Posted in Gender, Other

#TriggerWarning: Why We (The Political Left) Failed So Badly This Year

#TriggerWarning: I’m going to say things you might disagree with as a fellow leftie

#TriggerWarning: I might even swear.

This is not a #SafeSpace where your ego will be put on a pedestal. If you can’t stand criticism of your own politics from somebody who largely shares your politics, perhaps leave now.

Jonathan Pie, I love you. If I was a woman, I would have your babies. But I’m not, so I can’t.

This is not just about Clinton’s awful failure in the US, but also the British failure to come up with a coherent argument for staying in the European Union. Both of these votes should have been a no-brainer. The UK should have seen that the benefits of the EU outweighs the drawbacks. People should have seen that Hillary Clinton was the logical choice against an orange-skinned racist monkey. Yet what we got was two major, calamitous fuck ups and people still haven’t figured out why.

Nobody predicted either of these votes, but in the cold light of day and with the benefit of hindsight, it was not going to go any other way. And you know who is responsible? You, my fellow political left.

You, who wants a trigger warning on everything. You, who thinks that the opinions and values of white men should take a back seat while insulting the very white men you expect to be your allies and champions. You who enabled #KillAllWhiteMen and then made excuses for the woman who started it because she’s a “WOC” and can’t be racist, and can’t be sexist because she is LGBT.

You, who allowed MP Jess Phillips to mock male suicide in Parliament. You who silence people with labels and sound bites such as “stop mansplaining” and “Check your privilege”. You, who ignored the under-represented working class. You, who handles every crisis facing men (suicide, homelessness, workplace deaths, higher mortality) as “toxic masculinity” as though it is both an explanation and a solution. You, who enabled the rise of a conspiracy theorist in Anita Sarkeesian for whom the end always justifies the means.

You, who over-uses the word “misogyny” – a word that means “hatred of women” and throw it at anyone who criticised any woman regardless of whether that criticism was justified. You, who want to present women as victims every time and assume that any man who is cheated on by a woman must have done something to deserve it. You created a situation where men felt it wasn’t worth the bother pointing out feminism’s flaws but demanded they get on board with it.

You, who presented yourself as judge, jury and executioner of dissent within the ranks and labelled anyone who challenged you as part of the problem and no different from the racist, xenophobic, sexists of the far right.

Oh sure, the sexist, homophobic racists played their part and they will eventually be held to account. But when it really came down to it, you presented yourselves as the arbiters of thought and enforced it with online harassment and hashtags. You became the 1984 scenario against which you claim to stand. You adopted tactics not dissimilar to those of Senator McCarthy.

We on the political left used to be the marketplace of political ideas. We used to celebrate our diversity, argue over them and still manage to stay friends and allies. We used to champion the rights of the working class. What we became is one where certain groups’ views became more paramount than others. We became champagne socialists, disenfranchising working people from the politics that were supposed to liberate them. You insult those you feel have more privilege and still expect them to pander to your identity politics.

This is our reckoning. We are the masters of our own failings. Before we can do anything about it, we need to realise that we’ve capitulated to a Regressive Left that failed all of us in 2016, making all of us a mockery. Then, we take back the narrative.




I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

12 thoughts on “#TriggerWarning: Why We (The Political Left) Failed So Badly This Year

  1. Jonathan Pie is good stuff.
    I voted for a third party candidate, Jill Stein, perhaps a mistake in retrospect.
    I never saw Hillary Clinton as someone I could be passionate about, especially being old enough to remember Bill Clinton’s presidency…..that didn’t bother others though..
    I sometimes change my mind about where I stand on the spectrum of male/female stuff.
    This week something exploded in me and I just got tired of the words male privilege and white male privilege. I am the mother of a white male, the daughter of a white male, and the wife of a white male. Just sick of hearing one part of the population demonized. Plus my daughter doesn’t need to think her brother and dad are evil just based on their sex and their skin colors. Funny how the world works.
    We are wrapping up the last bit of Veterans Day here in the US. It just popped in my head recently that my son will need to register for the Selective Service System(the draft) in a few years. I guess that is a “prvilege” my daughter doesn’t have.

    1. 11th November for us is Remembrance (your equivalent of Memorial Day). Of course, not being called up to serve on the front line is a female gender privilege. Try telling the average feminist that and all you’ll get in response is that there is a very low chance of that happening these days. Not the point at all.

      I am very angry at my fellow left. I’m angry that it’s been seized by self-flagellators and those who just think that when men are to blame for everything. It’s simplistic and reduces us to a box, the sort of boxes they demand we take everyone else out of.

      Thanks for your words of support. I don’t expect to start a revolution, but this blog does help me to vent πŸ™‚

      1. You should check out Bill Burr too, if you haven’t already. I’d meant to post some links when you had those posts about feminists and women’s issues, etc. because he has some relevant stand-up bits.

    1. It seems if we’re going to take back the initiative from the regressive right, we’re going to have to start with convincing the regressive left of the damage they’ve done. I may not agree with you politically, but I’m sure you can understand that not all people on the left think or act the same way. I certainly don’t. I have strong left views in some areas but am a staunch centrist in other places.

  2. “I certainly don’t. I have strong left views in some areas but am a staunch centrist in other places.”

    ~ Me too.

    1. 2016 has been such a disaster politically. The sad fact is that some people on our political side are just as responsible for Trump’s election and Brexit as the right wing media.

  3. I enjoy your blog and share the sentiments in this post.

    Politically, I’m a social libertarian and slightly right of center economically (that is, I’m pro-free trade but disagree that the “invisible hand” will take care of the environment, the elderly, at risk children, and the disabled).

    I thought about voting for Gary Johnson, but he seemed too inept to lead the United States. So I voted for Clinton as the lesser of two evils and resent that that’s the choice hoisted on American voters.

    I wonder if a political realignment is beginning to happen. There are authoritarian elements on the right and left, as well as identity politics. And there are those on the right and left who are non-identitarian and anti-authoritarian. Will the latter members of the left and right eventually join forces? I guess time will tell.

    1. I hope so. Natural opponents will nearly always find some common ground. Church leaders and secularists opposed to an increase in selective segregation in religious schools in the UK, hard right and socialists in Catalonia are united in their desire for independence. Also, Brexit was not a left-right thing although it is now being touted that way. My parents are life-long Labour Party voters as far as I am aware. One voted Remain and the other voted Leave.

      I understand your sentiments on Clinton. Many of my my left wing American friends couldn’t bear to vote for her. Some did because the alternative was too horrific to contemplate while others went for a neutral. This includes men and women which is why the “misogyny” argument never held with me.

      Thanks for your input and for explaining your politics! My own view is conventional social liberalism (people are free to do as they please so long as they are not harming people) and largely Keynsian in terms of the economy, believing strongly in the need for investment in public infrastructure.

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