Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Henwood: women in high places doesn't change the hierarchy of power

In Henwood's response to Pollitt's latest response, he reveals his view of feminism, which he shares with others on the anarchist-socialist Left:
As I wrote in My Turn (p. xiv): “The side of feminism I’ve studied and admired for decades has been about moving towards that ideal [of a more peaceful, more egalitarian society], and not merely placing women into high places while leaving the overall hierarchy of power largely unchanged. It’s distressing to see feminism pressed into service to promote the career of a thoroughly orthodox politician—and the charge of sexism used to deflect critiques of her.”
In other words, women's aspirations should take a back seat to peace and egalitarianism. 

I believe Henwood has the same fundamental understanding of feminism and "women's" issues that the New Atheists like Dawkins and Harris have - women's issues are mostly of interest only to women - important thinkers may consider women in relation to peace or egalitarianism or other important areas, but only as a sub-set of those issues. The role of women themselves, in spite of making up more than half of all humanity, and an oppressed half too, is never worthy of primary consideration. That's probably why Henwood leaves attacking feminists mostly to the Radical Chic Ladies Auxiliary

One thing that always cracks me up about lefties is their idea that if only we had the right kind of political system, human hierarchies would disappear. The tiniest moment of insight would reveal that as long as humans live in family structures, with parents caring for - and controlling - their children for the first decade and a half, at least, of their lives, humans will always live in hierarchies. And there is no doubt much research indicating that humans find hierarchies perfectly comfortable. And if the hierarchy is based on skill and experience and intelligence - well what's wrong with that? Should we listen equally to a political pundit and a cardiologist in how to handle someone having a heart attack. Very often hierarchies are incredibly useful and efficient.

It's not hierarchies - it's grossly unfair hierarchies that are the problem. And the notion that women should not be in high places based purely on genitalia is exactly an example of a grossly unfair hierarchy. So by definition, allowing women into the hierarchy would be a huge win for egalitarianism. 

So yes, Hillary Clinton becoming president of the United States does, all by itself, help women. It doesn't change everything but it does help. 

And far more than a Jeb Bush presidency which is what a Bernie Sanders nomination would guarantee.

Henwood gloats about a recent Washington Post poll showing Clinton's lead down. I think this is probably a more accurate predictor of the nominations.