Saturday, July 08, 2006

[Blogsphere] Pinkofeministhellcat
Fake Class Warriors

we found pinkofeministhellcat's report on Fake class warriors today:

Fake class warriors

Amanda, who posted about how reproductive choice would be gutted, flambed, and beaten with a club if Roe were overturned tomorrow, had a couple of commenters use the oft-used argument about elitist liberals. This was made in regards to naughty, naughty Amy Richards who had the termity to reduce a multiple pregnancy. A rare case of triplet fetuses that were not the result of IVF.

Apparently, a single woman who wants one child, not three at a time, is an elitist snob for this desire, and for her admitted aversion for not moving out of the city where she's planted roots and developed a support system. (She's also only doing this for frivolous reasons, even though she made it quite clear in her article that five months of bedrest--and unemployment--coupled with the physical risks and complications of carrying three fetuses was simply not palatable.) Nope, it should be onward to the suburbs, and your own happiness, bodily integrity, and peace of mind be damned! Between that and Richards living in New York City, she was apparently a Rockefeller. Or something like that.

The elitist salvo is one of those arguments I hear from conservatives all the time, and it's tiresome coming from them; it's doubly tiresome coming from self-proclaimed liberals and progressives who should bloody well know better. I deal with a fair amount of old and new money in my day job, so this insistence that independent women or liberals in general who live in New York (or the Northeast) is 'elite' is beyond ridiculous to me. It's a wonderful red herring to fry up for lunch--liberals are elitists! They have no concept of real hardships! And every so often, someone takes a comment out of context and twists it to make it into a great crime in the class war, all the while ignoring the real war being waged on the poor.

The very people who got snippy over a woman's, or a liberal's, supposed snobbishness and elitism have huge blind spots of their own. I mean, I'm sorry, but did I just miss their letters to the editor about corporate malfeasence? Was I napping during the huge upsurge in protests from my fellow middle-class suburbanites, sick to the teeth of the elite uber rich who gather their spoils on the backs and from the sweat of grossly underpaid, overexploited, and overworked women and children in sweatshops? Were you at the last WTO protest? Are you backing unionization efforts, pay equity, economic justice for service-industry workers here? Have I seen you in the local thrift store? I'm just curious.

Maybe what we can do is figure out just what the heck 'elitist' means to people. Apparently, out there in conventional wisdomland, the elites are all populated by East Coast cityfolk, especially New Yorkers and New Englanders, with some of Hollywood's best and brightest thrown in. It's not, say, Bill Gates, or Sam Walton, or the heads of Monsanto (a company that's fast trying to take over the world's food supply), or the Bildeberg Group. Nope. It's the likes of Amy Richards who lived in a five-story walk up, it's the likes of yours truly, who lives with a roommate in the Northeast., it's the likes of anyone who lives in the Northeast or says they don't want to live in a starter mansion out in the suburbs or exurbs.

This whole blathering on and on about elites (and it's brutish misogynist cousin, the epithet 'rich bitch'), overlooks the reality of what the elite actually is. The elites have millions--heck, billions, of dollars. They run the corporations that exploit people in sweatshops, exploit rank and file workers here, promote urban blight, muscle their way into sweet contracts in underdeveloped nations like Panama and Indonesia (and raped nations like Iraq).

It would be funny if it weren't so deadly. The folks who get hyper-defensive over the liberal elitst boogeyman (or boogeywoman, as the case may be) really do trivialize the meaning of the word 'elite' . It's not so much class awareness as it is defensiveness over their own lifestyles. Sort of like someone who asks me if I want kids, and then gets in a lather when I answer honestly. (No. I don't. And if you don't like the answer, don't bloody ask.)

Let's get it straight: the elites are the ruling class. That means George Bush, everyman personna aside. That means Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Ken Lay, Hank McKinnell of Pfizer, Hugh Grant of Monsanto, and a whole host of others. Take your pick of companies and their heads--Citibank, Providian, The Rendon Group (war spinmeisters extraordinnaire), Cargill, the Carlyle Group, Exxon, Texaco. . .you get the picture.
It's beyond stupid to squeal about elitism and using a strawfeminist, or a progressive devil, as the example of such. It simply enables evil. And yes, let it be said, that any company that pushes frankenfoods, that strong-arms contracts in developing nations, that grinds people under its heel, is evil. Full stop.

Now, how much do you want to bet that the same folks who dither on about the elites (read: liberals on the coasts), and "limousine liberals" would just shrug all that off, or deride the fact that I had the gall to call a corporation evil? Which is fine, but then I'd suggest these same people just shut it about the elites, since they aren't all that concerned with the ruling class.

If folks are so bound and determined to get Medieval on the elites, I'm all for it, as long as they actually know who the elites are. If they're just put out because some woman had an abortion or reduced a multiple pregnancy without the requisite sackcloth and ashes, well, tough. And if they're just getting defensive because someone had the utter gall to not declare suburban living the ultimate goal for good Americans everywhere, cope. That's not outrage at the elite, that's just old-fashioned smug self-righteousness and foot-stomping, mixed in with some defensiveness. Have at it, but leave the disingenuous claptrap about snobs and elites out of it.

check pinkofeministhellcat's weblog for her opinions on the class war


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