Matt Damon has rightfully caught a lot of grief for his disgusting, tone deaf comments about diversity in Hollywood. During my time working on Capitol Hill and politics in general, I’ve learned that there are many liberal men who take after Damon in claiming to advocate for rights for those who are historically discriminated against but in reality are ensuring that only white men ever get into positions of power and stay there.
These guys are much, much worse than your average libertarian or GOP misogynist who believes women already have an even playing field so would they shut up already? No, no. These fake liberal guys ingratiate themselves with the right people and infiltrate workplaces and causes to squeeze out women from positions of power. I can’t tell if these actions are deliberate or a product of centuries-long social conditioning. In the end it doesn’t matter because these so-called liberal men do much more damage from the inside than Rush Limbaugh could ever do.
It’s easy to write off some libertarian jerk because he’s already announced what he is. But liberal guys like Damon? They’re hiding in plain sight, and their self-serving motives aren’t always clear, especially when they cloak their intentions in empty philanthropy and trite talking points spewed on cue.
Here are some crappy examples I’ve dealt with in the Democratic party:
- Most noteworthy was this Dudebro who literally wrote women’s health care out of a speech about women’s health care.
- Because we had a boss who was known for being a staunch liberal feminist, same Dudebro did not enjoy other staffers meeting alone with key advocates and stakeholders so he “supervised” all meetings.
- Kevin* from the campaign trail who vocally advocated for reproductive health care for all women as well as equal pay but threw a public fit at the idea of his wife, who did not yet exist, not taking his last name because, “I’m not going to be with a woman who still has her dad’s name instead of mine.” Remember, ladies, men have their own last names but women never do.
- Kevin also got pissed that a woman asked him out first, but I was never sure if that was a feminist thing or him being a dick. Equal possibilities.
- Roger* and Steve*, from my internship at a liberal women’s organization, who assigned all the female interns phone duty and assigned the male interns research projects. The female CEO backed those two up on that decision.
- Roger and Steve also insisted on heading up a project that dealt with health care (or lack thereof) in specific Latino communities and ignored the input of the actual Latina woman who worked 20 feet away from them.
- Paul*, who espoused all the correct feminist talking points in our policy work, refused to spend any time alone with his newborn daughter and intentionally worked early, late and on weekends.
My professional and personal experiences have taught me that assholes like Damon need to be called out, yes, even at the risk of hurting a greater cause. Long ago, I’ve stopped caring about the consequences because fake liberal men like Damon and my ex-coworkers will continue their selfish, exclusionary antics in front of our faces.
*Name not changed because fuck him.