Update on Identity Politics
Identity Politics. I can’t remember where I first encountered this but regardless I’ve always been a bit ho-hum, disinterested, who can be bothered with that stuff. And I’m sure a lot of us feel the same – can’t we just have our live’s back. And then there’s another lot of us who get all technical and boring and it takes a lot of effort to make sense of what we’re on about.
I’m going to do the impossible and write something straight down the middle, start an argument, and get at least one comment out of someone.
If you’re curious as to what inspired this, it was this Triassic post about Canadian, Jordan Peterson and more specifically this extract from comment 4;
The problem lies within identity politics and basing policy on empathy with a particular tribe, whether that be, gender, race, sexuality, social class, or any of the other thousands of sub tribe identities.
So, you’re reading away there and you have one of those ‘ah-ha moments’. Empathy with tribes and sub tribes. Triassic has posted about empathy before in this post Avoid women at all costs.
So, now I’m thinking what’s the official position on identity politics. (If you’re doing a university paper, you can quote me, but just don’t let slip, that I read Wikipedia);
It bears a remarkable resemblance to what we know as modern Feminism. It started out as one thing about the same time as radical Feminism did last century, reinvented itself a few times, and now, like Intersectional Feminism, nobody is actually too sure what it is anymore.
This opens the door for you to voice an opinion. Here’s a challenge for you. Before you go any further into my thoughts tell me in the comments what you currently think identity politics is. It could be changing so quickly that’s it’s different things to different people in different places.
(I’m going to finish this later)
Following up on the empathy side of identity politics as mentioned above, and it’s some relief that we now use data, as you could use acres of trees trying to describe the individual behaviour of the empathy seekers or what they describe as that which needs to be empathised with; I actually think some of this is conveniently imagined.
That in my mind is more often the relationship between these ‘tribal units’ and government and not how it slaps us (the tribe of men) across the face on a daily basis. It is the needy side rather than the aggressive side of identity politics.
Is there a day goes by where we don’t see in the media a story about a woman’s claim, that this is only happening because I’m a woman?
This is guilt-trip Feminism, and it runs out like gloss paint to touch up a white knight’s armour, doesn’t it? But it’s a form of identity politics.
Then there’s the more aggressive side, and this was my uh-ha moment. The mythical beasts of modern society. Probably the first one I can remember is the male chauvinist pig, and then later came the dead beat dad and what’s the current one, the toxic male. On the positive side you have a real individual person to ’empathise’ or ‘sympathise’ with depending on the circumstances, but on the negative side and I saw this described recently as a beast with the body of a hunted dog and the head of him whose head is sought to be decapitated – the current example would have to be within New Zealand cricket.
These sterotype mythical creatures are created and even when you’re not a mansplainer you’ll become one if a Feminist doesn’t want to hear your point of view, and you’re always at risk of that shame, having your head put on one of these beasts. And I’m seeing this in action as we speak. Here’s two examples.
Example one: John Wayne, and I haven’t looked at this in any detail but our friends at Spiked are already on to it;
We’ve already seen the rise of ‘offence archaeology’, the digging up of someone’s old tweets or yearbooks to the end of bringing them down. So what’s going on here with John Wayne? Offence grave-robbing? Whatever it is, it’s weird — and needs to stop.
Any way to get a man even if you have to invent a new way.
Example two: There it was in the car with me yesterday afternoon in quiet old Northland when the female half of the afternoon radio show starts on about Fred Flintstone being a bully, a nasty character, how shameful that we ever liked him. Fred. A bully. Always picking on Barney Rubble. What are thoughts on that?
Now, there’s always the possibility that history may have been down this path before, and we may be replaying the story. Has identity politics existed in past civilizations?
Hidden away in various books we have quaint little stories of historical figures who were said to have done something and become a representation of that type of character.
Hipparchia is such a figure, wife of the cynic Crates, whom she married even though he offered her nothing more than an uncoventional life of poverty. He abided by the theory that nothing natural is shameful and pushed the boundaries on issues such as sex in public.
The word hippie, which comes from hip, that has no clear origin, arose in the 1940s quite possibly an abbreviated reference to this character Hipparchia.
Do you get the feeling we’ve been here before because you’ve encountered a similar example or do you think identity politics is exclusively part of modern Feminism?
To finish off I want to come back to this idea of tribal groups and look at an article that I found today by Laura Kuenssberg Political editor at the BBC News. What this is looking at is the very public disintegration of their political parties into what she calls the tribal groups of politics.
Is this where identity politics goes next?
And where is the current political meltdown going to end up in Britain?