The same publication that popularized the dubious myth of the so-called Bernie Bros™ has now birthed a new ludicrous construct.
Say hello to the “Bernie Babes.”
New York magazine published an agonizing screed in November titled “The Bernie Bros vs. the Hillarybots.” In it, author Rebecca Traister insisted I am a lowly “Bernie Bro™,” supposedly unconcerned with patriarchal oppression.
“Clinton’s [Wall Street-backed, warmongering, neoliberal] platform isn’t perfectly aligned with a progressive and feminist agenda,” Traister acknowledged in the piece — in a top candidate for the understatement of the year — but proceeded to smear me, along with fellow left-wing writers and journalists Doug Henwood, Zaid Jilani, Connor Kilpatrick, and Freddie DeBoer, as the odious Bernie Bros™.
Since then, the baseless myth of the Bernie Bro™ has been wielded wildly by not just Clinton’s myriad apologists, but even by the Wall Street-backed, warmongering, neoliberal Clinton machine itself, in order to bludgeon any and all male (and sometimes even female) left-wing critics into silence.
An incessant slew of vapid liberal thinkpieces has followed in its wake — hatchet jobs that frequently lack even a modicum of evidence and instead simply wax poetic on apolitical identitarian rhetoric and anti-materialist cultural theory.
Always absent from the blatantly red-baiting discussions of the fantastical Bernie Bro™ has been acknowledgement of the many prominent women — and particularly women of color, as Roqayah Chamseddine has detailed in her essay “Rejecting Bourgeois Feminism” — who criticize the Wall Street-backed, warmongering, neoliberal reactionary Democratic presidential candidate.
Until now, that is.
Today, the same magazine published an article with the social media title and URL “Bernie Babes Banned for Campaigning on Tinder” (yet with the headline “Women Banned From Tinder After Trying to Get Their Matches to Vote Bernie”) which characterizes women who support Sanders as “Bernie Babes.”
I doubtless need not point out the absurd hypocrisy of left-wing critics of Clinton being smeared as sexist while women who support Sanders are glibly dehumanized as mere “babes.”
The wantonness with which actual women are thrown under the bus in the service of pro-Clinton propaganda makes it clear how bankrupt the whole “Bernie Bro™” discourse is.
This discourse, inherent in all of these smears, has been immediately recognizable from the beginning: It isn’t calling out “sexists”; it is red-baiting, plain and simple.
The incontestable truth is Clinton is objectively a right-wing candidate. There is absolutely nothing left-wing about her. I detailed this in a little-read yet needlessly controversial piece titled “Return of the Hillarybots” (a headline I myself did not even choose, I might add) that led to the former New York piece.
The irony is I, along with many of the people smeared as Bernie Bros™, am not and have never even big a big fan of Sanders. I have a long list of critiques of him, particularly on war and foreign policy, and I have made this absolutely clear numerous times in my writings.
What infuriates me, rather, are those who claim Hillary Clinton is in any way on the Left.
Always absent from these hit pieces is any kind of substantive discussion of Clinton’s objectively right-wing policies and history of almost unbelievable levels of corruption.
Also absent are the basic facts: Many polls have shown Sanders is almost equally popular among women, especially young women.
Now, the real question on all of our minds is when will the brave anti-Bernie Bro™ warriors condemn New York magazine for calling women who support Sanders “Bernie Babes”?!
This is violence — literal violence.