These days, I hear lots of straight, white men getting pretty annoyed when this is mentioned. Many white men, and some white women, claim that straight white men are being blamed for everything. Some say that our cultural history is just that, history, and those who have been lower in status historically should just get over it. Those folks often argue either that such oppression is not going on today, or that it's going on in such minor ways that no one should be offended by it.
When someone speaks from the heart about feeling oppressed, responding with ridicule, dismissive remarks, name calling, or an oh-just-get-over-it-already attitude is what the Rush Limbaugh's of the world do. It's mean-spirited and heartless. Those who daily live with the residues of oppression in our society also live daily with that kind of response to their experience.
DailyKos should be the kind of place where it's safe to name oppression when you see it. It should be the kind of place where people are encouraged to name sexism, racism, homophobia, etc, whenever they encounter it. Because it is only by naming it, examining it, and discussing it thoughtfully that we can eradicate it. And theoretically at least, that's what those who espouse democratic principles want to do.
Unfortunately, when some member of this community voiced their feelings of oppression about a sexist ad on this site, they're concerns were not listened to with an open mind, their complains were not responded to respectfully, and the opportunity for an educating discussion about sexism was lost. Kos responded not by encouraging discussion, but with name calling and dismissiveness. When called to task for those remarks, he what he considered an apology, but all he really said was that he didn't mean all of us with his nasty remarks, just some of us.
In the discussion that has followed since, across various diaries and threads, those who stand in solidarity with the so-called "sanctimonious, knee-jerk reactionaries" have been repeatedly ridiculed, insulted, dismissed, and treated to a thoroughly inhospitable climate. And as a result, some very wonderful contributors have left this blog.
And Kos's reaction today? To assert that this blog is about politics, not women's issues. And oh by the way, if you don't like it here, go somewhere else. Well, I will be going other places, seeking refuge at other more welcoming blogs. But I'm not leaving here. I will not go quietly into that good night. No, I'll be stopping in from time to time, commenting on political matters of the day. And I will continue to call people on it when I perceive their remarks to be sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. I am not about to be chased away with ridicule, insults, and dismissive remarks. Because believe me, I've been treated far worse by people who are much better at it than these.