Identity Choices

Stan Grant’s brilliant article (“Constrained by identity”, 28/4) should resonate with everyone whose choice of identity manifests as justification for exclusive self-righteousness, even bitterness and resentment against others not sharing or supporting their views. It is sadly axiomatic that for many people the past frames the present and denies the future, but mitigating this, reality demands we understand significant aspects of our past-however individual and selective in its memories- to enable us to leave it behind and live in the present, albeit imperfectly.

Identity underlies so much of the poisonous polemic about gender where women and men abuse the other, as well as their own kind because of so-called oppression and persecution. It seems both males and females are constrained by identity-choosing groups to vent their vitriol against each other. Highlighting difference as dangerous is paramount. Without acknowledgement of humanity shared, biology is just another separatist aspect of politics.

Some of these men and women talk change, but it is so mired in past maltreatments they cannot see beyond them.