Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Collapse Of The Identity-Politics Paradigm

     It’s happening as we speak, and I have a feeling it won’t take long to come apart completely.

     The Left’s insistence on identity politics is the core of its approach to political organization and activism. Broadly speaking it follows this procedure:

     1. Focus on a group designation. It can be racial, ethnic, gender, religious, occupational, or what-have-you.
     2. If that group can sustain a claim of oppression status:
          2.1 Proclaim the Left its proper political alignment;
          2.2 Promise to “uphold its interests;”
          2.3 Strive to organize it, community-organizer fashion, for political activism;
          2.4 Employ it electorally and at demonstrations against enemies of the Left.
          2.5 Invalidate, slander, or otherwise destroy vocal deviants (i.e., conservatives) within the group.
     3. If not:
          3.1 Attempt to fabricate incidents that would support a claim of oppression status;
          3.2 Return to step 2 above.

     As you can see, in the identity-politics paradigm, the individual is regarded as unreal. Only the group affiliation matters, and that affiliation is taken to determine everything, most emphatically including one’s “oppression status” and one’s political stances.

     So it’s natural that the Left would see Blaire White, a conservative and quite eloquent transwoman getting to be very well known from her YouTube channel, as one who must be given the Step 2.5 treatment...and it appears she’s getting it:

     Someone such as Blaire, or my friend Amy Tapie, another conservative transwoman, represents a potentially fatal challenge to the Left’s “business model,” and becomes a target for destruction by any means expedient. Here are a few words from Miss Tapie, from a note she sent me not long ago:

     [Blaire] and I, I know, go against the grain of many of our sisters and brothers by taking political stances on the Right. But, just because I believe that LGBT people in general should by right possess freedom to be who we are, and that trans people in particular ought to be treated in the same manner as any other person of the gender we present ourselves as, does that necessarily mean that I have to swallow the entire Leftist agenda, hook, line, and sinker? I think not. Yet far too many trans people would have it so...and therein lies the potential for tyranny as ugly as any that might be imposed on us in the most heavily theocratic state in the land.

     (Note also in this connection the frenzied efforts to silence or destroy “Dangerous Faggot” Milo Yiannopoulos. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.)

     Not something you expected to see from your conservative Catholic Curmudgeon Emeritus, eh? Well, though I continue to think that most persons who claim to have been born into a body of the wrong sex would benefit more from counseling and emotional support than from hormones and surgery, recently I’ve come to believe that there are exceptions, possibly a significant number thereof. Some of the exceptions are quite exceptional people. That stands to reason: the social pushback many such persons experience against their decisions to transition implies that they needed to be strong to persist and prevail.

     The “trans” community might be quite small by comparison to a racial or ethnic category, but as long as its members accept full responsibility for the consequences of their decisions and actions, they deserve our respect – and our protection from those who would destroy them as unacceptable divergences from the Left’s identity-politics scheme.

     We are, after all, individualists.


Amy Bowersox said...

There's more of us out there, I'm beginning to find. I'm now a member of a Facebook group called "Trans on the Right" that has 71 members currently, and we've been sharing amongst ourselves, as well as documenting our attempts at dialogue with those on the Left. In fact, I spotted this post when I came to your site to find your words about self-defense that I could mention in a comment to a post there.

Many of us, just as we reject having to swallow the entire Leftist agenda, don't appreciate being used as one of the Left's "designated victim" groups. We're quite capable of standing up for ourselves, thank you!

There are, however, even groups on the Left that reject trans women as a whole, the ones we call "TERFs" (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists). They consider us to be "men in drag" that are "invading" women's spaces. Sounds an awful lot like what some of the social conservatives say about us, doesn't it?

sykes.1 said...

"We are, after all, individualists."

I'm not sure I agree. We might have crossed a tipping point. Trump's election suggests that White identitarian politics has arrived. After decades of demonization and vilification by the Left, some sort of White response should have been expected.

If extremists on the Right begin rioting, too, we will be full-Weimerica, and God help us all.

Dystopic said...

I follow Blaire on Twitter, and she's a good egg. Yeah, to be honest, the trans thing is a little squicky. And I really don't know if folks like that would be better helped with counseling or some other such thing. Maybe, maybe not. I'm no expert on that stuff.

Long story short, I think trans is strange. Bizarre, even. Yet, Blaire is a human being with all the God-given rights that ought to imply. In other words, I can't say I approve of what she's done, but I'll tolerate it and won't mistreat her for those choices. It is, after all, her life and not mine. None of my business, in other words. That's been my default with such people for quite some time now.

What irritates me about the Left's approach to this, is that they demand I not only approve of what they do, but celebrate it, make it a mission in life. Even, I should note, when they do it badly. Blaire looks, acts, and sounds like a woman. She's clearly made every effort to do this thing right. SJWs, of course, often don't even bother to shave. A bearded man running around with pink hair in a skirt, saying "I'm a genderqueer Oscar Meyer wiener, accept me, celebrate me." No, no. It doesn't work that way.

So if someone wants to do what Blaire has done, that's their own business. I don't ask for their approval for the things I do, and neither should they ask for my approval for their actions. It'a a fallacy to think anybody needs that. After all, the West is the Best. We don't throw people off of buildings for being weird.

SJWs, on the other hand, would probably love to throw people off of buildings for being normal. So there's that.

Amy Bowersox said...

Dystopic, that's fair. I know I personally have never asked for anything from anyone else, other than to be treated as one would treat any other woman. I, in turn, do my best to dress, look, sound, and act like any other woman. But I don't do so for the benefit of other people; I do it for me, to help my outer appearance mirror the self-image of the woman I am inside.

In some respects, you're right; being trans is weird. It's weird even to those of us who are living through it. I know I've spent a lot of time speculating on how and why I became what I am, even if I ultimately remember the response of another trans woman to those kind of questions: "Are you looking for something to blame?"

I know a few people who look like you describe, although those are primarily drag queens in performance costumes. (Many are members of a local charity group charmingly called the "Denver Cycle Sluts.") They're nice people, though no one would ever mistake them for cis women unless they were really, really drunk. An actual trans woman looking to transition, such as I am, takes far more care with her appearance than that.

Jayne Locke said...

I too am a transsexual woman. Like Blair White and Amy, I take pride in who I am and in my appearance. You would probably be very surprised if you ever met me in person and no doubt never realize that I am not a natal female furthermore, I am willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of my other trans friends are just as I am. There are actually quite a lot more women just like Blaire, Amy and myself than you'd ever suspect. You'll never see any of us associating with the SJW types or even many lgbt folks for that matter. We go about our business like anyone else and go unnoticed in society. None of us play the identity politics game but that's not to say that we are not engaged in effecting equality legislation. We just do it from a position of equals and engage in constructive dialog.
I don't try to act like a woman or try to dress like a woman, there's no "try" because I am a woman albeit with a different history.