Who wants to join my “identities are for schmucks” club? I’ll get the t-shirts printed.

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Discussion (22)¬

  1. Daz says:


    Grrr The ‘like’ button tries to make me join facebook.

  2. Sach says:

    Daz, Facebook is just about everyone’s identity these days you know.

  3. yokohamamama says:


    hi daz:)) see–told ya, there’s that tshirt…

  4. Oh no…nononono… Facebook is just something I do to keep up with my friends. My *identity* is that of a blogger, skeptic, atheist, bisexual, Mom, (No I am NOT a Mommy Blogger. Blech!), She of the Pink Hair and Wearer Of Many Labels. I should make a blank label tshirt and let people fill it in with a Sharpie. Oh LOOK! I’ve achieved full on Babble! I wonder if that’s like going to Plaid.

  5. Daz says:


    ‘Ello Amy! ‘Ow be doin’?

    Maria, how about a t-shirt with a square containing the words “this space for rent”

  6. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Facebook is an instrument of evil and infidels. Get your posterior off the couch and face people in real life. That way you have instantaneous gratification if they accept the same absurdities that you post on the internet, or you provide it when they jihad the floor with you for same thing. Spell check is a crutch for those who can’t face reality.

  7. nina says:

    but it’s in their personality to be obsessed with their identity

  8. Daz says:

    See! I said it was evil! (ahem).

    Watts with the spell cheque comment, though? Aye don’t git that atoll.

  9. jerry w says:

    If I was to join your “identities are for schmucks” club, would I have to use my real name? I’m just askin…… Not for nothing, but what color are the t-shirts?

  10. Author, where did this “identity” word come from? Doesn’t sound like religion speak to me. More like anthroapology or sociology, the people who brought us cultural reltavism (which claims that we can’t tell somebody not to cut the clits off their girl children unless we are in their culture. Uh huh.) Is some religious group flaunting the word these days in an attempt to sound sophisitcated? Just asking.
    @Maria Myrback speaking of bisexual bloggers, I’ve finally got around to posting a couple of things on my site. Not a single comment so far. You want to be the first? (Let’s call this trying to build a community, rather than shameless self promotion, shall we.)

  11. Peter Harris says:


    Just because Anthropologists and Sociologists have written about cultural relativism doesn’t mean they believe it to be acceptable as an ethos.

    Your comment sounds dangerously close to presuming these groups believe in/accept the theory.

    and FWIW I am a social anthropologist, my wife graduated with the same degree, and unsurprisingly we’re not pro-clit-cutting on the basis of relativism.

  12. @Peter Harris: Sorry. That was an intemperate remark. I have great respect for sociologists AND anthropologiss. But no respect at all for cultural relativism. I don’t know where the concept came from. My suspicion is that it came from sociologists telling the missionaries to stop trying to put clothes on the naked savages. It just got a bit out of hand.

  13. Peter Harris says:

    No worries Darwin. My wife no longer has respect for anthropology – she’s become a social historian. Sigh.

    I’m fairly sure “they do things differently over there” goes back to the cavemen and is probably a slightly lesser form of ethnocentrism. Should I have to guess…

  14. Oops. I meant anthropologists. They’re the ones who told missionaries to back off because they weren’t respecting the culture. But then that got used as an excuse to say nothing at all about a universal morality.

  15. Stephen Turner says:

    Members of the Schmuck Council of Britain are going to be up in arms about this.

    Wikipedia has some absorbing articles on cultural relativism versus moral relativism (the commenters above seem to have blurred the two things).

  16. nina says:

    @Darwin Harmless

    there is no universal morality, it’s too culture dependant

    and, nothing wrong with shameless self promotion – it’s how we build social communities – you have to blow your own horn and make people realize that you are interesting

  17. […] artist of Jesus and Mo has a similar take on this issue. He makes the point with characteristic wit: [schmidentity] […]

  18. MrGronk says:

    There are values which can be described as univeral; every culture I can think of considers honesty and honourable conduct (for example) to be important, at least when treating other members of the in-group. I would guess that this is because no culture can survive without some level of trust among its insiders. Where cultures vary is in how widely they define their in-group, and how far they extend their value system to outsiders.

  19. daoloth says:

    @ Darwin. I can’t remember who said it, but whoever said that to understand someone you had to understand who they opposed was talking sense.
    In the case of early C20th cultural relativists- like Frank Boas & his proteges, like Margaret Mead, and later followers, like Steve Gould- I think they sincerely believed that relativism was the only answer to racism & sexism.
    I think they were wrong about this– ie there are better responses to both of these things–but I think they might have been sincere.

  20. FedupwithR says:

    Very interesting strip. However, our Western secular societies enable the individual to develop a personality. For those living within clans, tribes and societies that revolve around religious traditions, the individual doesn’t really exist. He is stuck with a group identity.

  21. Blamer .. says:

    Yes @MrGronk “how far they extend their value system to outsiders” might even be a litmus test for groups who self-identify as ethical. If in extending their values to others, the group is de-prioritising individual human rights, we’d be right to be highly critical of that value system.

  22. dysamoria says:

    I think it’s pretty clear that mutilating a person’s sex organs against their personal wishes is universally evil. That goes for what they did to MY parts as a male, too.


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