Episode #3×05: Long Distance Lovin’


  • Last week in Minneapolis, Andrew crashed a listener’s “classic” house party.
  • Trump’s been signing Executive Orders left and right, but one — the Immigration BAN — has received tons of attention for all the wrong reasons.
  • Pam, whose grandparents came to America from Mexico, speaks about how terrible this ban is.
  • In Good News, the Boy Scouts are now cool with transgendered youth joining their organization.
  • Hollywood no longer hates Mel Gibson, which is SAD!
  • Will Facebook’s latest News Feed changes have a positive effect on curbing fake news?
  • Our $10 Patron offer a few discussion topics, including feeling useless when you’re in a Democratic state like California, and long distance relationships.

And this week in After Dark (available to $2 Patrons as well):

  • How do you stay sane during these difficult times? We offer a few solutions, including major social media breaks and escaping to other worlds.

To listen to Episode #3×05, update your iTunes/RSS feed (here’s more on how to listen), directly download the file, or use this player:

Letter from Clare (Full letter)

Dear Millennials

Listening to your most recent show Alternate Facts, I was moved to write in for the first time after listening to you all from day one (and in your previous incarnations too, going back many years). I feel I’ve almost grown up with you guys!

It was your discussion on the Women’s March that really got a reaction from me as this is something I’ve been mulling over since the marches took place and seeing the reaction on social media. I’m beginning to think that while identity politics is incredibly valuable and useful in naming the different sorts of oppression experienced by different groups and identifying areas for activism and support that might otherwise be overlooked, it is also something that can potentially fracture the progressive movement and could allow the right to dominate politics for a generation or more. A culture has grown up of calling out people and groups if their activism and politics do not 100% fit in with your view of how they should be – so rather than banding together as progressives, the movement breaks up into bickering groups who would probably agree on 90% of things because of a slight variance on 10% of issues.

I am a feminist and I see intersectionality as crucial. But it makes me angry that it is becoming a stick to beat people with and silence people because they belong to the wrong identity group. For example, in the women’s march I saw multiple signs not only highlighting the fact that black women overwhelmingly voted for Hillary but also accusing white women of being responsible for voting Trump in. There were many photos on social media almost ridiculing the white women at the march for being ‘white feminists’ and suggesting that in fact they were responsible for Trump’s victory. Yes 53% of the white, female vote was for Trump. But that is not the same thing as 53% of white women in the US. It’s just the ones who voted. And are the 43% who went out and voted for Hillary to be held responsible for the others, just because they all fit into the same demographic group? You can bet your bottom dollar that the thousands and thousands of white women who turned out for the march did not vote for Donald Trump.

ALL women experience sexism and misogyny – whether they’re aware of it or not. SOME women also experience racism, transphobia, homophobia, ablism and various other oppressions including social class related oppression. Violence against women and girls (by men) has always been at epidemic proportions. This is a problem almost as old as human history. I’m from the UK and the figure often quoted here is 2 women a week being murdered by their current or former partner, which in a small country like the UK is a massive problem. Sexual violence – rape, sexual assault, sexual harrassment – is something experienced by every single woman I know. These are things all women have in common and it is a shame if we cannot come together to be active on these issues without other competing issues getting in the way. When Laura said that white women had only really started to worry very recently (I realise she was just repeating a possible argument and not necessarily stating her opinion) about their health and safety, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Tell that to the white women who have been murdered by their partners, raped, abused, harrassed, stalked, etc. It isn’t just white women, it is all women and we should stand together on this.

Ultimately, the root of women’s oppression is their biology. Men want to exploit our reproductive potential, to access our bodies for their sexual gratification, to objectify and commodify our bodies and to limit our freedom in order allow themselves to do that. That is what patriarchy is and that is what patriarchy does (I’m sure I don’t need to say NOT ALL MEN at this point as you are all intelligent enough to realise I’m talking about men as a CLASS and not every single individual). Yes, not all women share the same biology. But it is still the root of our oppression and the tools of our oppression almost always involve our sexual and reproductive biology. So to call out women for referencing vaginas, uteruses and abortions at a women’s march is so counter-intuitive as to make me question whether the people doing so are really even feminists at all. This sort of thing has the effect of silencing women on women’s issues and preventing us from mobilising and acting to improve women’s lives. Abortion is a women’s issue because the reason it is restricted is misogyny. Some people who have abortions may identify as men but the reason they will be prevented from having them is still misogyny. Rape of women by men is a women’s issue because the reason it is committed is misogyny. Some trans men are also raped by men. Them telling those (heterosexual) men that they identify as men has not helped them. Because misogyny doesn’t care how you identify.

I also really take issue as well with the questioning of women who are active in feminism as to how active they are on other social issues. I have heard time and again that women who engage in feminist activism should also be active on racial issues like Black Lives Matter, etc. otherwise they’re hypocrites. Yes, ideally, we should all be active in fighting oppression wherever we see it. But time, energy, resources are not infinite so why feminist women are not allowed to prioritise women’s issues is beyond me. I have never once heard anyone ask a male Black Lives Matter activist whether he is also active in protests again domestic violence and for reproductive freedom and rights for women. And I have never heard a man called a hypocrite or had his progressive credentials questioned for not devoting his time equally to oppressions that predominantly affect women. This sort of thing, aimed only at women, has the effect of silencing women and preventing and discouraging them from activism on behalf of women.

So that’s my rant, done. Sorry – it isn’t really aimed at you because I gathered from Elyssa’s comments that she might be broadly in agreement on some of these issues. It has made me very disillusioned with the progressive movement generally because I see so much misogyny and silencing of women on our side. And it has also made it abundantly clear to me why the right is on the rise across Europe, the UK and now in the US. The left needs to allow for differences of opinion and different priorities without completely demonising people. It is divisive and not productive or constructive.

Thanks, guys. Keep up the good podcasting.