I just popped in to nitpick about something said earlier
Wellsy wrote:The worst of identity politics is liberal criticisms of media representation
I just don't understand how this is the very worst of identity politics.
Whether it has merit nowadays or not, the media is intended to display public artforms.
Nina Simone — 'It is an artist's duty to reflect the times.'
If I think of one of the earliest instances of an adjustment of media representation my mind goes back to Emile Zola, where the literary landscape was primarily focussed on either the fabulous or the noble, Zola came along and implicated that literature ought to depict the under-represented (the humble worker) so that these lives could be understood by all.
I believe this had a major impact on the methods of sociological study. I can't find the source now, but I recall Nadine Gordimer stating that the reason she wrote novels instead of essays was because one could say much more in a novel than they could in limited empirical study
“The facts are always less than what really happened.”-Nadine Gordimer
So, by representing the under-represented, Zola opened up a world of greater insight and understanding. He made the ones who were dismissed as 'unworthy of contemplative interest' very appealing, for the humanity of them. If we should be inundated with homogenous images in today's media, we would be doing a disservice to not only ourselves, but to the people we fail to see.
I watch things like RuPaul's drag race with my sister, and the queens often share stories to the camera, of how when they were children they never got to see people like themselves on the television, and it made them feel alienated and now they are proud to share their esteem with people just like them to prevent the horrendous afflictions of self-doubt they had to endure. I can only see a diversified media landscape as a positive thing for every viewer.