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"[Some ask me] 'what's wrong with this, why not delude yourself into thinking everything's fine and that you can change the world with your thoughts'. And I have two problems with it: one, and I'll be hard line about this: I think delusion is always a mistake. There are no safe delusions. Although one of the messages of positive psychology in the United States is 'yeah, it's good to have some positive delusions about you. [...] The other thing I find very, very disturbing about it is I just think it's cruel. I mean it's cruel to take people who are having great difficulties in their lives and tell them it's all in their head, and they only have to change their attitude."

This quote was taken from a transcript of a talk Barbara Ehrenreich gave for the release of her book "Smile Or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America And The World" 12 years ago. There's also a video of it. Ehrenreich passed away recently at the age of 81, and there were questions in the comment section here on whether she was critical on the topic of gender or not.

I would like to argue that she HAD to have been gender critical. Not only because Ehrenreich's works questioned and criticised those in power, inequality, the patriarchy, toxic positivity, junk science, the wellness industry, the medical establishment and many other societal conventions; but also because the above quote indicates of thinking that is easily applicable on the trans agenda. A mass delusion that's being blindly accepted as absolute truth out of politeness, toxic positivity and corporate interests. And the cruelty is demanding that women would look the other way when a man undresses next to their teenage daughters in a locker room, or when lesbians are told they're bigots for refusing to sleep with men in mini skirts.

I can't speak for the dead, and perhaps we'll never know for sure. But I'd like to argue that Barbara Ehrenreich should have been the terfiest terf of all.

> "[Some ask me] 'what's wrong with this, why not delude yourself into thinking everything's fine and that you can change the world with your thoughts'. And I have two problems with it: one, and I'll be hard line about this: I think delusion is always a mistake. There are no safe delusions. Although one of the messages of positive psychology in the United States is 'yeah, it's good to have some positive delusions about you. [...] The other thing I find very, very disturbing about it is I just think it's *cruel*. I mean it's cruel to take people who are having great difficulties in their lives and tell them it's all in their head, and they only have to change their attitude." This quote was taken from a [transcript](https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/blogs/rsa-lecture-barabara-ehrenreich-transcript.pdf) of a talk Barbara Ehrenreich gave for the release of her book "Smile Or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America And The World" 12 years ago. There's also a [video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJGMFu74a70&ab_channel=RSA) of it. Ehrenreich passed away recently at the age of 81, and there were questions in the comment section here on whether she was critical on the topic of gender or not. I would like to argue that she HAD to have been gender critical. Not only because Ehrenreich's works questioned and criticised those in power, inequality, the patriarchy, toxic positivity, junk science, the wellness industry, the medical establishment and many other societal conventions; but also because **the above quote indicates of thinking that is easily applicable on the trans agenda.** A mass delusion that's being blindly accepted as absolute truth out of politeness, toxic positivity and corporate interests. And the cruelty is demanding that women would look the other way when a man undresses next to their teenage daughters in a locker room, or when lesbians are told they're bigots for refusing to sleep with men in mini skirts. I can't speak for the dead, and perhaps we'll never know for sure. But I'd like to argue that Barbara Ehrenreich should have been the terfiest terf of all.

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Her book Blood Rites is excellent too, and never got as much attention as it should have to my mind.

Her work is so good. Witches Midwives and Nurses and For Her Own Good are absolutely essential reading.

Definitely agree about the toxic positivity. A "good" delusion is still just a delusion.

[–] eyeswideopen 5 points Edited

She was a second wave feminist and an atheist. I would be very surprised if she was not critical of gender identity theory. It's really hard to deny that being a woman is a material reality and that women are oppressed on the basis of our biology when you grew up during a period in which the work, social, sexual and economic rights, etc., of women were greatly limited compared to what is possible now (due to the tireless work of feminists).

RIP Barbara Ehrenreich. Your work was always interesting and erudite. You fought for justice always.

I never read Nickel and Dimed. I read an excerpt when it first came out and decided I didn’t need to read the rest, that I was already pissed off enough about the issue. My favorite of hers was actually an earlier book, The Worst Years of Our Lives, essays about the 1980’s. But I need to read some of her others. Natural Causes particularly interests me.

I couldn't finish her "Nickle and Dimed" when it came out. It made me furious.

I'm going to have to pick it up, and the book mentioned here.