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Thread: Identity politics destroying friendships?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Identity politics destroying friendships?

    A friendship -- a looooooong time -- friendship is in jeopardy now because of a disagreement about identity politics.

    The whole Kavanugh thing is still wreaking havoc.

    A friend of mine thinks that sexism is so pervasive that she is literally suffering.

    But to me, she herself is actually the evidence that sexism is fading out fast.

    She is 33 and in a management position at a huge international corporation where some of her underlings are straight white men. She makes about $90k.

    She owns her own nice house in a "gayborhood" and owns her own new car.

    She has two bachelor degrees (Spanish and Pharm Sales). She also has an MBA. She got scholarships!

    She teaches part-time for Kaplan (the testing company).

    She travels, plays in softball leagues, goes out dancing with her "gay harem," dates men as she pleases, and is on the board of a non-profit.

    I fail to see the oppression.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Well, as you have been friends with this person for a long time, perhaps, if you want to continue to be friends with her, you should ask about what is affecting her and how. And listen. Witholding judgement (although that might kill you.)

    lets imagine that same person in that same situation. Except, lets imagine that she had a physically abusive boyfriend whom she ditched. And then got involved with a guy who was controlling and verbally abusive, as were his friends. Now shes not getting hit, which one could argue is an improvement, but shes getting put down and discouraged at every turn, which is causing depression and low self esteem. Making it harder and harder to hold it together. She doesnt see any way out and no one sees what is happening to her, or they dismiss it, or dont think its that bad. One day she just cant face it anymore and kills herself. Everyone says I dont understand. Her life was so great.

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Well, as you have been friends with this person for a long time, perhaps, if you want to continue to be friends with her, you should ask about what is affecting her and how. And listen. Witholding judgement (although that might kill you.)
    I did that literally for years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    lets imagine that same person in that same situation. Except, let’s imagine that she had a physically abusive boyfriend whom she ditched. And then got involved with a guy who was controlling and verbally abusive, as were his friends. Now she’s not getting hit, which one could argue is an improvement, but she’s getting put down and discouraged at every turn, which is causing depression and low self esteem. Making it harder and harder to hold it together. She doesn’t see any way out and no one sees what is happening to her, or they dismiss it, or don’t think it’s that bad. One day she just can’t face it anymore and kills herself. Everyone says “I don’t understand. Her life was so great.”
    Why wouldn't someone in this position leave that guy and move on?
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    To my mind, breaking a friendship over politics betrays a certain paucity of spirit. Too many of us are have lost our connections with deeper ethical and moral systems and are forced to rely on transient, oversimplified ideologies. I try to take a love the sinner but hate the sin attitude when it comes to political differences. Disagreeing with me may mean you are wrong, but it doesn't mean you are evil.

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    To my mind, breaking a friendship over politics betrays a certain paucity of spirit. Too many of us are have lost our connections with deeper ethical and moral systems and are forced to rely on transient, oversimplified ideologies. I try to take a love the sinner but hate the sin attitude when it comes to political differences. Disagreeing with me may mean you are wrong, but it doesn't mean you are evil.
    I have told her I do not want to lose the friendship and I am willing to agree to disagree.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I have told her I do not want to lose the friendship and I am willing to agree to disagree.
    I think that's the high road. If she can't live with that, could it have been much of a friendship anyway?

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    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    This is such an interesting topic for me as my take is a complete 180 from the OP's - which is cool, no judgement is coming from me here in any way, shape, or form.

    In my infamous zip code (no need to mention it at this point, no?) friendships are often formed BASED on identity politics. Most people where I live are in the same boat (though part of the neighborhood is getting an influx of moneyed outsiders who don't really fit in, not at all) so people are going to have the tendency to see things in a similar way to begin with. I have overall found identity politics to be of help in forming friendships and alliances with people and not the opposite.....until I leave my infamous zip code. There are times I truly feel that I am in a foreign country just by virtue of taking a public bus a few miles north of me - say on an errand (for example, I'm in Navy Federal Credit Union now and to visit a branch, the closest one is in the 85016, and a nice part of it at that) or on a secret shop on a day off, most of which are going to be in areas society deems "nicer".

    At any rate, my point is that I have found identity politics overall to be a warm and inclusive concept - provided that I stay in my neighborhood or visit a similar area. Rob

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I don't believe in "identity politics"--It's a label purposely slapped on those who genuinely care about people and causes to denigrate and belittle them and, as I pointed out in an earlier post, it only seems to apply to progressives. No one talks about evangelicals, for example, in the same breath as "identity politics."

    Your friend has every right to feel enraged/frustrated by Kavanaugh's appointment. Many of us do. But I think agreeing to disagree is an adequate compromise, since you're clearly unable to understand each other's positions.

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    I choose to not talk about politics in these situations. And the friendships can continue ...

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    A friendship -- a looooooong time -- friendship is in jeopardy now because of a disagreement about identity politics.

    The whole Kavanugh thing is still wreaking havoc.

    A friend of mine thinks that sexism is so pervasive that she is literally suffering.

    But to me, she herself is actually the evidence that sexism is fading out fast.

    She is 33 and in a management position at a huge international corporation where some of her underlings are straight white men. She makes about $90k.

    She owns her own nice house in a "gayborhood" and owns her own new car.

    She has two bachelor degrees (Spanish and Pharm Sales). She also has an MBA. She got scholarships!

    She teaches part-time for Kaplan (the testing company).

    She travels, plays in softball leagues, goes out dancing with her "gay harem," dates men as she pleases, and is on the board of a non-profit.

    I fail to see the oppression.
    Continue to be her friend. Even though I think you are jealous as all get out of her lifestyle.

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