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The End of Identity Liberalism

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It is a truism that America has become a more diverse country. It is also a beautiful thing to watch. Visitors from other countries, particularly those having trouble incorporating different ethnic groups and faiths, are amazed that we manage to pull it off. Not perfectly, of course, but certainly better than any European or Asian nation today. It’s an extraordinary success story.

But how should this diversity shape our politics? The standard liberal answer for nearly a generation now has been that we should become aware of and “celebrate” our differences. Which is a splendid principle of moral pedagogy — but disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age. In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing. One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its outcom…

Is Criticism of Identity Politics Racist or Long Overdue?

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NOVEMBER 23, 2016 INTRODUCTIONCritics said President-elect Donald J. Trump’s campaign slogan celebrated a time before racial discrimination, gender inequality and homophobia were matters of concern.Spencer Platt/Getty Images A widely discussed op-ed by Mark Lilla in The New York Times (above) argued that the Democratic Party had gone astray by engaging in “identity politics” that were more concerned with a diversity of demands by women, African-Americans, immigrants and L.G.B.T. people, than in appealing to Americans as a whole. Some said that piece implied that liberals should ignore unique and real issues faced by anyone who isn’t a white man. Is criticism of political correctness and identity politics a reaction that’s long overdue or just racist? This is part of the Issues for Trump and America series. READ THE DISCUSSION » DEBATERSProgressive Orthodoxy Narrows Choices and Minds DAVID FRENCH, NATIONAL REVIEW Millions of Americans are furious with the scolding progressive impulse t…

Is Wonder Woman being Forced into Early Retirement

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As of Friday, Wonder Woman will no longer be an honorary U.N. ambassador. A petition protesting her appointment called her "a large-breasted, white woman of impossible proportions." Above, a display at Comic-Con International 2016 shows the evolution of her costume. Matt Cowan/Getty Images It's come to light this week that the comic superhero's controversial tenure as the United Nations' honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls will be coming to a close this Friday. That's less than two months since the character was unveiled as the face of a U.N. social media campaign to promote women's rights via tweets and facebook callouts. The decision sparked protests both in and out of the organization, with nearly 45,000 people ultimately signing an online petition that called the choice of a fictional character with "an overtly sexualized image" to represent gender equality "alarming" and "extremely disappointing." But …

Lynda Carter Deflects Critics of Wonder Woman

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By ALEX WILLIAMSDEC. 22, 2016 Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
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Is Wonder Woman a “pinup girl” or a feminist icon? The question dogged a United Nations campaign that featured the superhero as a symbol of self-empowerment for girls and women. While some feminists may have felt triumphant when the United Nations announced the end of the Wonder Woman campaign this month (in an earlier New York Times article, a United Nations spokes

2017 EDGE QUESTION : WHAT SCIENTIFIC TERM OR CONCEPT OUGHT TO BE MORE WIDELY KNOWN? SEX

By Helena Cronin
London School of Economics

The poet Philip Larkin famously proclaimed that sex began in 1963. He was inaccurate by 800 million years. Moreover, what began in the 1960s was instead a campaign to oust sex—in particular sex differences—in favor of gender. Why? Because biological differences were thought to spell genetic determinism, immutability, anti-feminism and, most egregiously, women's oppression. Gender, however, was the realm of societal forces; "male" and "female" were social constructs, the stuff of political struggle; so gender was safe sex. The campaign triumphed. Sex now struggles to be heard over a clamor of misconceptions, fabrications and denunciations. And gender is ubiquitous, dominating thinking far beyond popular culture and spreading even to science—such that a respected neuroscience journal recently felt the need to devote an entire issue to urging that sex should be treated as a biological variable. And, most profoundly, gender ha…