This is a follow-up to the two part series, Moneyed Interests, Malevolence, and Malfeasance: A Brief History of Money in Politics and the War on Freedom.
The reason for the season is that 100 years ago today, in the United States, the right to vote was solidified by the Bill of Rights in the 19th Amendment.
Before June 4, 1919, only white men could vote. This level of malevolence towards the opinions of others was perpetuated in more fields than one, and as it was a form of erasure, could be described as a form of soft violence.
Unlike physical, hard, violence, soft violence is defined by using psychological means no different than the use of fear and Psychological Operatives by militaries around the world. Or nonviolent terrorism. However, it’s still upon a continuum of force.
I’ve described that continuum elsewhere. Here we’re looking at the power dynamics of violence.
When physical, clearly the one standing has won a position, and their hierarchical place above another is made clear.
Today, we see another version of this often in the political atmosphere.
“Debate me, debate me.”
The pursuers of violence are always seeking to dominate the field. Show that their opinions are superior. Beatdown, destroy, crush, and get others to “smash the like button” in their favor; their goals are even when not spoken in such violent terms, an act of violence.
When you share your opinion because you would like it known, or if you’re lucky, considered, there may be those that want to demolish it.
Though the Right-wing, and especially the extreme right-wing, are fans of this, it can easily occur on the left of center political spectrum as well. It isn’t about politics; it’s about power. Intellectual dominance. Superiority.
When wrapped up in white supremacy, we see a spike in black trans murders, because this power dynamic is on a continuum. The thought may not necessarily be there at all times, but it’s been documented in studies of mass shooters in ths United States it does often come back to the monetary evaluation of one’s bigoted opinion.
If they won’t value your opinion and pay you, vote for you, kiss your boots, then, and we see this with police, they will be forced to be agreeable.
So as we celebrate 100 years of the right to vote for women, we have to ask ourselves, when so much of this operates in a misogynistic system: how far have we come?
What violence have we endured?
How do we stop this from being repeated? Or worse. How do we make sure that once women are in power, that we do not allow the same to be done to men?
Personally, to the latter, even in the face of the tiny minority of anti-trans “feminists”, I believe that we’re infinitely better than that.
Many of the organizers for suffrage were democratic socialists, abolitionists, and activists for a more inclusive society. They were the first wave.
Following them, the Civil Rights movement, Peace Movement, Gay Rights movement, and the Women’s Rights movement were all coinciding to make the now global Second Wave a force to be reckoned with. Patriarchies across the planet took notice. And ever since, the Third Wave has had an uphill battle.
We are now in the Third Wave, discussing theories of violence and free speech, trans rights and human rights, immigration, and the intersection of all of these and more as the basic needs and desires of women in politics has proceeded at a snail’s pace against an onslaught of toxic masculinity.
The matrix of masculinity is the culmination of years of misogyny and sexist institutions with the new addition of the mostly male trolls of the internet and the violent, threatening men attempting to push the continuum of violence from speech to action.
Going forward, there will be another article to delve into wealth inequality, incarceration, media bias, and the extreme right-wing as it continues to relate to the issue of money in politics, where much of the struggle for freedom for all still lies.