Neither the left nor the right are interested in egalitarianism in the areas of gender relations and consent. Of course the right isn’t — that’s an explicit part of their messaging. It’s baked in.

You have to listen very carefully to what I’m saying here, because what you think I am saying is almost certainly not what I am saying, but the politics of the present almost guarantee that you won’t comprehend anything of what I’m attempting to express, but here goes: The right cares about owning women, essentially. Standard patriarchy. The left says they care about consent and egalitarianism in sexual relations, but what they really care about is policing the outlines and boundaries of who gets to participate in the equally inegalitarian sexual marketplace of upper-middle-class societal mores and also “protecting” women from lower-class elements and approaches therefrom.

Patriarchy by another appellation, essentially.

From this policing culture it also has emerged the correlated ideas that one should not date anyone in the workplace, that one should not date anyone that one might have potentially any power over (though often the idea of the power balance is exactly backwards — purposefully I’d guess), and that though it’s extremely, terribly wrong for men to date younger women, it’s not wrong for women to do the very same thing even though the age and supposed power imbalance in these cases is often much more extreme.

I intentionally used the word “marketplace” above with the intention of returning to it. Now here it comes, ya’ll.

The left’s idea is that we should enforce a de facto marketplace (unconsciously yet perfectly aping both neoliberal and eugenic ideas) where no down-class or cross-power unauthorized mating occurs — such as by use of Tinder and products of that type are used to enforce assortative mating and any mating outside of that framework is seen as divergent. As perverse, even.

By the way, this social transformation has been prefigured in sf works since the 1960s at least, and those ideas refined in works as new as Peter Watts’ Blindsight from 2006.

What we’re seeing now is these ideas ramifying out into the real world, and informed both by neoliberal ideas and sub rosa ideas of eugenic purity and so-called power imbalances that are most often just protection of class position, we’re seeing the severe punishment of unauthorized liaisions on the left much like the right would have back in, say, the 1950s.

Yes, the punishments take different forms but they are present just the same.

Patriarchy through the lens of feminism rides in on a different-colored horse and everyone declares it’s a different rider, but it’s just the same traveler all over again — and meanwhile true equality is just as far away as it was before.