TRADUCTATERM IN FOCUS: BROCIALISM/BROCIALIST
“Brocialism” and “brocialist” are pejorative terms used to men who have a certain set of political views. The word itself is a portmanteau of “bro”, a term often used to refer to men who behave in a casually sexist and juvenile manner, and “socialist”. Although more “official” definitions of the term are sadly lacking, Marc Tracy puts it succinctly in a satirical article for the US news magazine “New Republic”:
“The “brocialist” is generally a good leftist…But he has a gigantic blind spot when it comes to women, one that is both political (he is not sensitive to feminist concerns) and personal (he can be a pig).”
Therefore, “brocialist” may be seen as a form of criticism levelled at men on the left who ignore or neglect issues affecting women. It may also be used to describe men on the left, who, while identifying with feminist beliefs, nevertheless patronise and marginalise women.
Although Benjamin Silverman, an environmental studies graduate, claims to have coined the term in 2013, it has entered popular usage more recently: it has been levelled as an insult at some supporters of the (older, white and male) left-wing politicians Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. However, this term does not relate to all supporters of such politicians. Rather, it is a criticism of those who, for example, have directed abuse at female politicians critical of Sanders or Corbyn.
It has been pointed out that men accused of brocialism are often well intentioned, wanting to help those less fortunate than themselves, but often ignorant of the privilege they have. Indeed, this may be the root of the problem: a belief by men on the left, who often support policies favouring women’s equality and rights, that they are less susceptible to being complicit the oppression of women. Nevertheless, though many have suggested reasons behind the phenomenon, the question of how to address it isn’t so easy.
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