Bernie Sanders didn’t win, but he did reveal that we have much work to do with racism and sexism on the left. In previous cycles, Democrats might have assumed that most racists and misogynists resided on the right side of the political spectrum. Sadly, this simply isn’t the case. Sanders’ candidacy revealed a brocialist movement, which became notorious for attacking women and minorities who even mildly criticized Sanders online. Brocialism can be defined quite simply: self-proclaimed socialists who put class issues over race and gender issues. Brocialists believe that fighting for diversity in government and business is simply a distraction to the class struggle.
My experience is that ‘brocialists' don’t openly embrace patriarchy; they deny it’s a problem. Or they minimise it. They direct your attention elsewhere: you should be focusing on class. You’re being divisive. You’re just middle class (quelle horreur!). Or they attack a straw ‘feminism’ that is supposedly ‘bourgeois’ and has nothing to say about class or other axes of oppression. Or they just ignore it. To me that’s quite straightforward. Obviously it would be difficult, given their egalitarian commitments, to openly defend a gendered hierarchy; but their defensiveness about this issue suggests they associate a challenge to patriarchy with some sort of ‘loss’ for themselves. The question is, what do they have to lose? A discourse on brocialism