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A few years ago, writing about popular anti-feminist pundits Christina Hoff Sommers and Cathy Young, I criticized their self-identification as pro-choice.
I only know Cathy, Sommers, and their compatriots are pro-choice because they mention being pro-choice as a credential to advance anti-feminist positions.
…Their pro-choiceness is opportunistic. None of these writers extend their pro-choice views to publicly defending the right to an abortion, even though abortion is in desperate need of defense.
It’s hard to take the “I’m pro-choice, so I have credibility when I say feminists are evil” mantra seriously when saying that appears to be the entire extent of their commitment to reproductive rights.
In the years since then, that tactic – claiming to be progressive as a credential when attacking “social justice,” but without spending any significant amount of time advocating for progressive positions – seems to have become more popular, not just among anti-feminists, but among anti-“identity politics” folks in general.
Matt Jameson, a self-identified centrist, writes:
On Twitter — again, with the help of centrism’s brand ambassadors — it’s becoming standard operating procedure to display centrist bona fides by claiming to be on or at least sympathetic to the policy positions and goals of the left, while vociferously criticizing the left’s excesses. As if devoting essentially 100 percent of your online energy agitating against “leftist excesses” is somehow consistent with centrism because you’re also—in some latent sense—“open to leftist ideas.”
That seems to me quite on-target. It’s fine for leftists to criticize the left (as I’ve done from time to time); but if someone’s public advocacy is virtually all attacks on the left, then their claim to be of the left is empty.
On a technical level, my main worry with this cartoon is that readers might not understand that the “whispering” panels are whispers.
(Special thanks to patron Ari A, who suggested panel 5. Thanks Ari!)
As always, thanks to my patrons for supporting these cartoons. I seriously, honestly, literally could not make all these cartoons without their support; that I’ve gone from six poli cartoons a year to almost fifty a year is incredible! And all thanks to my patreon supporters!
That’s why they got to see this cartoon a week ago. :-p
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has six panels. All six panels feature a 50ish white man, wearing glasses and a suit jacket over a black tee shirt, speaking directly to the viewer. Two of the panels are much narrower than the other four. In addition to those six panels, there’s also a tiny “kicker” panel below the bottom of the cartoon.
A medium shot of the man. He is speaking excitedly and angrily at the viewer, holding a fist in the air. We can see there’s a tree behind him.
MAN: Did you read my article in Quibbette? I show how there’s no freedom of speech for anyone criticizing the “woke” fascists!
A longer shot lets us see he’s standing on a path on what might be a college quadrangle. It’s a park-like space with trees and a faux-roman style building in the background. He continues to speak intensely, holding up a forefinger to make a point.
MAN: Like I said in the Times, the campus left are coddled, free-speech hating totalitarians!
In a closer shot, and a much smaller, narrower panel, the man, smiling, cups his mouth with a hand to whisper to the viewer. He’s making a thumbs up sign with his other hand.
MAN (whispering): Psst! I’m pro-choice, and I voted for Obama.
He’s back to angry rant mode, raising both hands into the air.
MAN: Like I said on Fox: The Democrats have been taken over by identitarian totalitarians who hate white men!
Again smiling and whispering in a much narrower panel.
MAN: Psst! Have I mentioned I have a Black friend?
In the final panel, the man has a hurt expression, and is holding one hand flat on his chest.
MAN: And how dare they call me a conservative after I took all those liberal positions!
SMALL KICKER PANEL BELOW BOTTOM OF STRIP
Still talking directly at the viewer, the man looks angry again.
MAN: And why can’t those fascist totalitarian cowardly thugs be more civil?