Sexist and Chauvinistic Marxists (ICFI)

THIS ARTICLE WAS REWRITTEN TO INCLUDE PREVIOUS UPDATES (El 15 de mayo de 2016/15 May 2016). This article is specifically about the socialists who identify as Marxist and who align themselves with the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the Socialist Equality Party (SEP).

Maybe this is part of the ongoing, “We’re going backwards as fast as possible in many ways” trend.

Over the past six months, mi amigo/my friend spent some time commenting on the World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org). Initially it was a mostly positive experience. He didn’t have any problem with the people who run the site. All except two of his comments — don’t know what was wrong with those — were posted and he didn’t get banned. That’s an accomplishment. But recently he ceased commenting because more and more commenters were acting like assholes and he found it frustrating and no longer worth his time.

We both had a somewhat false impression of who socialists are, or at least the ICFI variety of socialist (Socialist Equality Party). He and I thought the ICFI socialists were mostly like us. That’s true politically speaking, but he was disappointed to learn that they have these outdated blind spots that we weren’t aware of. And one of their writers who has been with the site for a long time and whom I won’t name comes across as prudish and rather conservative. He was probably born during or before WWII. Prudish and conservative in the sense that he wrote an article about some other writer at another site and felt the need to go on about the “foul language” used by the writer. He was referring to sexual language and felt the need to sanitise that writer’s language in his own article. I thought: Well, I thought we were all adults here so what’s the big deal? Adults use sexual language (all the time) when they feel the need to or want to make a point. I know I do and I suspect this writer has done so too on occasion, no? Seemed rather conservative and prudish to me.

As of this writing (el 15 de mayo de 2016/15 May 2016) they have written many informative articles about Bernie Sanders’s campaign with each article dismissing/denouncing Sanders as a genuine and legitimate socialist and stating Sanders’s claim to be a “democratic socialist.” They are correct in that a genuine socialist would not run for president within the orbit of a thoroughly corrupt and imperialistic capitalist party as the undemocratic Democratic Party. I despise the Democratic Party (as well as the Republican Party). Because of the support Sanders has generated from his campaign, the ICFI socialists chose to interpret this as a wave of interest in socialism in the US. But is it really? They forget that when their own writers interviewed Sanders’s supporters that most of his supporters only had a vague understanding of what real/genuine socialism is and were often mostly ignorant on Sanders’s own policies, especially his Middle East international war policies and Sanders’s strong support and ass-eating for “messiah” Obama. Many of the Sanders’s supporters were also clueless about Obama’s policies and his continuation and expanding on the despicable policies of the illegitimate Bush regime. When interviewed, most of Sanders’s supporters merely regurgitated corporate media soundbites they’d heard.

The Socialist Equality Party have written multiple times about the 2000 stolen election in the US. But disappointingly, they give respect to illegitimate George W Bush by referring to him as “president George W Bush.” Ugh. That makes me cringe. I remember that for years those on the supposed “left” referred to Bush as resident Bush. At that time, many people refused to call him “president” and rightly so because the election was stolen; it was not legitimate (and neither was the 2004 election; that election was stolen in Florida and Ohio). I’ve never referred to George W Bush as “president” and never will. But as of this writing, the wsws have an article on their site referring to GWBush as “president” and it’s written by their vice presidential candidate for the 2016 election.

In their articles, mi amigo and I get very tired of their use of the word “America.” They use “US” and “America” interchangeably. Or they refer to “the American government” instead of the US government. I often wonder why they use “America” when “US” is only two letters. Much easier to type than “America.” I use “US” on pink barrio. I never use “America.” And when I read “America” — while cringing — I often think to myself: Which America are you talking about? North, Central or South? There are three Americas and some of us are very tired of the US — a country without a name — constantly being referred to as “America” as I wrote in this article: The US is not “America” awhile back.

There’s also another language problem they have. But this problem is widespread in US culture — perhaps the US sheeple are getting this from the disreputable and sloppy US corporate media — and that’s this problem: “The congress and senate” is how many people say it. It should be “the house and senate” because the congress consists of two bodies: The house of representatives and the senate. And when referring to the corrupt corporate parasites in each body they should be referred to as “representatives” (as in house of representatives) and “senators” (as in the senate). The senate (the upper body) is part of congress but when it’s written or spoken “the congress and senate” that implies that the senate is not part of congress but rather a separate body outside of congress, which it’s not. Then there are the many people (including the wsws writers and their commenters on occasion) who refer to “congressmen and senators.” That should be “representatives and senators.” Because senators are congresspersons because, again (for the thick people), senators are in the congress. And since there are women in the congress (both the house of representatives and the senate) it is sexist to use the term “congressmen” instead of the gender-neutral congressperson(s). But honestly, I don’t expect anything to change with this sloppy and sexist language. It already seems to be fully cemented in people’s speech. It’s just that it becomes understandingly confusing to people who live in other nations and who don’t understand our corrupt system of governance. Internationals are confused by this sloppy language which is, in part, why I’m bringing it up because a few people have e-mailed me about it over the years asking for clarification because I always write it the way I’ve indicated above (the house and senate/representatives and senators and congresspersons), then people read the sloppy language on other sites and become confused. And frankly, both representatives and senators of the bourgeois elite ruling class represent/work for their corrupt corporate owners’ interests and couldn’t care less about the working class people they’re supposed to be working for.

Mi amigo/My friend noticed the sexist language in their articles and comments — I’d noticed that many times before myself as well as the occasional anti-gay comment from some commenters — from self-described socialists, and he responded to it. But no one supported mi amigo in the comments. One person challenged him and said, “If you have a problem with the use of “man” (as in “mankind,” instead of humankind) you’re not a Marxist.” Oh really!? Mi amigo responded by saying he had never claimed to be a Marxist and he doesn’t like wearing labels. The commenters are very big on using labels for other commenters on the wsws, and sometimes they do so for people they know nothing about. It would seem that being sexist and a male chauvinist is one of the requirements for being a Marxist/Communist, which he and I were not aware of. Many commenters wear the Marxist label on the wsws and, as he said, that’s how the wsws identify. I would imagine that many people read their site who are not Marxists. One has no way of knowing the age of anyone there, but our sense is that most of the people there who comment were born during or before World War II. So they have this generational sexist language engrained in them and see nothing wrong with it and they seem to come with this “females should be subservient to males” mentality. I have noticed that they have very few female writers on the site, although that may be slowly changing. It’s a heavily-male dominated site. That could partly explain why no one agreed with mi amigo and his statement about the sexism on the site. So in that sense, the ICFI socialists are not who and what we thought they were. Sexism/chauvinistic thinking is a requirement for being a Marxist/Communist?

One thing we both noticed was that the female commenters on their site were the first of all people to rush to defend the sexism on the site when it was pointed out. It seems to go along with this cultist thinking that the regular commenters feel they must defend their writers who are apparently seen as sacrosanct. Among the commenters, there is this cultist-like thinking on that site — that’s how it comes off to us — and it comes with this veiled superiority complex that “we socialists” or the ICFI socialists are superior to others. Mi amigo told me there was one abrasive ignorant woman commenter who used the term “pro-abortion” (she said she was pro-abortion). Mi amigo pointed out to Ms Ignorant that he was not aware of anyone being “pro-abortion,” but rather one is pro-choice. That’s what it’s technically called; a woman having the right to choose to have an abortion or not. Not pro-abortion. “Pro-abortion” is the language I’ve most often heard the conservatives/right-wing crowd use consistently when opposing a woman’s right to choose.

Then there’s the regular cheer-leading, gushing in the comments from some regular commenters. To be clear, I’m not talking about occasional compliments and praise here which can be appreciated (and which I receive occasionally on pink barrio…muchas gracias), but rather — what has become predictable — gushing on a daily basis from the same commenters. One will often see:

“Brilliant article”
or
“Excellent article, comrade. Upward and onward”
or
“Excellent article ….as always… nail on the head”
or
“[Writer's name]” does not write often on WSWS but when he does he “sure packs a punch”.”
“Very clear mandate Jerry …onwards and upwards.”
Then one regular commenter who always writes in a very formal and uptight style begins his comment with, “Thank you so much for this article and an update on the election…”

Sigh. It gets to be a bit much, and predictable. Worship and adoration of the writers is required on a daily basis? That would seem to be the case based on the comments of some of the regular commenters. Seems a bit cultist.

As I said earlier, mi amigo and I usually agree with the political positions of the wsws.org (their writers, that is). It’s just a shame that the site comes with this negative baggage that one thought we had already worked through over the past decades. I guess if you don’t read the comments below their articles, you mostly won’t notice it other than the occasional sexist language in the articles (two examples that come to mind: “Congressmen” “Mankind”). And there have been other examples of that. These days, I’ve learned from experience that generally speaking little seems to be as it’s originally perceived. Sexist and gender-specific language is now back “in” and considered perfectly acceptable (not as far a I’m concerned). Gender-neutral language is “out” (even though I’ll continue to use it). Male chauvinism is in. Feminism is out. I read an interview recently with singer Helen Reddy wherein she commented on how women have lost a lot over the years since she first made “I Am Woman” the Feminist Anthem. She’s noticed. It seems that much of the progress that we thought we had made over the past decades has evaporated very quickly and with the help of fake “liberals” and fake “progressives” — who in the end are nothing but Democratic Party shills and hacks and with their heads firmly planted in their messiah neocon Obama’s upper colon — and with the help from sexist and male-chauvinist self-described Marxists/Communists.

Another major thing I’ve noticed with the Marxists/socialists, is that they live under some wishful-thinking illusion that USans — the working class — and others around the world are going to turn to socialism in a mass movement and revolution. That’s a common theme on their site. I don’t see that happening in reality unfortunately. At least in the New Conservative, Lobotomised, Gentrified, Techie and Soul-less San Francisco, most people I see are too paralysed on the sidewalk standing in people’s way with their face buried in that phone in their hand and playing with their sex apps or they’re on data-mining so-called “social media networks” owned by the billionaire class. Unfortunately, very few people in the big scheme of things — meaning the general population — are going to turn to socialism or any mass movement where millions and millions are going to be in the streets in a genuine revolution. I just don’t see that happening. What one can accurately say is that millions and millions will be and already are addicted to their smartphones stupidphones. Millions might be in the streets in Europe since Europe is different in a positive sense, but not for socialism per se. And you’re not about to get millions in the streets here in The Cesspool/the US/los Estados Unidos for something that matters in most people’s lives because, well, I don’t need to explain that do I?

Niles Niemuth, the SEP’s vp candidate, looks like a very good candidate. He’s a genuine progressive — not a fake-progressive like those Dembots who call themselves “progressive” and remain circulating in the orbit of the non-progressive, right-wing, imperialistic, neocon undemocratic Democratic Party — and I especially like Niles’s open borders immigration position. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

The Socialist Equality Party Cult

The “i” Word Again On A Socialist Website

What Happened To The Berniebots?

How to Respond to Berniebots? (Supporters of Bernie Sanders)

Have You Latched On To Bernie Sanders?

Bernie Sanders: the messiah for 2016?

14 comments on “Sexist and Chauvinistic Marxists (ICFI)

  1. Diego

    Something fascinating going on over at the wsws. After Niles (vp candidate) announced the SEP’s open borders position (a position I agree with BTW), their regular commenters have been no where to be found. I can’t remember a time where they’ve been this silent & I interpret the silence as disagreement with their own candidate and his immigration position. Fascinating. The same commenters were never shy about writing all about Bernie Sanders for the past months but have little to say about their own vp candidate. Same commenters call themselves “socialists, Communists, Marxists and comrades.” I thought socialists were on the political left end of the spectrum but I remember a thread about immigration that turned into a cesspool like what you’d read on a right-wing site with hate for undocumented immigrants. I’m beginning to think these socialist commenters and the other names they use for themselves are not that much different than the right wing, and on immigration they sound like Donald Trump.

    I tried to post on their site about FaceB**k. One commenter wanted people to promote the SEP on FB. I challenged that because why would socialists promote the billionaire class that owns FB? The wsws is often railing against the billionaire class which i agree with while at the same time they promote the billionaire class with FB. Julian Assange has called FB the biggest spy machine ever connected to US intelligence. The wsws would not post my comment probably because they promote FB on their site. Pretty damn hypocritical I think.

    1. rosa_barrio Post author

      Hola Diego, regarding FB, oh it’s most hypocritical to be rightly complaining about the billionaire class and the billionaire who owns FB and then out of the other side of their mouth helping to promote that same billionaire class. Ugh. But I’ve seen that on their’s and so many other sites (it’s as if people don’t make that connection or something), and that’s the main reason you don’t see any so-called “social media” icons on pink barrio. I refuse to promote the billionaire class and the 1%. Basura. It sounds like you rained on their parade in a couple of ways revealing much hypocrisy and it caused them to bristle. Some people can’t bear to hear the truth about themselves when it’s revealed which is why they refused to post your comment. But I’m glad you said it here. Gracias. Chau.

  2. rosa_barrio Post author

    I completely agree with this and I’m glad they’re talking about it:

    Oppose Obama’s assault on immigrants!
    By Niles Niemuth—SEP candidate for US vice president
    “We unequivocally defend the rights of immigrants and refugees to live and work wherever they want, free from harassment by the state and super-exploitation by employers.”

    Yes, absolutely. Chau.

  3. Greg

    I can agree with most of that. I can go along with your peeve about America….that annoys me. Some people make fun of it by spelling it Amurrrrrka and with Trumps rise they’re spelling it more like Amurkkka.

    I’m not here to campaign for the SEP candidates and I’m not a socialist but if you don’t mind a link to the short video with Niles (their vp candidate) speaking…..he sounds way too intelligent for the people in the U.S. to ever vote for. Check it out if you don’t mind.


    The top 25 hedge fund managers raked in $13 billion in 2015. Yet there “is no money” to pay teachers, or to develop social infrastructure, such as in the lead-poisoned city of Flint, Michigan. A criminal oligarchy controls all levels of government in America. SEP vice presidential candidate Niles Niemuth speaks on social inequality in America, and the way forward for the working class.

    Thanks.

  4. nonpartisan-sf

    they’ve spared no ink writing about bernie sanders altho they don’t like him. writing about sanders gives them a platform to write about the supposed interest of socialism in the states which promotes their own cause. they forget that in their interviews with sanders supporters, they know very little about socialism.

  5. D8

    I know what you mean. I have problems with them too. Take this for instance – they have an article about our SF International Film Festival. Sounds interesting maybe? Sounds innocent enough not to get you worked up? Wrong. He had to bring up election year politics, but what about the film festival?. I couldn’t get through their article because of the writer’s hang up with “pseudo-left.” Goddamned they’re hung up on labels. He went on about there were more films directed by women in this year’s festival and the festival presented that as a good thing. The writer labeled the people connected with the festival as “pseudo-left.” Has he met them to know that they’re “pseudo-left? ” Or it because the fesitval is in San Francisco and he still thinks this conservative city is “left” that he assumes they’re “pseudo-left?” I couldn’t get through the article. Screw it. He referred to women as the oppressed gender but fails to see that the wsws contributes to that with “mankind” “congressmen” and other oppressed-gender sexist words.

  6. Nobody you know

    Read an article on wsws last night about the USmilitary and the writer used the word “manpower.” That might have been okay before we had women in the military but there are women in the military today whom I would think would have a problem with the word “manpower.” I have a problem with it. It’s SEXIST. A sexist commenter repeated it too. My eyes have been opened to who these socialists are and I don’t have a very high opinion of them now.

  7. Lauren

    I’ve noticed the sexism on the world socialists website since I’ve been reading it. Their writers can be more covert about it but the people commenting (men especially) let it fly and are not shy about expressing their chauvinistic, sexist thinking. I’m not registered with their comment system so have never been able to respond to it, but after reading your updates which I find helpful I would be whistling in the wind if I did respond. I keep up on important news through their articles, but I’ve lost respect for them because of the baggage that comes with the site. Thanks for addressing this.

  8. David in Bedstuy

    I read the wsws regularly and find it to be a very informational site. I haven’t commented there. I don’t comment on many websites anymore for the reason you stated and that being a lack of sense of community. I don’t know what it is about like-minded people who feel they can’t support each other or are afraid to. Don’t feel badly……I got the same thing. I often felt isolated when I was commenting on sites that nobody ever agreed with me, or if they did, they didn’t show their support.

  9. strangetimes

    i’m seeing lots more sexist language now than i used to, and gender neutral words are disappearing. i won’t give any examples to give anyone ideas that may encourage it. is your friend still commenting on their site?

    strangetimes.

    1. rosa_barrio Post author

      Hola strangetimes, I’m not sure if he is or not. I see they’ve written a new article about Sanders (for more controversy?), even though I imagine they know about the super delegates swarming to Hillary Clinton. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

  10. Alejandro

    Hoooooooooola. I don’t go on the wsws often because it’s politics and that’s always bad news. I now know more about socialists than I did before reading this. Don’t feel badly, I wouldn’t have guessed they would be sexist either and it sounds like they’re proud of it. Weird. Gracias.

  11. FormerSanFranciscan

    I think you’re on to something when it comes to the age group on their site. I’ve noticed how formal some people write their comments there. I don’t think many stupidphone addicts go there, meaning young people. Some people use the term “comrade” when addressing the writer of an article.

Fin. The End.