Still with the Analogies

Yes, Anita Hill’s charges against Clarence Thomas were investigated by the FBI. But people in the mushy, apolitical middle don’t remember that.

So they were but she and Thomas both worked for a federal agency when the harassment occurred. Investigating federal employees for activities while on the job makes sense. An investigation of a teenage drunken party by the FBI does not. It simply sounds ludicrous.

11 thoughts on “Still with the Analogies”

  1. On another topic, I wanted to ask for clarification (if you’re interested to post on the topic) regarding intersectionality. You have criticized the approach, but f.e. in your review of J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy you talked about working class people being told by other Americans it’s their fault they’re failing, and the their problems being compounded by being “traumatized as children by the disgusting, utterly piggish behavior of their idiot parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc that the trauma hobbles them for life. ”


    Could not one analyze how both structural poverty and intergenerational trauma / disfunction (may one say patriarchal one, or does the term “patriarchy” refer to something different?) contribute to their plight and make change difficult?

    Btw, if you found Vance relatively interesting, “Bastard Out of Carolina” is real literature dealing with “white trash” working class in the 50ies.


    1. It’s a good review. I enjoyed rereading it. 🙂

      The reason why I detest the word intersectionality is that it turned the feminist movement into a toothless blabber machine. The idea is that nobody can understand the experience of anybody who is in any way different ethnically, racially, economically or in any other way. Everybody is a completely isolated, alienated list of identity labels and no reaching out across the labels is possible. This is as consumerist as it gets and precludes any joint political action. That’s why I hate it. It leads absolutely nowhere. All that “intersectional feminism” produced, in my opinion, is the endless repetition that the work of second generation feminists is useless because they were mostly white and middle class. After you repeat this idea for 20 years, it gets a bit stale. I’m all for people discussing the different kinds of feminism that speak to the experience of people in different regions, for instance. But after two decades of this, it only went in the direction of endless fragmentation and zero achievements.

      I’m not sure how any of this relates to Vance, though.


      1. // I’m not sure how any of this relates to Vance, though.

        I am working on Allison’s novel about coming of age in the 50ies. The main female character Bone (aged ~ 9-13) suffers from internalizing the shame of being labeled as ‘white trash,’ horrible poverty, patriarchal culture and abuse in the family. I know the previous sentence sounds horrible, but believe me the novel is very good. (I sent a mail just now, so you can see whether you agree with my judgement by looking at the first chapter or more. If you read, would love to hear your opinion.)

        Among other things, I want to explore the connections between class and gender roles which is intersectional analysis .

        \ Everybody is a completely isolated, alienated list of identity labels and no reaching out across the labels is possible. This is as consumerist as it gets and precludes any joint political action.

        Allison escaped from being ‘bad poor’ herself, and in her novel tried to find peace with her past and to make others understand where she came from. She sees literature as reaching out, making others think of her characters when they are tempted to use the term “white trash” again.

        Allison admitted being tempted to prettify reality, to turn her relatives into heroic figures, yet decided to write truthfully even if the novel shows Bone’s family’s numerous dysfunctions which people from both Left and Right may try to use. She acknowledged the danger, yet expressed her belief in truth being the only thing capable of giving hope to people in her former position and of making others see the complexity of the situation of ‘white trash’.

        If you read, I would love to hear your opinion.


        1. I looked at the reviews and there are suggestions that there might be depictions of child abuse in the novel. I’ll try reading it but if there are scenes of beatings, etc, I don’t think I’ll be able to finish. For work, I’d read anything but for fun I stay away from this sort of thing.


  2. Forget whether an FBI investigation makes sense or not. What I want to know is is this an effective delay tactic? If Democrats can delay, delay, delay on this until after midterms, maybe they can win the Senate and deny Kavanaugh a seat.


      1. This tweet makes it very clear that delaying the nomination for as long as possible is their aim. It’s good that everyone is parroting the “we need an FBI investigation” line.


  3. If you like Allison as a writer but do not want to read about abuse, she has written another novel “Cavedweller”.

    // [amazon] Reading “like a thematic sequel” (The New Yorker) to her first novel, Cavedweller tackles questions of forgiveness, mother-daughter bonds, and the strength of the human spirit.

    When Delia Byrd packs up her old Datsun and her daughter Cissy and gets on the Santa Monica Freeway heading south and east, she is leaving everything she has known for ten years: the tinsel glitter of the rock ‘n’ roll world; her dreams of singing and songwriting; and a life lived on credit cards and whiskey with a man who made promises he couldn’t keep. Delia Byrd is going back to Cayro, Georgia, to reclaim her life–and the two daughters she left behind…Told in the incantatory voice of one of America’s most eloquent storytellers, Cavedweller is a sweeping novel of the human spirit, the lost and hidden recesses of the heart, and the place where violence and redemption intersect.


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