On the Internet nobody knows if you’re secretly a Republican

So, this “Reclusive Leftist” chick has been really getting up my nose and I wanted to vent.

She’s a Hillary Clinton supporter — no big shock, many people were. Approximately half the people who voted in the Democratic primaries in fact. Many of these people were feminists. Also no big shock.

But she belongs to that group — please, God, let them be a small lunatic fringe — of Clinton supporters who hate Obama to such a bizarre and extreme degree that, now that her horse came in second, she wants McCain to be the next president.

I don’t know what is wrong with the woman, honestly. She seems to be regarded on Teh Intertubes as a more or less normal feminist blogger, although a cursory survey of her past entries shows her to be the type of feminist who rather likes to play the holier-than-thou women’s-studies-department goddess-victim, and I already know I tend to disagree with people like that.

But still. Her Obama-hating posts are weird. Obsessive, vicious, and full of the kind of cheap, insulting rhetoric that, frankly, I have come to expect from the right wing. You know, in her world it is impossible to be an Obama supporter, or even to disagree with Ms. Reclusive on any of her points, without being a glassy-eyed “Obamabot.” Plus, Obama was himself personally responsible for any and all misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton. And all this, plus the fact that he has only been a senator for one term instead of two, means that all Real True Feminists must vote for McCain instead.

You know… the guy who actually, himself, in his own words, referred to Clinton as “the bitch.”

So I can’t make sense of this person, really. I can’t imagine who she really is or why she thinks that way.

I keep picturing a wizened little Gollum-like creature shaking its fist and shouting “Precious! Obama took my Precious! We hatesses Obammasses forever!”

Sometimes I picture a suppressed racist, who is trying to find a working camouflage for her purely emotional fear of/distaste for The Black Man.

But I also picture a deep Republican anti-feminist mole, cackling with glee at the amazingly stupid things that people are willing to accept as a genuine feminist viewpoint.

And now I throw the topic out there for discussion — do you think of yourself as a feminist? What do you think of Reclusive Leftist’s viewpoint? How widespread do you think it is, really? And where do you suppose it comes from?


  1. There’s someone on my FL who has posted things very much like “Reclusive Leftist” and I know that she isn’t a Republican mole and I’m pretty sure she’s not a racist either… but I cannot for the life of me figure out where she’s coming from or how she got there. She, like Reclusive Leftist has placed the blame for all the misogyny from individual voters to media pundits squarely at the feet of Obama himself and it’s clear that nothing will change her mind on this point. (At which point I ask: what the hell news has she been watching and why the hell can’t she distinguish between what Obama says and what Chris Matthews says or what some dumb-ass guy with an “Iron my shirts” sign says???)

    Anyway, it breaks my heart to see her posts, and posts of (thankfully just a few) other people who I thought had a little more political sense than to play spoiler for this crucial election of all elections. I mean… John McCain? WTF?

    That said, I’ve become so discouraged and disgusted by the behavior of so many so-called feminists of late (more specifically upper-middle/upper class white Hillary supporting feminists who are now about thisclose to dragging Michelle Obama through their muck) that I don’t even want to use that word anymore. If that’s what a feminist is these days, then I’m definitely not one.

    Where does it come from? I wish I knew. Best guesses: the sort of myopic identity politics and “ism” focus that insists Feminism must trump Racism end of story so therefore Hillary HAS to come before the black man. This is the sort feminism that’s all about being the victim. Note, no mention ever of mistakes Hillary made in her campaign (Mark Penn, Ferraro, the list goes on), because the ONLY reason she lost is sexism. It’s the sort of feminism that is, above all else, utterly pessimistic. This is our ONLY chance, they’re saying. How DARE you ruin it, evil patriarchy! Again, no acknowledgment of Hillary’s mistakes or willingness to recognize that a hell of a lot of women weighed the two candidates based on their merits only, refused to play identity politics and decided that Obama was better suited for the job. (Nope, we’re all starry eyed kool-aid drinkers, thanks much.)

    Gah. Sorry. Needed to rant. I’ve been wanting to say some of these things on my own LJ but I know I’ll lose friends over it.

    And yes, what you said: please god, let them be a small lunatic fringe.

    BTW, I’ve decided (at this point at any rate) that the only way to deal with people like this is to not get into arguments about they’re choice to not vote for the nominee and to not do the very thing I just did in saying “WTF is wrong with you?” but rather focus on McCain and his horrific record on women’s issues. And maybe remind a few people connected with the anti-0bama so-called feminist sites that if they’re worried about losing their feminist cred with the die-hard Hillary supporters? In the end nobody needs to know who you really plan to vote for once you get inside that booth.

    1. Author


      This is the sort feminism that’s all about being the victim.

      I just don’t see “victim” as a feminist role, frankly.

      Also, to me, it seems like it’s dissing what Clinton actually did accomplish — she almost won, after all, and she almost won in a race with a record turnout.

      1. Re: Thanks

        I just don’t see “victim” as a feminist role, frankly.

        Nor do I, which is why in the end I can try to explain and interpret as best I can, but I just don’t get the mindset at all.

        Also, to me, it seems like it’s dissing what Clinton actually did accomplish — she almost won, after all, and she almost won in a race with a record turnout.

        Absolutely agree here. Her campaign was a huge step forward for this country and it feels (to me anyway) that all the good that came out of it is being tainted by irrational reactions to her loss and the writing of a hell of a lot of revisionist history.

  2. “You know… the guy who actually, himself, in his own words, referred to Clinton as ‘the bitch.'”

    What, now? I know that a woman at a McCain event asked him “how do we beat the bitch?” but I’m not aware of McCain himself saying it.

    Anyway. I think that “Reclusive Leftist”‘s viewpoint is more widespread now than it will be in November, and I suspect that even now it seems more widespread than it is, due to the internet’s magnifying effect.

    Here’s the main thing that they need to realize: Supreme Court Justice Stevens is simply not going to stay on the court for another presidential term. Dude is 88 years old! So the next president is guaranteed a chance to replace one of the liberal wing SCJs.

    Furthermore, the other liberal justices (as well as swinger Kennedy) were all born in the ’30s and are no spring chickens (the conservative justices average much younger). The next president has a chance of replacing a good chunk of the SCOTUS.

    John McCain’s website informs us: “John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.”

    So, you know, do the math.

  3. If you are a glassy-eyed Obamabot, then so are Barbara Boxer, Christine Gregoire, Janet Napolitano, and Caroline Kennedy. Along with millions of other women who are clearly going to vote Democratic in the fall, even if they supported Clinton. I can’t think of a single Democratic leader who shares Reclusive Leftist’s opinion, or at least none who is stating it out loud. So I don’t think Feminist-Democrats-for-McCain is going to gain much momentum as a voting block.

  4. I think it’s sour grapes… I mean, I’m a glassy eyed obamabot (in the sense that I agree with him on more of the issues than any other major candidate) and had he lost, I would have wished for a different candidate than Hillary. But I would’ve come around. Even a cursory examination of McCain on the issues would have done that. Reproductive rights are a deal breaker issues for me, so the point about the supremes is well taken. I really don’t see how any Real True Feminist could advocate voting for McCain.

    I thought this post was particularly weird, because she deliberately didn’t link to something called “alas” because it “runs off racist pornography”. I googled it, expecting to find, you know, Hot Black Cocks or something, and instead turned up Alas! a blog. I figure she was talking about this post specifically.
    Now, the funny thing is, I actually know (in the acquaintance sense) the guy who runs that blog, and to accuse him of being a purveyor of racist porn, much less unfeminist… well, it boggles my mind. My mind is boggled. I am going to go do something else now, on account of all this boggling is hurting my brain.

    1. Nah. Right blog, wrong issue. It’s because Amp came up with some deal to make money from amptoons.com by selling it off to an extra-skeezy SEO optimizer. (Feministe.) He’s not a purveyor of racist porn; he’s just a guy who cut a deal with a guy to use his Google pagerank to promote racist porn.

          1. Yes! That’s why I wrote “SEO optimizer”. My mind is too busy boggling!

            Actually, there’s some truth to that. I was truly surprised that Amp decided to go that route. I understand that people have bills, sometimes crushing bills, and I don’t know what his financial state was. Perhaps a big medical bill and a big offer came along at about the same time. But to my mind, for whatever reason he might have had, Amp pretty well sold off a good portion of his reputation as someone who can bring feminists together.

            I’ve seen some venom, but more than that, I’ve seen disappointment and a general turning away. Alas A Blog used to be a prominent feminist blog, but I can’t remember a time in the last year or so when I’ve seen someone link to it. (Not that I follow the feminist blogosphere all that closely, but once in a while I check in.) I’d almost much forgotten about it.

          2. “almost much”. Okay, I’m going back to bed. It’s been a day.

            But first — I didn’t read much of Reclusive Leftist, because her writing style makes me feel a little uneasy and vaguely unclean. But I’m interested in the fact that she seems to be relatively young, compared to the other members of that lunatic fringe that I’ve come across.

            I’d been reading the lunatic element in large part as a generational phenomenon: the second wave complaining yet again about younger women. They know perfectly well that a McCain victory would squash reproductive rights. But they gave us our marching orders and expected us to fall in line. We didn’t, and must be punished for our ingratitude and stupidity.

            Y’know, for all that the second wave accomplished — and I’m not knocking its accomplishments — it’s well known for being unable or unwilling to listen to people who don’t look like the face of second-wave feminism: white, straight, middle/upper-middle class. The Wellesley type. It was getting to be a cliché there. And now, as the second wave ages, you can add something else to the list: post-menopausal.

            Second-wave feminism has always had a strain that’s had a hard time distinguishing between self-interest and social justice, and now that the boomers are hitting menopause, reproductive rights are no longer a matter of their self-interest. I reckon that’s a good part of why some older self-described feminists are willing, even eager to sell out our reproductive rights for their injured pride.

            There’s one woman-power lunatic I’ve seen who is actually looking forward to seeing reproductive rights revert to a pre-Roe situation. “See how you like it then,” was her phrase, iirc.

          3. Author

            Good points

            her writing style makes me feel a little uneasy and vaguely unclean

            Yeah… that’s exactly the reaction I had. Which I suppose is why a part of my brain suspected disingenuousness.

            And this —

            I reckon that’s a good part of why some older self-described feminists are willing, even eager to sell out our reproductive rights for their injured pride.

            — is a great point. Although I imagine many of them are not conscious about why reproductive rights just don’t seem that important anymore.

      1. Ah, yes, I see. (I just found this out by googling around, came here to post clarification, and see it has already been made) Well, that is surprising. To say nothing of ethically questionable. I can certainly see why people might feel some venom towards his blog…

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