The issue of identity has become challenging in feminist theory and practice over the past decade. Identity politics has become extensively criticized and even belittled by feminists of various opinions. Issues raised by identity and identity politics seem to be stubborn, failing to yield to any of the numerous solutions that have been proposed to resolve them. Problems that have come up as a result of identity and identity politics have become almost an obsession among feminists. Why? DEFINITION OF IDENTITY POLITICS
Race, ethnicity, region, gender, and sexual orientation all combine as marginalized identities that are drawn upon to rally political action. This is what identity politics is based upon. Kathryn Woodward writes, “Identity politics involve claiming one’s identity as a member of an oppressed or marginalized group as a political point of departure, and thus identity becomes a major factor in political mobilization” (Woodward 195). PROS OF IDENTITY POLITICS
Concepts of Identity and Difference
This article by Kathryn Woodward introduces the idea of identity politics and defines new social movements. Woodward writes that “such politics involve celebration of a group’s uniqueness” (Woodward 195).
Each day, we interact with people from different backgrounds. They all have their own religious beliefs, their own sexual preferences, and their own political views. Though we are all different, there is generally some common ground among individuals. Groups exist where those with similarities can gather and share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings; whether it is about the language they speak, their major in university, or their ethnicity. Take for example our own university. There are various societies and clubs on campus where students can gather and share that one common thing among them. There are groups for those doing a French major, for students from Asia, for those who want to learn how to dance. The possibilities are endless! And each group has cause for celebration. They are different! They are unique!
Even the simplest of election campaigns, such as Memorial’s Student Union brings identity politics into play. Candidates learn about those who they will be campaigning to. They strike up a conversation with fellow students about issues that matter to them. They find the issues that will appeal to certain groups and run with it. It’s smart. And it gets votes. Women and Citizenship
In this article by Jan Jindy Pettman, we read that “nowadays in most states women are enfranchised and their states declare men and women equal citizens in some form or other” (Pettman 167).
How can we not love the fact that men and women are considered equals? This is what women have been fighting for for years! I have never been one to question to whole feminist movement. I have come to accept the fact that sometimes women make less money than men, that women are generally perceived to be bad drivers, and that when it comes to sports, we will never be able to play with the boys. I have done some thinking though, and why should I settle? I am determined to land a great job and make the kind of salary men make. I know that I am a far better driver than most men I know. And I may not be athletic, but I know that there are women out there who are far better at some sports than men. It saddens me that it has taken so long for society to treat men and women the same, because after all, we are all human. There should be no such thing as women’s rights. It should just be human rights. We all breathe the same air and drink the same water. We eat the same kind of food. We use the same kind of gas. Why are there restrictions put on the activities we can amuse ourselves with? Why is it that women are viewed as the weaker sex? I try to understand, but it’s hard. Women are superstars. We are smart. We are talented. We are beautiful. It’s about time we got fair treatment. CONS OF...