October 11, 2018

ALEXANDRA DESANCTIS: The Kavanaugh Fight Exposed Feminism’s Identity-Politics Problem.

During the 1960s and ’70s, second-wave feminists promoted their agenda of sexual liberation, and third-wave feminists radicalized further by propounding turn-of-the-century gender theory, a realm of sociology that seeks to explain the entire female experience through the lens of patriarchy and oppression. Now, feminists have fully assimilated the ideas that were once en vogue only in academic departments, and today’s feminism is nearly identical to the most militant form of progressivism. In large part, this compact was the natural fruit of the feminist movement’s emphasis on sexual license, a priority that the Democratic party has embraced for decades, most notably in its support for unlimited abortion, the ultimate guarantor of consequence-free sex.

This alliance between feminists and the Left has materialized politically in an especially potent way over the last decade. In 2012, Barack Obama ran for his second term on the promise of providing government-funded contraceptives. He made good on his vow by compelling employers to subsidize birth control regardless of their religious belief. In 2016, Hillary Clinton ran for the presidency on a Democratic platform that, for the first time in history, vowed to erase the Hyde Amendment and allow taxpayer dollars to directly facilitate abortion procedures.

With their social agenda thus wedded to the progressive movement, feminist thinkers have taken a nosedive into corrosive identity politics, asserting their influence based on the notion that all women necessarily share their viewpoint, that women as an identity group (and a voting bloc) are united in a fight against patriarchal oppression. Feminist claims to political power are therefore premised on the fiction that all women are shackled by men and that all women should be united around one liberating platform — the progressive one.

Identity politics is descended from Marx’s concept of “false consciousness,” which is a fancy way of saying that if you don’t fall into line with your victimhood group, then you aren’t a real person. That kind of thinking has been used to justify all kinds of injustices, from petty snipes at conservative women, blacks, and gays, all the way down to atrocities like Holodomor and the Holocaust.

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