This was the question Milo Yiannopoulos, technology editor for Breitbart, the mainsail of alt-right news, posed to his 21,000 Twitter members the end of last year. The results of his informal survey were appalling. 55% of respondents would rather their children have cancer. I’ll bet the overwhelming majority of these responses came from single, childless white men, who have not needed to confront the grisly implications of this diagnosis. Insecure and ignorant.
Yes, there are “radical” feminists who have made some questionable statements. And yes, the term “feminism” can mean many things to each of us, depending on our demographics and the degree of exposure we have had to the patriarchal injustices women have had to endure. (An acquaintance recently shared a topical story. It was 1968. She had just graduated from college with a chemistry degree and was offered a job by one of the largest chemical companies in the States. When her hiring manager offered her a $9,000 salary, he proudly flaunted it was only $2,000 less than the lowest paid man, “the smallest difference in the industry!”)
At its core, I believe most of us interpret the term “feminism” simply to mean “equality” in terms of opportunities, influence, choices, and compensation. Equality which should be afforded to all of us, to the best of our societal and governmental abilities. As Hillary Clinton aptly observes “Women’s rights are human rights.” Is wanting equality cancerous, particularly when there is compelling data that women are equal if not better leaders than men? I suppose this desire must touch a nerve (or two) in some quarters.
In this context, the fact Mr. Yiannopoulos works for Breitbart, whose motto is “Honey badger don’t give a s**t,” is no accident. Neither is the fact that Trump’s current campaign chief, Steve Bannon (described by Bloomberg Politics as “the most dangerous political operative in America”) ran Breitbart. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s skewed and perplexing perspectives on equality are not helping him bark his way out of the women and minorities’ dog house.
Mr. Yiannopoulos, who coincidentally calls Trump “Daddy,” has publically stated he does not want kids (a choice with which I have less than infinitesimal quarrel). His reasoning: “But the thought that I might influence my child towards a lifestyle choice guaranteed to bring them pain and unhappiness–however remote that chance may be–is horrifying to me. That’s why, quite simply, I wouldn’t bring a child up in a gay household.”
No, Mr. Yiannopoulos, this rather flimsy logic, like your “Feminism is cancer” riff only underscores the insecurity and ignorance you have festooned on your personal brand, and by organizational extension, the alt-right movement.
And please, continue…
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Originally published on Huffington Post