21.7.19

ESSENTIALISM IS A DUBIOUS DOCTRINE.

Read for yourself.  In particular, consider this.
Sociological Essentialism is a sociological (as opposed to philosophical) theory which states that positions on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity or other group characteristics are fixed traits, not allowing for variations among individuals or over time. It has been used, at different times, as a convenient doctrine by both nationalist and liberationist movements, and for simplifying the task of colonization and imperialism.
It's also a useful doctrine for reading traitors out of a movement, of whatever form, such as in this anathema pronounced by Member of Congress Ayanna Pressley (C-Mass.)
We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice. We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice.
That well might get the representative excommunicated from the Church of Intersectionality.
Arguments against gender essentialism are supported by evidence that gender expectations differ significantly across cultures. They are also supported by very different sexual and gender norms that have existed in different places and different eras. Such differences are apparent with respect to not only sexual behavior but a variety of other aspects of life.
You mean there might be more than one kind of brown voice?


Indeed so.  What good is it to be a Member of Congress if you can't pronounce anathema on Bad Ideas?
Translation: if you are a racial, religious, or sexual minority, and you dissent from progressive orthodoxies, you are a traitor to your race, religion, or sexual tribe, and we don’t want you.

It’s easy for liberals to see why Trump is extremely problematic for saying things like he does (and we conservatives ought to try harder to see and hear Trump from the point of view of others). But liberals ought to imagine what it’s like to be someone who doesn’t fit into the Squad’s woke progressive categories of acceptability, and to imagine what it would be like for those people under that kind of progressive government.
Maybe I'm overthinking things, but if I use the Russian word pravoslavie, meaning truth-praising, in place of orthodoxy, which is how the concept gets rendered in English, it gets very interesting, as the deconstructive instinct starts with the premise that any truth is somebody's power system.

Here's Andrew Sullivan, by way of example, on the follies of attempting to define what that queer voice is.
I have never had a problem with radical queers being part of the constellation of things that make up the complicated and diverse world of gay men. Let every flower bloom. My problem is when they refuse to extend that acceptance to others, and when they attempt to destroy any successful gay public figure who may have a different view of the world than theirs’. Part of this is simple jealousy. Buttigieg has done more for gay visibility and acceptance in his four years of being out than Peck has in a lifetime of puerile rage. Similarly, centrist and conservative gays have done far more to advance gay equality in the last couple of decades than the left — which was largely absent from the marriage fight (heteronormative oppression!) and from the military fight (destroy the Army, don’t join it!).

But part is also a view that what matters is not an individual’s unique gifts, biography, or talents and skills. What matters is the group, its place in the social hierarchy, and the imperative of all members of the group singing the same song in the same way — which is to say, always in obedience to left orthodoxy. The point of the gay-rights movement for the left was to join other oppressed groups in overturning the entire liberal democratic and capitalist system. The point of the gay-rights movement for those of us on the right was to expand the space in which gay people can simply be themselves. That may mean embracing the identity of queer nonbinary whatever, or it may mean simply getting on with life as an individual who happens to be gay. No one is wrong to be the person they want to be. There is no right way or wrong way to be gay.
He pivots back to the representative, and his message, very clearly, is, there is no right way or wrong way to be [insert your category here]. It's probably harder, though, for the likes of the representative to, well, make a coherent counter-argument than to denounce and excommunicate, or, as Mr Sullivan writes, to destroy.

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