If you accuse a woman who’s also a misogynist that she enjoys the attention and validation she gets from male misogynists, you’re bound to be accused of misogyny yourself. It’s a cute trick, but here’s why it doesn’t work: so long as there are oppressed groups there are going to be members of those groups who work to appeal to the dominant group. (These dominant groups always seem to made up primarily of straight, white men–it’s weird how that works.) Anyhow, toxic tokenism is certainly not something that only conservative women engage in. People of color and LBGT folks also dabble. Why? It’s the allure of being extraordinary! Let me illustrate…
Snowflake the Very Special Head of Cauliflower: Hey, cauliflower-hating humans, I know you hate cauliflower. I totally get it. We’re all white and cauliflowery gross. I know. I hate us too.
Anti-Cauliflowerites: Yeah, totally. Most of you are pretty gross and stupid and taste like poop.
Snowflake the Very Special Head of Cauliflower: Oh, I absolutely agree. But I’m not like those other heads of cauliflower–I’m special, I’m different. See, I know you’re right about us being gross. And I’m not always going on about how you should slather us in oil and roast us in the oven until we’re golden and sweet-nutty-tasting…maybe toss us with a little parmesan cheese…Hold on. I got distracted. Anyway, yes, we suck.
Anti-Cauliflowerites: You know what? You’re pretty cool. You’re one of the good ones. I wish all the cauliflower could be like you.
Snowflake the Very Special Head of Cauliflower: *long, sad sigh* Me too. [Inner monologue: NOT REALLY! NOT REALLY! NOT REALLY!]
The spirit of Snowflake the Very Special Head of Cauliflower can be seen inhabiting the bodies of lots of toxic tokens:
Sarah Palin: “You’re not like those other women–you’re not an ugly feminist and you’re procreating like a champ! We give you an 8 on the Duggar Scale!”
Ben Carson: “You’re not like those other Blacks. I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard a rap song in your life. Also, we know nothing about you but want you to be president.”
Log Cabin Republicans: “Sure, we hate you, but last time we checked your ripply muscled arms–toned from your last mutual masturbation party–are just as good at pulling the voting lever as they are for all the hot, disgusting, titillating…hold on. We got distracted. Anyway, we’re totally down with your voting for us. But no traditional marriage for you!”
To which all the misogynist women and self-loathing people of color and gays say “Make me your token!” Because the allure of being special, of being different, of being extraordinary is JUST. THAT. STRONG for some very weak people.