“Identity Politics”

What’s your “identity?” No, this isn’t a job interview. It’s not a whole name, rank and serial number thing. It’s an actual, “what’s your identity?” question.  Have you ever even thought about it? Who are you? Why do you matter? Why should anyone give YOU the time of day? What do you offer? Why should anyone listen to you? What makes you YOU? 

Never had to think about it, did ya? 

But now, so many people call anyone not white, male, and heterosexual with an opinion, “identity politics.” 

In a pure, historical, unprecedented way, the silent majority (because yes, non-male, non-white, non-straight people are becoming ever more involved with politics.) Here in our real world, we call that standing up for ourselves. Over in the world that calls that “identity politics” and shrugs and laughs us off, they reduce us to gender, skin color, religion. 

The interesting thing is, the only people I ever see mention a word about “identity politics” are straight, white men. The funny thing is that all of the non-straight, non-white, non-male people in this country (and world) outnumber them. The sad thing is, we keep reading what they say and believing it. 

What you believe is not what is real. Together, we are more powerful and that’s what scares the hell out of them. So much so, that they’ve spent billions trying to divide us. Stop letting them win. 

Oh! Before I forget, yes, I had to think about my identity very hard when this started happening. Here’s my identity: 

Female. Lifelong North Dakotan, reformed conservative (still fiscally conservative–ask me what that means to me), mom of an amazing child on the autism spectrum, divorced, happy, driven. I’m a college graduate that never understood why I wasn’t as good as the boys. I’m a fighter for women, for anyone that is not straight, white and male. I tell it like it is. 

I’m a cancer survivor. I’m a rape survivor. I make no apologies. I struggle with social norms–always have, always will. That is my identity. I never made it “political”. Somebody else tells me it is. 

To me? I’m just a chick that’s worked hard her entire life to get somewhere. I teach my son acceptance and love for his fellow human-beings. I see that I’m a bit odd. I faced mortality when my son was a year and a half. I grew from every challenge I ever saw. I’m just this chick. I live with my kid. I work full time. I’ve fought hard to be here and to be respected. I seriously don’t care if you like me anymore. Many don’t. Get used to that. 

My first thought when some entitled asshole calls anyone non-male, non-white, non-heterosexual “identity politics” is always, “it’s easy to call it ‘identity politics’ when you’ve never had to deal with your identity being political.”

True story. 

One thought on ““Identity Politics”

  1. I like you even more, no way no how would I dump you as a friend. You are witty, talented, fun and interesting!!! You rocked that topic.

    Like

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