Friday, February 05, 2016

Berniebros are real and I have met (and blocked) them on Facebook

The far-left is trying to push the idea that "Berniebros" - obnoxious men who insult people who either support Hillary Clinton or in some cases just mildly criticize Bernie Sanders - just don't exist.

The term for telling others that their personal experience is wrong - or even insane - is known as "gaslighting." Or as this article in Shakesville states: You Can't Mansplain Away the Berniebros:
Months ago, however, the term "Berniebro" was coined by Robinson Meyer, writing in The Atlantic, in order to describe a certain subset of young male Bernie supporters online, and the term has become synonymous with the harassers. Of late larger media is taking more notice; last week no less a than the BBC wrote about Sanders' fans bad online reputation. (I'm quite sure it isn't coincidental that well-known white men like Paul Krugman have been the targets of Berniebullying lately, but whatever.)
Predictably as clockwork, online Bernie supporters are there to mansplain that the Berniebro is all a myth, a racist and sexist one to boot:
The media’s false characterization of the average Sanders supporter as a white male “Bernie Bro” is misleading and offensive...The optics are pretty bad — well-heeled media outlets with brick-and-mortar offices in privileged neighborhoods like Manhattan (Mashable‘s office is located in the Flatiron District) and Washington, DC (The Atlantic is headquartered at the Watergate Hotel) are essentially erasing the contributions of women and people of color to the Bernie Sanders campaign to propagate their own narrative, rendering them as invisible people. This is one of the oldest forms of violence perpetuated by white people of privilege.
Now this is a pretty neat trick in several ways.
1. It sets up a strawperson that no-one is arguing (that the "average Sanders supporter" is the Berniebro) and then debunks it.
2. It centers the Sanders campaign and its supporters as the real victims here.
3. It erases the men of color and women of all races who have actually borne the brunt of this harassment, and who have been talking about it, mischaracterizing us as part of a well-heeled media with swank offices in rich neighborhoods.
4. It then invokes the historical erasure of marginalized people as a silencing technique so that we can't talk about the harassment of marginalized people.
Cool story, bro. Have you considered titling it Gaslight?

Jason Grote, whom I came to know and despise eight years ago when I argued with him about women in theater posted a comment on Facebook about Katha Pollitt's column in The Nation Why Have I (Almost) Always Voted for the Male Candidate? (and Grote name-checked Pollitt so it showed up on her FB page which is how I saw it) questioning the existence of Bernie Bros - but once he saw I commented that Berniebros were indeed real he blocked me. So I don't have a screenshot of his comment.

And naturally The Nation's Liza Featherstone, whose husband is the king of the Berniebros, is quoted in Reason magazine on the use of the term. She brags about it on Facebook.

This isn't the first pro-Sanders article I've seen in Reason, which is absolutely mind-blowing. Reason is ground zero for Libertarianism and is funded in part by the Koch brothers. Libertarians are the mortal enemies of socialists- Reason is the last place I'd expect to see support for Bernie Sanders.

Could it be that their hatred of Hillary Clinton is so equally intense it has brought together the right-wing Reason and the far-left Nation? Is this an example of the Horseshoe Theory?

Or possibly another example of Republicans supporting Sanders because they'd rather face him in the general election?

Well back to my personal experience of Berniebros. While there certainly are Sanders supporters who are women, and some of them have debated me on Facebook, virtually the only Sanders supporters coming at me with condescending and contemptuous attitudes are men. I've already mentioned Mike Daisey, here are some others.

In this one, please note an example of the reverse-bigotry mansplaining technique discussed in the Shakesville piece quoted above.

Not the first time this person implies I only care about Clinton's gender when I hadn't even been discussing that issue. I don't know where this guy came from - he isn't even a friend of a Facebook friend.

Here we see Eric Ross, respected anthropologist (he co-authored a book with my hero Marvin Harris) about to get blocked by me after the final straw on top of weeks of insulting responses to my FB posts. I had already suggested to him days before that if he didn't like my FB posts he could unfriend me or stop following my newsfeed. Apparently he liked having excuses to attack me.

Although for sheer raw hatred of Hillary Clinton from a Sanders supporter, this guy commenting on a New Yorker Facebook post rivals even Doug Henwood.

You just have to laugh at his preamble in which he claims he's not being hostile and then calls Clinton the most disgusting, vile and reprehensible woman on Earth. While Anne Coulter still lives.

Yeah, I'd say Berniebros are real.

Although I'm sure that even these examples won't be enough for someone like Liza Featherstone, whose life's work is to attack feminists on behalf of the far left, who see women's issues as a bourgeois distraction from real issues.

And besides maybe Koch brothers employees will want to quote her again. I'm sure she's happy to sell "bourgeois feminists" out to the Koch brothers.