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GenderPAC and Post-Identity Politics

not simply a direct negation of identity politics

Forum: tgpoc list
Date: 12/13/2001

On 01.12.13 0:27 PM, "Pauline Park" wrote:

Check out this article by Richard Goldstein -- "The War On Identity: Gayocons and Heteroprogs Launch a New Assault on the Politics of Diversity."


This critique of the 'post-gay' movement has relevance for discussion of GenderPAC and Riki Anne Wilchins' decision to jettison transgender advocacy and the whole concept of transgender. Riki's call for "a post-identity politics inclusive national gender civil rights movement for all Americans" is premised on a rejection of 'identity politics' similar to that engaged in by this new Liberty Education Fund, even if she comes at it from a different direction.

I don't feel that Goldstein's critique is relevant to Wilchins' call for post-identity politics at all. I don't support all of Riki's or GenderPAC's actions and public statements, but their criticism of identity politics is very different from that of Liberty Education Fund's. If Riki's position is post-identity politics, I'd call that of LEF "pre-identity politics" or "anti-identity politics." "Post-" something is rarely a direct negation of what came before, and I don't think that Riki's post-identity politics is simply the rejection of identity politics.

Goldstein asks, "What's missing from this picture?" then says the answer is "identity." I disagree: what I think is missing from LEF's platform is not identity, but the analysis of social systems that result in unequal distribution of power and wealth. If you call that post-identity politics, fine, but don't put it in the same category as the pre-identity politics of LEF.

Emi K.

I do get eeked by GenderPAC's nationalist language, i.e. "gender rights for all Americans" - they told me that what they meant was "everyone's gender rights in the U.S." but I still think that they should change the mission statement that if that's what they mean...

-- * Putting the Emi back in Feminism since 1975.