Mandate that women make up half of your cabinet?
Push legislation, not for pay equality, but pay equity?
Codify into law that Canadians must use individual’s preferred gender pronoun?
These propositions from Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party are based on the idea that the proper way of viewing and differentiating people is by gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
This is identity politics and it is pathological to the core.
Here are three reasons why.
First, statistically, people differ inside groups more than groups differ from each other. This means that while understanding group differences are useful when trying to grasp scoping societal changes, attempting to apply those concepts down to individuals is wrong.
It is simply not accurate to assume that individuals believe, think, or act in a certain way based on the attributes of the category they belong to.
In light of this fact, a second issue becomes transparent when dealing with identity politics. Who gets to determine what each group believes? Does one simply pick a person at random with the faith that they represent the group they belong to? This doesn’t work and there are serious ramifications when trying to determine what a group may believe.
In 2016, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson vocally and publicly challenged Bill C16. The legislation was designed to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity but Peterson retaliated against it based on the legal implications that it would have on free speech. He was lambasted as being transphobic and hateful however what many people don’t know is that Peterson has gotten many letters from trans individuals stating that they agreed with him. This fact may seem strange with only a casual glance at the issue, but it illustrates that assuming the opinions of a community can be wildly erroneous.
On the subject of groups, we run into a third problem. How many categories can be made? What happens when an individual belongs to multiple categories? When the subject of privilege and oppression comes up, as often does when discussing identity politics, which group can claim more oppression? Is having a mental illness a category or group? What about a physical illness? Is having parents who are still together an identifiable category? What about good-looking people?
Simply run with the idea of group differences and clearly, groups and identity can be fractionated further and further down until the only logical explanation is that the individual is the correct way to understand humans beings.
Maybe most Canadians couldn’t care less about the philosophical aspects of identity politics but Canadians do know messed up ideas when they see them.
Canadians are tired of this ideological bend of not taking individuals by their merits, but classing people based on whatever social group fits for the day. Canadians are tired of a Liberal government assuming it knows what Canadians think based a single attribute like race, sex or income status.
Canadians are tired of an ever-expanding LGBTQQIP2SAA acronym and radical buzzwords like intersectionality and heteronormative being tossed around when discussing legislation that affects them personally.
Canadians are tired of identity politics and we are looking for something real, something authentic that can represent a future for all.