One little, two little, three little hipsters
Four little, five little, six little hipsters…
Actually, there’s just one and he/ she/ ze seems convinced to have multiple personality disorder.
Much is being written today about intersecting identities; apparently, each of us have them, based on race, sex, gender (different from sex as they say), sexual orientation, country of origin, social status, financial situation, physical ability, physical aspect etc. Each of them comes with its little label; when listed, labels enable others to judge us in a second as one would evaluate a product according to its factory description.
They help a progressive determine whether you are, overall, marginalised or privileged, depending on how many oppression points you can score for each identity. In other words, whether you have the right to speak about social issues or you should just shut up, because the voice of your ilk has been heard for far too long on this planet.
It seems in 2016, no different than two hundred or a thousand years ago, people can still be shut up based on inherent traits, which they have no control over.
This, of course, leads to a problem, as individuals tend to collect privileged and marginalised labels, according to their particular circumstances. After assessing that those who only have privileged identities are not entitled to opinions at all regarding minority-related issues (unless they’re some kind of allies treading on thin ice to make amends for their existence), what’s left to do is dispute this right among themselves, censoring each other constantly; one could joke that the Earth’s surface could melt under their feet and they’d still fight over a microphone, on who should make the announcement.
The truth is there are no intersecting identities. Every person has one identity encompassing many traits, traits which they have the full right to prioritise or ignore.
One does not owe allegiance to any group claiming to represent them and most certainly does not have a duty to engage in activism with said group, due to “sharing an identity”.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, “identity” means:
The characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is.
Plurality is unnecessary in order to emphasise the complexity of human beings; an identity is presumed to be complex from the start. Your “identities” do not switch on and off according to your environment; you can still be perceived as a full human being, an individual, regardless of where you are and what you are doing.
This is however useful to cultural Marxists as it divides people into strict categories, determining when they should speak and what their claims should be. Putting them in their presumed place, that is, by forcibly bringing a trait or another to the forefront as if the holder were defined by it at that particular moment.
For instance, progressive groups organise events for people sharing specific traits, events which are becoming exclusive to them, everyone else being barred from attending, as they would be violating the “safe space” of said “community”. Obviously, for those participating in multiple events due to multiple oppressed identities, a clash of interests and priorities arises.
The label collection is without doubt divisive, emphasising WHAT someone is instead of WHO they are as a person, how they think and how they could meet these activists halfway. For instance, one is likely to be shunned by them simply for being male, white and middle class, regardless of their beliefs and intentions.
Instead of disputing the claim that their movement is increasingly fragmented, this article actually proves it:
Glossing over the issues faced by specific groups of women for the sake of unity centers the feminist movement on those who have the most privilege and visibility. It allows those who already take up a disproportionate amount of space in the movement to look as if they’re making room for others without giving up any themselves.
It departs from a standpoint of some taking up a disproportionate amount of space due to having the most privilege and visibility, which does not show a desire for collaboration but adversity from the very beginning.
So make an effort to avoid centering feminism around yourself or people of privilege. Because society is more likely to listen to a White woman talk about racism than a person of color, for example, White feminists need to be mindful that they’re not talking over or for people of color.
No matter what work you do or what your privileges are, take care to step back when things aren’t about you, educate yourself on things that don’t affect you, and pay attention when people speak to their experiences.
Aside from claiming that society is more likely to listen to a white woman (which I’d like some actual evidence on), this is a clear call for others to shut up, and a line drawn between groups to establish what they are allowed to discuss in their activism.
The funny thing is leftists do a very poor job of paying attention when people speak to their experiences, if they are not suitable for leftist exploitation. Let’s take gay conservatives such as Milo Yiannopoulos, who are open about their lives and dispute the rhetoric of current activists in the field.
So when you inevitably mess up or are called out for something, how you respond matters.
When people call each other out in social justice work, it can be an act of love. It’s about holding people accountable and making sure that the work they do is actually of value to those it’s meant to serve.
When cult leaders and religious extremists in general hold people accountable for every trifle, they also refer to it as an act of love. In Jonestown, as I recall, the act of love involved some wooden planks and public beatings. Although this comparison might seem out of place, it isn’t. It’s a matter of establishing oneself as the holder of absolute truth and moral authority over others.
The resulting atmosphere is not one which is conducive to ant kind of progress, but one of tension, passive aggressiveness, lack of real bonding and stifled resentment, which is so characteristic of militant groups with a fixed doctrine (and ultimately ends in their dissolution).
To conclude, here is a true-to-life account from Gavin McInnes, describing the effects of “sensitivity training” on the work environment, amounting to members of any minority being feared and avoided, which is the exact opposite of harmonious integration.