No, I’m not a Rotarian, but I am someone who works for an organization that was founded in the partnership model (which is essentially the stewardship model) rather than the dominance hierarchy model. And I’m pretty passionate about calling out the harms to all of us of patriarchy (which is simply another name for a dominance hierarchy that has a gendered component). You are right that there is nothing magical or evil about White men. They simply are the ones who have had access to the top of the dominance hierarchy for the longest in our part of the world.

If you are saying that the term “Identity Politics” is largely meaningless, I wholeheartedly agree. My point is that politics that focuses on things like racial issues or sexism is no different than any other kind of politics, except that it’s perhaps more personal to those involved in it. Instead of primarily advocating for their economic interests (which is what most of politics is about) these people are advocating for their basic human dignity, their safety, and their fundamental equality, both under the law, and in societal custom. Maybe a better term is First Amendment politics, because what they want is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 😉

I also get what you are saying about collaborating together, but when those with power keep vociferously pushing back against those who are asking to be heard and to be seen, it’s a little rich to ask the ones who have been harmed and who are getting vilified for bringing it up that they should first have compassion for those who have been climbing the dominance pyramid at their expense. If a bully were regularly harassing and attacking you, you might be able to see that he comes from a terrible family situation or has other mitigating factors that are driving his anti-social behavior. You might have real compassion for him, but first you are going to demand that he stop hitting you. This is no different — it’s just on a larger scale.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store