This is a thought-provoking discussion.
Starting with this from Helen Razer in Crikey (behind a paywall, sorry if you don’t have a subscription):
Because the “Left”, such as it is, is not able to think about systems; about social and economic class. It has not only borrowed the cheesy stupidity of Andrew Bolt; it has borrowed the idea of his “individual” as well.
The “Left” now hungers for symbols of cultural identity and spurns the idea of class. Or, indeed, of material conditions.
Nowhere, for mine, is this more starkly drawn than in plaintive chalk on sidewalks as queer activism gives up its campaign for mental health reform and supplants it with the symbolic fight for an equality that already exists in law.
This from Elizabeth O’Shea in Overland:
But to me it seems disingenuous to berate the obsession with symbolism and individualism on the part of the Left as a commentator with apparently little interest in doing anything material about the social problems you identify. I would be happily proven wrong on this point. Razer is perfectly positioned to write about those problems she is concerned about and pose interesting and compelling alternatives. But she seems to prefer confecting her own outrage about the confected outrage of others. That is, her criticism is basically an individual, symbolic act.
And this from Sacha Blumen in Larvatus Prodeo:
Her piece struck a chord with me, particularly in relation to inner-Sydney politics over the last 13 years. (I moved from Brisbane in 2000 to inner-Sydney.) While Helen’s piece was about national cultural politics, I see it also played out in inner-Sydney cultural and electoral politics.
And finally, this from Helen (not Razer) in Hoyden About Town:
Razer has a schtick, and it’s being the Cool Girl of Australian feminism, scolding other feminists for sweating all that small stuff which is small, and neglecting to focus 100% on the Terrible Things (about which she doesn’t write much herself). #DestroyThePoint and other snarky tweets were greeted with You Go Girls! and Woohoos! (a description, not a verbatim quote) from numerous male media figures with recognisable names. Cool girls, of course, don’t call people on their day-to-day shit, they keep their powder dry for the Terrible Things, so they make men feel so much more relaxed and comfortable. People who think #EverydaySexism might feed directly into the big issues are so irritating and boring and serious. No, wait – they’re not serious enough, because they’re not off writing articles about masculinised violence and feminised poverty? Are you completely confused now?