A Week In Identity Politics

BY SAM WHITE

If someone were to ask, “what’s the best way to divide society, make everyone hate each other, and bring the whole thing to a state of collapse from the inside?” I might answer with just two words: “identity politics”.

It’s difficult to imagine a more regressive approach to life than that endorsed by this horrible philosophy. As a quick reminder, the ideology is simple. Just take society and divide it into competing categories by assigning everyone to a group based on an immutable biological trait—race, sex, sexuality. There are also categories based on non biological factors. Being Muslim is a separate demarcation, and with the creation of infinite gender identifications, endlessly modifiable and capable of changing from day to day, an element of random confusion has been thrown into the mix.

Having been assigned to a category, your individual motivations become secondary, and you will be treated as little more than a worker ant in your particular collective. The supposed motivations of the collective itself are applied with a broad brush by those who oversee the identity politics framework—corrupt social justice tyrants who rely on crude stereotyping, and who are driven by an urge to reallocate power. To themselves. Some identity groups are given unquestioned privilege, while others are treated like a plague ridden corpse.

Identity politics acolytes share ground with Marxists, but replace class struggle with conflict between identity categories who’ve been set against one another. They don’t want equality, they want an inversion of the hierarchy of oppression to which they subscribe, regardless of the extent to which it actually exists. And they are deeply bigoted, seeing everyone and everything in superficial identity terms.

They’ve been putting the hours in this week, so let’s have a look at what they’ve been up to.

The most critical component of a functioning, modern civilisation is Doctor Who. It was announced by the BBC on Sunday that for the first time ever the Doctor will be a woman, to be played by Jodie Whittaker. Is this a big deal? It depends on your perspective. There have been plenty of female science fiction and fantasy leads up to now, from Ellen Ripley and Buffy, to Aeon Flux and Red Sonja. These are all original characters, created without a great political fuss, and it’s indicative of the powerplay element of identity politics that converting the gender of an existing character should be presented as cause for celebration, while decades’ worth of original, hugely popular female leads pass without comment.

Some people are very happy with the casting decision. Although it’s nothing new in the science fiction genre as a whole, it’s a departure for Doctor Who specifically, and it’s interesting to try something new and see where it leads.

And some people accept it but wouldn’t have made that choice themselves. Not everyone wants to see their favourite character suddenly change gender, particularly if they’ve been a fan since 1963. That’s an artistic consideration, or perhaps reflects the sentimental nuances of a longstanding fan relationship.

And then there are a small number of extremists on either side. There are some unreconstructed sexists who don’t like the casting for misogynistic reasons. And facing off against them is an element of the intersectional left-wing set, who depict the casting of Whittaker as some kind of major blow to the patriarchy as they set about restructuring society.

Both sides are mildly comical, trading emotional blows over an alien who travels through time fighting monsters, and both sides are in many ways the same: prejudiced, stoking conflict, and grasping fearfully at Pyrrhic security and an illusory reflection of power.

Meanwhile, over at King’s College London, a cowardly dean at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience gave in to the social justice mob and promised to take down portraits and busts of the faculty’s founding fathers because they’re—brace yourself—white men. They’ll be replaced with portraits of people who are not white men. And also not the founding fathers of the institute.

But perhaps the angry cultists are right and we should all be desperately ashamed that prominent figures in 1924 didn’t meet the diversity targets that would be set by political correctness ideologues almost a century later. Yes, British demographics were entirely different in the 1920s, but that’s no excuse for the lack of intersectional feminist slam poetry in the literature of the age.

And for a further idea of just how controlling and censorious the identity politics movement is, take a look at the Advertising Standards Authority. This week they ruled that advertisers are prohibited from making commercials which depict stereotypical gender roles. Or in other words, advertisers must portray fictional men and women in the gender roles the moral judges at the ASA dictate. These creepy jobsworths do so according to their own postmodernism-inflected views, and are to be kowtowed to by an entire nation, whether we like it or not.

Two years ago, in a fit of Victorian pique, the ASA ruled that an advertisement on the London Underground featuring a model wearing a bikini “can’t appear again in its current form”. That was an astonishingly illiberal step to have taken, but now they’re going further. With a reckless disregard for freedom of thought and expression, they’ll use legal authority to enforce a set of personal moral codes around something as undefined, variable, and subjective as gender roles.

Church and state might be separated, but the commandment-issuing high priests of identity politics are not to be dissented from. So cover up, don’t look at pictures of white people, and above all, keep well away from hazardous gender stereotypes.

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