The Folly and Perils of Identity Politics

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Professional victims in the Tea Party combined forces with the National Organization for Women recently to defend a crazy woman against a head-scratchingly benign photo on the cover of Newsweek. Sure, she has a wild-eyed look about her, but Michelle Bachmann is a wild-eyed conservative.

The National Organization for Women rushed to her defense anyway because the cover photo was apparently unflattering and would somehow dissuade future women from entering politics or running for public office. What annoys me about this is that somewhere along the line, calling a crazy woman out as crazy or an ignorant woman as ignorant, who is running for office, somehow turned into an act of sexism. This episode actually has me imbued with a bit of respect for Ms. Bachmann for shrugging off the whole affair.

This event conjures from my memory a moment that  isn’t that much removed from recent history. The PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) women were the kind of feminists who would rather vote for John McCain because they were just that pissed off that Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Democratic primary; they wanted to see a woman in the White House no matter what it cost them.

This is the essence of identity politics; when you would consciously choose to shoot yourself in the foot in every way imaginable in order to empower someone just because they looked like you, or shared the same set of genitalia, or slept with the same kind of people, or drove the same kind of truck. This is not serious politics and you deserve exactly what you get if this is how you conceive of it.


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