My phone rang 7 times before I picked up. “Are you at the protest yet?” He was obviously annoyed beyond reason. “No, I don’t think I can come,” I lied, slipping out of the crowd. This was a man I had only interacted with online, before, against my better judgment, sharing my number with him. We had several mutual friends, and he was affiliated with a left student political party so I assumed he was safe. I had posted about a protest I was going to, hoping for some company, and he responded with an enthusiasm I can only muster if Fleabag ever renews for a third season.
His repeated calls and texts didn’t stop after the protest despite my lack of response. A few days later he sent me a picture of my college front gate captioned ‘I’m here for some work, if you want to hangout.’ He was in my locality for some work several times that month. It wasn’t long before I blocked him and never gave it too much thought again, until 6 months ago when I found out he had been accused of severe sexual harassment and misconduct by several women.
The clouds parted—misogyny is not a right wing trait, it’s a male trait.
Yes I’ve Read Marx, Can We Have Sex Now?
Identifying misogyny in a hyper online left has proven to be a monumentally arduous task. They all have a display picture with colours aligned to a cause, the rainbow flag and the hammer and sickle in bio, and a Camus quote in their feed. Maybe if you’re lucky, they’ll condescendingly explain the second wave to you. It’s the woke leftist checklist men perform to gain access to women in leftist online spaces, branding themselves as saviors of all oppressed classes.
This personal branding in combination with individualisation of class struggles serves to alleviate their sex appeal. In a generalised overview, this is not much different than people pretending to enjoy a band or a sports team to court someone. However, what sets this apart from a harmless, albeit pretentious, act of faking interests is that your favourite band doesn’t impact your human rights.
Does this paragraph qualify as another Obama war crime?
A paragraph from Obama’s A Promised Land reads, “My intellectual curiosity those first two years of college paralleled the interests of various women I was getting to know– Marx and Marcuse so I had something to say to the long-legged socialist”.
While the internet didn’t take long to turn this into a meme for the mere absurdity of the content, it also perfectly demonstrated the sex-baiting culture around leftist academia. I personally think Obama reading Virginia Woolf to impress an ‘ethereal bisexual’ exhibits everything wrong with men. Towards the end of the paragraph, he confesses that his technique didn’t work at all, but unfortunately not many men on dating apps in India will agree with him.
I Wrote ‘Intersectional Feminist’ in my Bumble Bio. Why won’t you date me?
During the CAA-NRC protests in December and January, Shaheen Bagh became a popular site for first dates. The struggles of Muslim women being appropriated by a male class to live out their self-centered fantasies of a revolution is nothing new. What is new, however, is the active role of dating apps in dissemination of this false solidarity. The emergence of knights in shining armour who learned exactly what words to use and when to use them on dating apps might be one of the most unprecedented consequence of India’s right-ward shift this past decade.
In case you skipped reading the terms and conditions for Bumble, they state on the 6th page that if your first four swipes have ‘420 friendly’ in their bio, your fifth swipe is bound to have ‘looking for someone to fight this fascist regime with.’
It is only natural that a person would want to date someone who is aligned with their politics (or shares the same enthusiasm for recreational drugs as them). But CAA protests became a fun, cheerful activity that these men did as an extension of their outgoing personality. It was an event. Allies to a cause are a welcome and refreshing change from the violent oppression that permeates the life of the oppressed classes from all directions, but using this ally-ship as a medium to get laid might not be the best praxis of your beliefs.
It is easy to declare you believe in equality between men and women, or you stand for working class liberation without it impacting your capacity as an oppressor or offering any socio-economic progress while you still reap all the political gains. A liberal obsession with a political correctness culture is to be blamed for this. The sheer volume of left-inclined men accused of sexual harassment during the MeToo wave should be enough to prove the fallacy and vanity of political correctness which only protects men.
The curious case of The Male Feminist has been dissected and analysed ever since it arrived to the mainstream. An Al Jazeera article mentions that the problem of male entitlement and misogynist attitudes towards women is a social one, not a personal one, and certainly not one that will be resolved by more men insisting they’re feminists.
In India, women’s rights have been manipulated and employed by men from all political spectrums to further their belief. Feminism has become a maidservant to whatever political ideology the majority of men align with. In several Indian universities, men are used by leftist parties to ‘seduce’ a woman into joining. While the right wants to save women from the dangers of liberation, the left wants to condescendingly explain to women what liberation means.
Either way, eradication of patriarchy seems to always come secondary to their main political agenda, ensuring that misogyny is always safeguarded.
There is no reason that men who label themselves as leftists should escape critical scrutiny.