I have suspended work on my New Feminist Manifesto post series, which has been in progress since the spring. To readers who were looking forward to it, I’m sorry. I have not made the decision lightly. Please read on.
I designed the post series from the beginning to be substantive, but also antagonistic (starting right from the title—who does a man think he is telling me about a feminist manifesto?), because I wanted its posts to be forwarded and shared.
Unfortunately, I think the state of discussion in this country has degraded considerably even in just the past few months, to the point that such a model would be ineffective. Too many people all over the political spectrum are leading by spitting venom. I don’t think it would matter much how carefully I crafted my humor.
I started arguing online in 1994, with much higher standards of rhetorical etiquette in place. It was a much more civil place, much more of the time—and if you did choose to go off on someone, you’d better make it good. Solid and funny were a great one-two. Anymore, it doesn’t matter. Most of what’s out there checks either zero or one of those columns, and if something really does check them both, there’s too much chance it’ll be lost in the noise.
More importantly, there are multiple common topics between what I have written for this series and what I would like to write in light of my new passion for fighting human trafficking. I will very much want those posts to be as universally well-regarded as possible, which means I can’t go poking rhetorical fingers in the eyes of people I want to help the cause.
So, that’s the story with the New Feminist Manifesto. I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to write about human trafficking, but I expect it to be a recurring feature. Watch this space.