I have been noticing a disturbing trend lately and it has gotten worse and worse over the past few weeks.
Somebody offers a political thought that is not in accordance with what the majority of his or her race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender believes.
That person is then called a traitor and told to get in line.
No individual thought allowed.
The most recent high profile example is a NY Times op-ed excoriating white women who dared to support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as privileged gender traitors who are defenders of the patriarchy.
It is the ind of nonsense you would expect from an 18 year-old sociology student, but somehow it made it into the NY Times, which is supposed to be the “gold standard.”
If you want an idea of how vile and vapid this piece was, here is a quick glimpse:
After a confirmation process where women all but slit their wrists, letting their stories of sexual trauma run like rivers of blood through the Capitol, the Senate still voted to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. With the exception of Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all the women in the Republican conference caved, including Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who held out until the bitter end.
These women are gender traitors, to borrow a term from the dystopian TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” They’ve made standing by the patriarchy a full-time job. The women who support them show up at the Capitol wearing “Women for Kavanaugh” T-shirts, but also probably tell their daughters to put on less revealing clothes when they go out.
So, you see, because Susan Collins is a woman, she is absolutely, positively, no questions asked, not allowed to believe that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent and basically do not care if women get raped.
Stop for a second and thin about how insulting that is.
A woman cannot hold a certain opinion simply because she is a woman?
The whole policing of what somebody is allowed to think based on immutable characteristics is patently absurd, but it is unfortunately far too common.
Want another recent example?
There was Atlantic writer Ta’Niehisi Coates proclaiming that rapper Kanye West is not really black because West is not acting the way Coates thinks he should.
The message from Coates and others has repeatedly been this: get in line and think how we want you to, or you are not a “true” member of the tribe.
I have gotten plenty of this myself over the years.
I am a Pakistani Jewish man, yet I tend to lean conservative.
For that, I have sometimes been told I am helping my oppressor, whatever that even means.
Kanye West, Susan Collins, and anybody else who dared to think for themselves realized they are individuals, not members of an identity cult.
They do not take marching orders on how to think, which used to be a celebrated virtue, but is now somehow seen as a weakness.
These identity cults are no good, and quite frankly, they can often lead to very unpleasant pushbacks.
If you do not understand what I mean, I suggest you pick up a history book.
We are at a time in history when there is more information at our fingertips than ever before.
More than ever it should be considered a valuable asset to be an independent thinker who considers all facts and viewpoints before deciding what to think rather than a toy soldier who just marches to the beat of whatever drum instructed.
So while the NY Times and multiple other outlets want to challenge Senator Susan Collins on her womanhood or insist she is nothing but a pawn of the patriarchy — yawn — I will continue to commend her for having the integrity and intelligence to sort through all relevant facts and arrive at what she truly feels — agree or disagree — was the right decision.
She is not a drone who does what other women tell her, she is a human being fully capable of making up her own mind, which is precisely what she did.
And despite what the NY Times and writers like Ta’Niehisi Coates say, we need more of that, not less.