Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sady Doyle does the identitarian dance around Adolph Reed's Catch-22

I noticed Sady Doyle a few years back when she told her Tumblr followers to mob Michael Moore until he apologized for saying something she didn't like. I've noticed her again this week thanks to her entry in Liberal Think Tank Fires Matt Bruenig for Rude Tweets. In the comments at The Great Matt Bruenig-Neera Tanden Kerfuffle Sort of Explained, I responded,
Oh, god, Sady Doyle, queen of the identitarian neoliberals who has taken to heart the principle that when you can't answer people, you accuse them of racism or sexism or both. The simple fact is neoliberals hate talking about class, and Bruenig excels at it, so writers like Doyle cannot engage with him on the merits of the argument and have to rely on ad hominem.
After leaving that, I realized that it's not fair to accuse people without offering evidence, so while there's plenty online, here's enough, I hope:

1. She assumes men are guilty because of their gender.

A post at  My Own Private Guantanamo discusses what she wrote publicly about Julian Assange in 2010 and appears to have deleted:
...Doyle herself is no agnostic on Assange’s guilt. Last Thursday, she wrote:
“I really, really, do tend to believe that he raped those girls.”
And: 
“he (Assange) — in my opinion, probably, allegedly — happened to be a repeat rapist…”
Identitarians do not care that the law presumes innocence for a reason: the victim of every lynching died because the mob "believed the victim" instead of letting the law take its course.

2. She campaigns for women because of their gender.

She wrote in "Some Other Woman" for President 2016 - The Baffler:
...Hillary Clinton is the only viable Democratic candidate we’ve got—and the only viable female candidate we’ve ever had. She is not perfect; she’s not an evil wizard or the reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher, either. (Another tip: Before you compare Hillary Clinton to Margaret Thatcher, ask yourself: Am I about to compare Hillary Clinton to Margaret Thatcher? One was a hyper-conservative Tory who supported apartheid and whose talking points included the phrase “I hate feminism”; the other is a moderate Democrat whose economic policy hews too close to the center for some liberals’ tastes. It makes about as much sense as comparing Reagan to Obama because both of them served two terms.)

There is no spot on the ballot that allows you to vote for “some other woman.”
By championing Clinton, Doyle steps into what I'm currently calling the Adolph Reed Identitarian Catch-22. Discusing Sanders and race, Reed said,
You can go down Sanders’s platform issue by issue and ask, “so how is this not a black issue?” How is a $15 minimum wage not a black issue. How is massive public works employment not a black issue. How is free public college higher education not a black issue. The criminal justice stuff and all the rest of it.
Reed's observation about race applies to gender. You can go down Sanders' platform issue by issue and ask, "So how is this not a feminist issue?" Everyone who is concerned for the working class is disproportionately concerned for women and people of color because the working class is disproportionately female and dark-skinned. 

Doyle does see the catch, which is why in her article she adds disingenuously:
If you prefer a different, male candidate to Hillary, say so. Wear your “SANDERS 2016” T-shirt with pride. There’s no harm, and no sexism, in advocating for the person you believe is best for the job—unless it’s some imaginary far-future lady president who will deliver the State of the Union address via hologram from her private spaceship.
Even while she assures the majority of millennial women who support Sanders that she's not calling them sexist, she can't keep herself from mentioning that "imaginary far-future lady president". Doyle wants her "lady president" now, and therefore doesn't care that Clinton's economic policies will hurt more women than Sanders' would. Doyle mentions Thatcher and doesn't notice the things Clinton has done that remind us of Thatcher: supporting Israel's treatment of Palestinians, supporting the rightwing coup in Honduras, supporting the creation of chaos in Libya that has only strengthened Daesh... In all those places, women suffer, yet identitarians like Doyle look away because their only concern is for the symbol of a female president.

ETA: Lawrence Person notes in the comments that Doye is wrong about Thatcher, as this 1984 article shows: Apartheid 'Unacceptable,' Thatcher Tells Botha.