I may have to pick up Murray’s book as it appears to have shed some light onto the nebulous core of identity politics.  I chose this excerpt because I like how Scruton frames some of the tenets of identity politics i.e. the hardware/software analogy is particularly insightful.

Id-pol may seem unreal and far away, but let me assure you it exists and people have really invested themselves into it.  Several boots on the ground encounters with zealots on twitter have left me with a new appreciation of how deeply ingrained this way of thinking has become for certain people.  It is frustrating and exasperating to argue with people who somehow have come to believe that they are the purveyors of the common shared reality we experience.

For instance, in dealing with the gender-self-id crowd, getting them to define anything is almost always impossible.  They seem to think that being a woman is merely the male interpretation of what what being a woman is, in other words a set of personal subjective feelings that, as long as one holds them, *makes them* a woman.  (wtaf, I know, I know…)

Back in material reality the place where, rightly, the term woman is coherently defined as an adult human female is somehow contentious.  The argument then always goes into insults and hurt feelings, even the threat of suicide (see abusive male controlling behaviours) for not complying with the notion that men, if they feel strongly enough, can be women.  It’s ludicrous.

Anyhow, folks, please continue to speak the truth and do not bow to the ideologues that would have you change your reality to meet the needs of their fantasy.


“More important, from the intellectual point of view, is the attempt to rewrite hardware as software. As Murray shows, identity politics, which insists that everything relevant to our sense of self lies within our power, so that nothing can be imposed on us without our consent, is at odds with the facts of biology. To get round this problem, sex has been re-written as gender, and gender defined as a social construct. In this way, hardware becomes software, and fate becomes choice.

And the result is the “trans” lobby, determined to make all those areas where one sex was hitherto privileged (for example, female sports or female bathrooms) available to whoever wishes to appropriate that sex as his own. The hardware/software confusion has now penetrated the culture, and Murray shows the devastating effect that it has had on our understanding of human difference.

Finally there is the new scourge of “intersectionality”, which encourages people to explore all the ways in which they have lost out in the pursuit of advantage, and to construct their identity accordingly. A kind of reverse hierarchy of privilege emerges, as you come to see that you are disadvantaged as gay man, and then as a black man, and then as a Muslim man, and so on. The result of this scramble for “virtuous disadvantages” occupies Murray over many partly amusing, partly distressing pages.

As he abundantly shows, the attempt to derive a positive philosophy from this assemblage of negatives leads to absurdity and contradiction at every turn.”