Re: Queer Politics, Extropian Politics [Was: Sex Change]
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 16:18:18 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 29 Jul 1997, Guru George wrote:

> On Mon, 28 Jul 1997 14:13:01 -0700 (PDT)
> wrote:
> >Hannah Arendt said in an interview that
> >"If one is attacked as a Jew one must defend oneself as a Jew. Not as a
> >German, not as a world-citizen, not as an upholder of the rights of Man,
> >or whatever..." Her point was that antisemitism (like racism, like
> >sexism, like heterosexism, or what have you) can too easily exist in
> >societies that imagine themselves staunch defenders of these more
> >general conceptions. The problem is that certain kinds of people, for
> >lots of mostly contingent historical and sociocultural reasons, come to
> >be thought of as less-than-properly-human and the smooth function of
> >regimes of civility based on respect for rights crank along quite
> >cheerfully even when these less-than-properly-human humans are treated
> >unfairly (or sometimes even genocidally).
> Enjoyed your post, but on the other side, pace Arendt, isn't defending
> yourself as the despised group giving sanction to the (usually essentially
> collectivist and anti-individual) group definition used by the abusers?
Absolutely. One is never only or even necessarily importantly one's race,
sex, orientation, age, or what have you, *however* so long as some such
attribute has been singled out for the bullying attention of an otherwise
more or less civilized polity, it is worse than futile for any individual
to whom that attribute can be ascribed to insist that there is more to
them *than* the attribute. Of course there is. That precisely this
attribute has been so singled out is the problem at issue in the first
place. Unpopular minorities that so describe themselves are not seeking
to perpetuate some special status but to recognize the existence and
extent of an irrational prejudice. What is wanted by unpopular minorities
is rarely special rights but an end to special abuses. Best, Dale