Some forms of anger are now considered more culturally legitimate than others. As a result, we spend less time examining the sources of people’s anger and more time arguing over which people have the “right” to be angry.It's easier to dismiss or to sneer or, to use the academic term, to marginalize people, in order to dismiss, rather than to engage, their disagreements.
Similarly, by pointing out the supposedly irrational and dangerous anger of their political opponents (and thus establishing their “moral credentials”), cultural mandarins of the left can then readily indulge in their own vitriol without ever having to figure out what might be stirring these other people.But, because it's disaffected "privileged" people, their complaints don't matter.
Although Trump’s rage against the Republican machine is an easy thing to lampoon, he is tapping into a mistrust of authority and sense of betrayal that is felt among a wide swath of the electorate. The angriest people are middle-aged and middle class. Why? More than half (52 percent) of the people polled byEsquire felt that the American Dream no longer existed; a similar number (54 percent) said, “The U.S. was once the most powerful country but isn’t anymore.” The same percentage felt that they were worse off than they had expected they would be when they were younger. And they aren’t wrong.
Standard operating procedure for the Angry Left. Consider the way Kimberly N. Foster privilege-shames Julie Delpy. I don't pay much attention to culture-studies or to Hollywood, perhaps you, dear reader, have. But should you?
You can tell what degree of privilege someone holds when they believe sincerely that experiencing marginalization grants one some sort of elevated status. In the discussions of discrimination in which they cannot take part, the more privileged lament the lack of attention paid to their own struggles. They take any opportunity to recenter themselves lest for one moment their feelings not be the focus.Foster is OK and Delpy is rage-holic.
When intersectional feminists skewer white feminism, we are attacking this self-indulgence. It is the kind of thinking Actress Julie Delpy displayed when she turned a legitimate exploration of sexism in the film industry into an illogical rambling that attempted to paint white women as society’s most oppressed group.
Delpy, herself, has a gender problem. She’s privileged Black Male voices. Black women are at the center of this activism, yet they are stripped of their due in the name of justice for white women. They are unseen.The true error is in the Angry Left seeing standing as entirely zero-sum. Perhaps there can be only one Super Bowl winner, or only ten nominees for Best Actor, or only 1700 matriculants per year at an overrated university. But applying quotas, while it might serve as an incentive, might also be a narcotic. (And thus no "black" movies among the nominees because this year's crop is more tendentious than the rest of the offerings, featuring the other freakazoid fairy tales.)
Those who experience more than one kind of marginalization are right to be leery of white women’s crusades for equality. They do not include us. When Patricia Arquette or Julie Delpy speak of a more just and equal world, they are not envisioning one in which they stand beside Black and Latina women. The multiple oppressions we experience complicate these discussions in ways they care not to address, so they’ve idealized scenarios in which we are not present because we are mere obstacles to their self-actualization.
Delpy could have made a gesture toward unity to tackle both the racism and sexism in Hollywood, but these white actresses do not believe these struggles to be fully recognized are connected. Their frustration stems from feeling like their rightful position as next in line is threatened. This is where White Feminism errs. Grievances of People of Color are viewed as an insult or an hurdle even to those who would benefit from greater visibility of discrimination. But the needs and concerns of white women must always always priority, and this underscores how individual they believe this fight to be.
All of which leads Pajamas Media's Stephen Kruiser to quip, "let the progressive victim subgroups cannibalize themselves."
Thus, the phenomenon Ms Rosen calls out is simply standard operating procedure, at least among the Angry Left.
There is something both brilliantly instrumental and stunningly condescending about the efforts of the self-appointed cultural and media elite to disqualify the emotions of the majority of Americans. In doing so they suggest not only that their opponents are wrong on the facts, but also that they are irrational, immature, and possibly dangerous, like a child having a tantrum. This makes serious conversation—and useful political debate—impossible. And it makes people very, very angry.The generalization to disqualifying the emotions of middle-aged white feminists is straightforward. But that's defensible, at least among the culture-studies types, because intersectionality.
The best thing to do with those Excessively Earnest People is to laugh at them. That's the one thing they can't stand.