Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Monday, June 14, 2004

A big mess of sexism, classism, and racism

Trish Wilson has a great post explaining alot of the complexities that have arisen around child support and welfare reform and how the vast majority of the dialogue around these issues has little to do with actually crafting productive policy but instead is all about expressing anger and anxiety around race and class and sex. I like what she says about how some of the justifications for forcing, or at least forcibly encouraging, patriarchy on ordinary Americans are actually far more "man-hating" than what most feminists could come up with:

It's rather insulting to men to tell them that they are biologically hardwired towards violence and towards neglecting their children, therefore they need an artificial social construct such as marriage to reign in all that wayward energy so that they focus on only one woman and the children they bear with her. It amazes me that fathers' rights activists have accused feminists of holding this point of view when in reality the neo-conservatives who believe in the essentialist view of fatherhood are the ones who hold it.

It seems to me that is exactly why black families have been targeted by social conservatives for these marriage initiatives. It's a politically useful concept to encourage marriage to rein in male aggression, but yes, it's also outright "man-hating". So, they take that concept and push it off on black men, that it's black men's supposed aggression that needs to be controlled. Racism is used to reconcile the contradictory beliefs that men are superior to women and yet more violent, at least in this case.

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