Actress Jameela Jamil, a radical feminist and ethnic minority who made the news recently for bragging about her abortion, discovered this week that she still somehow lacks in Identity Points. As the BBC reports, controversy erupted and backlash ensued when HBO hired Jamil as a judge for an upcoming “unscripted voguing contest.” We’re informed that voguing is a dance genre “founded by black and Latino LGBT people.” The trouble is that Jamil is not LGBT, which somehow makes her unqualified to judge a dance competition, despite the fact that this style of dance was apparently popularized by the white, heterosexual Madonna.
Jamil knew just what to do. Taking to Twitter, the actress promptly announced that she’s “queer” — marking, after Kevin Spacey, the second time in recent history that an actor has come out of the closet as a defensive tactic. Smartly, especially because she has a boyfriend, Jamil did not claim any definitive sexual orientation or label. “Queer” can mean just about anything. All that matters is that it’s in the Sacred Acronym.
I don’t know if Jamil is really “queer,” or even what it would mean if she were, nor do I care in the slightest. The point is simply that her residence in the LGBTQ camp provides her cover from criticism and gives her access to just about any opportunity in Hollywood without fear of “appropriation” charges. On the Left, victimhood is currency. And LGBTQ victims are the wealthiest of all. They stand at the very top of the Victim Hierarchy, over and above mere women and racial minorities.
Whenever there are competing victimhood claims — for example, when transgender males say they are “victimized” by a lack of access to female locker rooms while females say they would be victimized by the privacy infringement such access would entail — the victory will always go to the claimant with the larger victimhood cache. And when one claimant is LGBT and the other is not, the former will win every time. This is why leftists feel perfectly comfortable screaming at adolescent girls to shut up and know their place as boys come into their locker rooms and get naked beside them.
On the Left, all that matters is identity. Your identity will decide what you have the right to say, think, do, and feel. Your identity will decide the content of your character and your value as a person. Your identity will decide if you are persecutor or persecuted, oppressor or martyr, slobbering racist bigot or bold and beautiful hero above reproach. But there is a rather massive problem with this system. Well, there are many problems, starting with its fundamental incoherence, but let’s focus on just one.
The problem is that the Left hangs everything on the hook of identity, but that hook is not connected to anything itself. It’s hanging precariously in the ether, not nailed into any sort of sturdy surface. According to their doctrines, identity is a nebulous, fluid, largely arbitrary, and entirely subjective concept. All that matters is how you identify, but anyone can identify as anything, so the edifice collapses in on itself. It becomes like a monetary system where everyone has a money-printing machine at their house. Just look at how the great scourge of white men have been able to manipulate things to their benefit.
By all rights, white men should be at the very bottom of the Victim Hierarchy. They are the serfs, the scum, the class beneath the peasant class. They are inherently bigoted, inherently oppressive, and inherently possessing a mythical privilege that renders all of their achievements moot. All victimhood claims supersede the white man’s claim, because the white man can make no claim. He is always the scoundrel and bully in every situation. But all that a dastardly white man need do is announce that he is a woman. This will not just move him onto the same victim status as real women, but in fact will put him above women. Five seconds ago he was a patriarchal pseudo-rapist for spreading his legs too wide on the subway. Now he is an awe-inspiring hero for barging into the women’s bathroom. He has ascended the pyramid all the way to the top simply by speaking a word. And nobody may question it or demand that he prove it or explain himself.
This is the trouble with declaring that everyone in such-and-such category is a drooling bigot and everyone in this other category is a blameless champion of human rights, and then following that declaration with the further declaration that everyone has the absolute and unquestioned power to decide the category in which they belong. It’s not hard to see why there is now a rush to get to the top of the Victim Hierarchy, with more and more people discovering their inner LGBT identity just in time to get whatever they want.
Consider the timely self-realization of Jonathan Yaniv, who found out he was a woman and then immediately sued a bunch of female estheticians for refusing to wax his genitals. Indeed, Yaniv seems very much to be a degenerate and predator who uses his “womanhood” to manipulate and prey upon girls. And yet even now, the media will report about him while reverently using his preferred pronouns, still feeling obliged to pretend that his “transgenderism” is anything but a perverse ploy by a deranged and despicable adult male. The only doctrine cherished more than the one that gives Yaniv ultimate victimhood privileges is the one that forbids us from questioning the self-identification that accorded those privileges in the first place.
The Left has a tangled mess on its hands. I don’t think there is any way out of it, aside from abandoning one or all of their key doctrines. But I don’t think they will ever do that. So all that the rest of us can do now is sit and watch, not without satisfaction, as the house of cards comes tumbling down.