Supporting women in politics is no longer a controversial move. But one conversation that I’m not hearing is that if we are saying we need more women in politics, we are also saying that there should be fewer men in politics. I don’t make the rules. That’s just math.
I wrote about it for The Walrus:
Asking men to “lean out” is not an easy sell. Every person in a position of privilege wants to believe that their good heart and awareness of the realities of oppression means that a win for them would be a win for those less privileged. It’s easy to see how that happens. Bono (who avoids paying his own taxes) has become the stand-in representative for the poorest people in the global south. How To Get Away With Murder’s Matt McGorry publicly identifies as an intersectional feminist, and when he echoes things that non-white men have been saying since time began, his Instagram blows up with praise. And people are much more likely to share a video of white comedian Louis CK’s straight talk about racism than to pass along the much more incisive (and funnier) work of South Asian comedian Hari Kondabolu.
To be an able-bodied white guy is to be seen as being neutral. Not threatening. If you turn on the news on any given day, the face of the white guy is still the face of credibility. People actually living with the impacts of the policies they are working to change run the risk of being dismissed as “biased,” or “self serving” when they speak up on the same issues.