farrakhan, including his antisemitism. Again, I will provide a link later.

            I can go on, and I will provide further examples of other places where this has cropped up when I’m at my computer, but I hope this helps for now.

            I would also suggest an experiment: if you live somewhere with a local Marxist/radical Left bookstore, go and take a look inside. You’ll likely find copies of antisemitic works like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and The International Jew .

          2. I don’t have time to do a ton of research, but I had a few minutes to do some Googling solely on academia. I can’t include more than two links in this post because it will be auto-moderated if I do, and I don’t want to bother Jerry with an email asking him to release the comment, considering he’s on vacation. Instead, I’ll simply make references to various incidents and leave it to you to Google them, if you wish. Sorry I can’t post the links, but that’s just how this website works.

            Here’s a good article that recounts just a few antisemitic events and harassment on college campuses recently (note: I do not approve of the definition of antisemitism that is the initial subject of the article): https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/11/08/house-committee-takes-anti-semitism-college-campuses

            You might remember Joy Karega, who repeatedly wrote and tweeted extremely antisemitic comments. It took months of prodding the administration at Oberlin College to open an investigation into her, as they initially defended her right to say and post such things. After a year of investigation, they finally fired her, with much anger from many of their students. It also turns out that Karega had been making similar Facebook posts for years and, when the spotlight finally turned onto her antisemitism, she was defended by professors and students alike: https://cameraoncampus.org/blog/oberlin-after-joy-karega/

            Alice Walker, who has written and said just about every antisemitic conspiracy theory one can (including that the Holocaust never happened and is used by Jews to gain power/world domination; Israel kidnaps Palestinian children to harvest their organs and sell them on the black market; etc.), has still been given residencies and visits to multiple colleges, and continues to be celebrated by many campus organizations.

            Look up professor Hatem Bazian.

            Look up the Inside Higher Ed article on a lawsuit against San Francisco State, which recounts some incidents there. There’s a similar article about Jewish professors who claimed to have received harassment at Wheelock College.

            These experiences are common on many liberal campuses. Criticism of Israel/support for Palestine very often spills over into antisemitism and harassment of Jewish students/organizations/speakers.

            This is just a sampling of antisemitism in academia. You can find much more regarding the wider Left. I also suggest you look into Keith Ellison’s past.

      2. I dont think anti-semitism is part of the left, but I dont think the Womens’ March is standard left.
        Farrakhan and the others leaders have made pretty nasty anti-white comments. I think jews are a convenient subset of whites for whom the bigoted language and ideas are already in place, but I think that soon the WM will expand their bigotry to include whites in general. In a sense, with their response to Milano they already have.

        1. According to my understanding of things, the Women’s March founded as a broad-based response to and repudiation of Trump’s victory and included over 400,000 women of all backgrounds and walks of life. Sarsour, Mallory and Perez were brought in to ensure diversity, and seem to have hijacked the aims, though it’s not inconceivable that they didn’t hijack it, but the other leaders went along willingly. I certainly don’t for a moment imagine that all that many of those hundreds of thousands of women who marched were anti-Semitic devotees of Farrakhan. That crew has completely polarized the situation and I wonder who’ll turn out for the next Women’s March, because without doubt, now it’s on the radical fringe.

          1. +1. So many good movements get hijacked by the fringe because they are louder and more aggressive that the rest.

          2. I agree, the Women’s March itself had nothing to do with antisemitism. I do think that the organizers who let in the antisemites may have agreed with them, though (after all, the fourth and oft-forgotten organizer is, as far as I’m aware, still with them and has never repudiated them).

            But I also think it’s a mistake on the part of RodWilson above to say that antisemitism isn’t “part of the Left.” It’s not “part of the Left” in the same sense that it’s not “part of the Right”: in the sense that one does not have to be an antisemite to be on the Left or Right, and most people on either side probably aren’t antisemites. But that’s not at all to say that both sides don’t have a serious problem when it comes to antisemitism among their ranks and, on the Left, among a good portion of its highly visible and influential activist ranks. What I think makes the antisemitism on the Left more dangerous is that it has the potential to make it mainstream and spread it subtly, particularly through academia and media. We’ve already seen over the past few years that professors and very liberal websites can get away with antisemitism, and the more social justice ideology gains steam and is accepted into these institutions, the more of an issue this becomes. On the other hand, I don’t fear the Right managing to make antisemitism mainstream because that portion of the Right is currently well outside the Overton window and doesn’t have much control over the kinds of institutions that make it easier to spread antisemitism.

            1. If, as you say, antisemitism is present in both Left and Right communities and doesn’t dominate in either, perhaps it is just an independent attribute and there’s no cause and effect relationship. After all, a small percentage of people on both the Left and Right don’t like chocolate but we don’t consider them to be dependent dimensions.

              1. The problem is that there is now a very specific ideology spreading through the Left that does seem to promote antisemitism, and that (combined with what I explained about the ability to spread it/make it more mainstream) really concerns me. The Right will always have antisemitism because a portion of the Right is based on xenophobia, but there is no coherent ideology on that side that necessitates treating Jews as oppressors. The more social justice ideology develops, the more it seems to make considering Jews part of the “oppressor class” a prerequisite of being a believer, and I feel this is reflected by opinions expressed by academics in the related fields, tolerance of extreme antisemites among prominent leaders and activists, and the seeping of antisemitic memes further and further into popular Left media.

                I don’t associate “the Left” with antisemitism — hell, I’m still technically on the Left, as is nearly everyone I know — but I do increasingly associate a portion of it, and that portion seems to be growing rapidly in ranks and influence.

          1. Amazing that you said this after I posted all that evidence and all those links, to which you didn’t respond. Instead, you just solidified your position in your own head, in part based on who agreed with me.

            1. Sorry but I’m not going to revisit this old thread. I’m sure I had my reasons for not wanting to pursue it further. They were valid to me which it is all that really matters in my decision to move on.

              1. You had plenty to say until I presented evidence. Only then did you stop responding.

                And then, three days later, you responded to someone who agreed with me just to say that their agreement was somehow further proof of my position’s falsity.

    2. “And I’m glad to see the NYC Women’s March take a stand too (although it’s strange to call one group of women trying to bully another group of women “the toxic patriarchy our women’s movement is fighting against”)”

      With respect to Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and other women supporting people and organizations which are antisemitic and or pro treating women as 2nd class citizens, I get that. Just like the women that proudly wear T-shirts with “Trump Can Grab My Pussy” on them along with arrows pointing toward said item these women are all shilling for the men that are keeping them down. If these men and organizations they support had their way Sarsour, Mallory and all women would be living a life similar to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s early life. If the term “toxic patriarchy” accurately fits anywhere it is with respect to men like Farrakhan and organizations and groups that favor Sharia or worse.

      1. But that’s not what they were saying. They were saying that Sarsour and get friends trying to bully their way onto their organizing committee was an example of “toxic patriarchy,” not their beliefs and agenda.

        1. Yes, I understood that. I’m saying that I think I understand their reasoning and attempting to explain what I think their reasoning may be. And that, if I’m correct, I think there is some accuracy to their claim. Sarsour et al are products of patriarchal cultures and they knowingly behave in ways which support those patriarchal cultures.

          1. It seems the only implication there is that bullying and/or trying to gain power is, in itself, patriarchy? But every culture, society, group, etc. has always had such people, with or without any sort of “patriarchy.” If that’s the implication, then it doesn’t make sense, but maybe there’s some other implication I’m missing…?

            1. I think what they are suggesting is that in defence of their patriarchal culture, they bully other women. This is common. Women bully other women all the time to conform to societal norms. Patriarchy is a system that men and women work in. And Islam is one mofo of a toxic one.

              1. “Women bully other women all the time to conform to societal norms.”

                I don’t think this is a result of patriarchy, but of human nature. Has there ever been a time or place where people — men and women alike — haven’t bullied each other, regardless of the system or lack thereof in place?

                Regardless, I hope your suggestion of what they meant is correct. Not that it’s all that important. My comment was merely an aside.

              2. No you’re missing the point. Women will often bully other women into doing things against their self interest. For example for protesting against birth control, in the past for asking to vote, for keeping your maiden name. These are all things you’d think women would want but there are women who support the existing structure the oppressed them. That is because it is easier and rewarding in other ways to support that power structure. In really oppressive cultures, women pressure other women into FGM then they do the cutting. It’s a special type of bullying in support of rules that oppress women.

              3. I’d like to think that the people in my family don’t bully each other. I’m sorry that your’s (apparently) has to deal with so much bullying.

              4. Sorry, Diana, my response was meant for BJ who said there has never been a time or place where men and women didn’t bully each other. That’s broad enough to cover family relations as well as larger communities.

              5. I understand your point better now, Diana, and I agree with it, although I still don’t think it quite matches up with what the people quoted said. We’ll agree to disagree there, but I agree with your overall point now that I understand it.

                Although, it should be mentioned that people often support systems or norms because they actually get benefits from them that they, in doing a personal cost-benefit analysis, feel outweigh the benefits of the alternative (and I don’t even mean factoring in negative social consequences from advocating for change). For example, back when women couldn’t vote, being able to be a housewife was, in many ways, quite a privilege. The work most men had to do to provide for their families back then was dangerous, backbreaking, and often deadly (at the very least, it usually led to significantly shorter lifespans). When men received the universal right to vote, they also were burdened with the universal possibility of being drafted for war. In fact, one of the arguments made by many women who opposed being given the right to vote was that they might then be forced into drafts.

                At least in the context of US history, I can understand why many women felt that opposing universal suffrage was in their own interests. I think it’s quite obvious that things are far better for women today than they were back then, but I can also understand why people back then might make a different cost-benefit analysis, and I think this applies to many other issues that we see as cut-and-dry with hindsight. I think we often look back at history and find ourselves perplexed by the choices people made, but it’s difficult to understand them without trying to put ourselves in their shoes.

              6. Yes, we are agreed on why it’s beneficial for people to support the current power structure. There are benefits to them and this always makes it hard.

              7. GBJames: we have a couple of bullies in my family that we’ve had to finally cut out of our lives over the past two years. I’ve never known a family that has contact with more than their immediate relatives (mother, father, siblings) that doesn’t have at least one person like that. And bullying doesn’t have to be overt; it can involve things like emotional manipulation, gossiping behind others’ backs, and many other behaviors. Almost all groups, once they grow beyond a small number of members.

                Plus, my brother never once let me beat him at videogames when I was a tyke. And he gave me noogies sometimes 😛

              8. I’d just like to say that I always enjoy discussing things with you, Diana. I’ve never once had a disagreement with you that was anything but pleasant and a learning experience 🙂

              9. Well, while there have always been bullies, not everyone is a bully and those who do bully don’t always bully. Some bullies learn how to behave better. People also have always exhibited kindness. Empathy is also deep in the nature of social animals.

                The challenge is to do our best to encourage one behavior and discourage the other. It is a mistake, IMO, to accept it as a constant. And one of the best ways to reduce bullying is to call it out for what it is when it happens.

                I don’t remember ever bullying my kid sister. But then we didn’t have video games back in those days.

            2. I can’t say if the NYC Women’s March people are implying that only men are bullies or seek to gain power. I suppose it’s possible. I’m sure there are some people who would make that claim. There’s more to it though isn’t there?

              I’m talking about motivations. Why is Sarsour trying to exert control over a splinter group that said they where breaking from Women’s March because Sarsour and other leaders have been supportive of antisemitism and misogyny? Could the patriarchal cultures those leaders are a product of and give allegiance to have anything to do with it? Seems plausible to me.

      2. “Just like the women that proudly wear T-shirts with “Trump Can Grab My Pussy” on them along with arrows pointing toward said item…”

        I’d ask for a link but Prof. Coyne wants WEIT to be a family site!

        1. My cousin, an American who lives in California, got in trouble while voting one year because of a t-shirt with a joke about bush and women’s “bushes”. She got kicked out because you can’t promote a party or whatever when you go vote.

          1. I think that’s a good law. While infractions we hear about seem petty, I can imagine what might happen without such a law. Gauntlets around abortion clinics would pale in comparison.

  8. Have the any spokespersons of Women’s March Inc. ever issued so much as a peep about the case of Asia Noreen (Bibi)? Here is a case where a woman was sentenced to death for, essentially, taking a drink of water out of a bowl from which Muslims also drank. I guess Sarsour & Co. had nothing to say about this because they were too busy protesting the “apartheidt” they claim to detect in Israel.

  9. The demand to denounce Farrakhan may seem logical and even simple, but is it? Certainly his words are anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynist, and obviously that is incompatible with our clearly stated values and principles. This is where white people stop, like this is the whole story, front to back.

    I am perhaps racist in my view that everyone should be treated the same. When I read something like this, I like to replace the subject with its opposite, to see how it reads. Replace Farrakhan with Trump, and white people with people of color. It certainly comes off sounding like special pleading. Fendley is arguing for the importance of power first, then principles. Well, we’ve seen how well that works out in practice, and Jews especially are right to be wary. A lot of conservative Germans thought they could use Hitler’s organization to their ends, but it was really to their end.

  10. The screeching that Milano is condemning a black man is ludicrous. She’s criticizing someone’s bad ideas. And she didn’t demand any thing; she simply refused to participate in an organization whose views she finds problematic. And for this she is demonized. Give me a break. This is the problem with identity politics. It’s useful to see who has power, sure. Milano has the power to stand up to bullies that others might not, especially non white women. But let’s not go too far.

  11. So we can ignore “White Speech” because it is not “Non-white speech”?
    At one time some Germans denounced “Jewish Science” because it was not “Aryan Science”. That did not benefit Germany in the long run, I believe.

    1. Same with Soviet science, Lysenko being example number one. Thankfully for their people, the USSR eventually realized the folly of rejecting science simply because it was discovered or practiced by Westerners.

      And now, we’re back to some people demanding that “other ways of knowing” (e.g. tribal medicine and witchcraft) be considered commensurate with and taught alongside actual science.

  12. Alyssa Milano and all the white women lined up behind her are actually enforcing the power of white supremacy through their misguided attempt to challenge hate speech.

    Wait, did the communications director just admit that Farrakan’s speech is hate speech?

    And she’s still defending him?

    1. She even said that white people challenging hate speech (I assume she means hate speech committed by anyone other than white people) is, in itself, reinforcing white supremacy.

      This really is an ideology you can use to defend anything and divide everyone.

  13. The whole marginalization of both white women and the white working class as “not oppressed enough” to warrant attention is one of the great banes of the ctrl-left.
    (What do these folks think of anti-Trump Republicans??)
    Is this really what was originally meant by intersectionalism??

    (And one of the worst things I read online over the past two years was a putdown of the “Wonder Woman” movie for being irrelevant to minorities and by default somehow perpetuating white supremacy.)

    In marginally related news, Irish singer (and pope-photo ripper) Sinnead O’Connor has converted to Islam and now seems to be spouting anti-Semitic weirdness.

    1. Jews seem to be saddled with the ultimate white person persona. I wonder if it’s just easier to attack them as well as just something these folks really wanted to do anyway and look at “well they’re white” as an excuse to do so.

  14. Manoeuvres and jousting in the feminist court in the USA!
    About time someone (female to boot) rattled their cage, the hypocrisy was simply to much to spin on… well at least for some.
    I only hope that that “some” clearly state what the hypocrisy IS, as i sincerely think it is important to show.
    They could take note of this post but it is written by a white guy, of jewish ancestry and privileged! fat chance of that eh….
    Anyway. Why? It opens the possibility it could help individuals once realised, to deal with other “disconnects” effecting ways of thinking. You know, turn a light on.
    Especially those on the margins that are
    susceptible to pressure.

  15. One difficulty of living in the world today is having to explain to your kids what is motivating such people. Not Farrakhan, he is fairly transparent. But the mass of regular people who support the likes of BDS and AntiFa and ShutItDown.
    The best and simplest explanation I have come up with is that such organizations attract people who want to feel good about themselves, but don’t spend much time thinking about the implications of what they are supporting.
    I think some of the people we are hearing from now are those who have started to see the contradictions involved in supporting such movements.

  16. Finally someone woke up. Sarsour’s agenda is the Palestinian agenda… that is to eradicate the state of Israel. Sarsour is brilliant at manipulating women and all those who are “victims of the white man” in order to push her agenda of hate. She doesn’t mince words. There’s no love, peace and inclusion unless you’re in line with her agenda.

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