5 votes

Are you nice or kind?

1 comment

  1. hungariantoast

    Maybe that’s why I feel so intent on crystalizing the distinction between nice politics and kind: my own sense of shame. If I were to describe my personal political arc, it would entail me learning this lesson over and over, often stumbling. The biggest gift leftist thought has given me is teaching me to see beyond myself and helping me divorce my sense of morality from saying the right thing, being seen as a good person, or being on the right side. The central tenet is always material and systemic change for the most vulnerable. Not everyone will see leftist politics this way, but I’ve found it grounding and humbling. It’s also easier to track progress: the wealth gap is widening, people are dying, the war machine keeps grinding. Perfectly worded tweets aren’t up to the task of solving anything. When contestants on (dare I mention it again) Blown Away hammer a feminist agenda, I cringe because it reminds me of my early writing days, or an uplifting Super Bowl ad. It’s not the women’s fault for expressing their honest experiences, but the tenuous line between their game-show victory and systemic change feels so individual, so nice, so pathetic. It only serves as a reminder of the false utopian promise made by so many other branded progressive efforts, from lean-in feminism to corporate diversity training. It’s like being trapped in a hypernormal universe: a sparkly, backwards world where a woman in a Marvel movie is more inspiring than a call for national rent relief.

    3 votes