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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Intersectionality Defined


1.    (Google) the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
"through an awareness of intersectionality, we can better acknowledge and ground the differences among us"

2.    (The 3rd Rail) a strategy to forestall the inevitable result of identity politics: where the various groups bestowed with victim status (i.e., all except heterosexual white males) eventually devour one another in a vicious circle of victimization one-upmanship.

“Intersectionality” is the most recent of the linguistic constructions employed by the Left to advance their political agenda. It comes from a virulent pedigree, with “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” and “inclusion” among the most notable of its ancestry. The first two achieved “holy word” stature sometime during the last decades of the twentieth century; “inclusion” more recently.
They all serve the same purpose: to diminish and denigrate the predominance of Western European culture and history in the Brave New World of “progressivism,” and to demonize heterosexual white men.
World history is deconstructed to reveal that the influence of Western European civilization on the world’s other peoples has been one of exploitation and subjugation. Furthermore, its cultural values, evolved from the Greco-Roman world through the Renaissance to the Age of Enlightenment and beyond to the present, are all poisoned by their original sin, and must be rejected.
This is why to earn a bachelor’s degree in English Literature at UCLA you must takes courses in Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability or Sexuality Studies, Imperial Transnational or Post-Colonial Studies, and Critical Theory—and are not required to take a single course in Shakespeare. The goal of the program is to expose students, according to the course catalog, to “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.”*
It shouldn’t need to be stated that UCLA is hardly an outlier, or an insignificant college. Such academic “rubrics” are now the new norm throughout the academy.
* * *
Identity politics requires people to classify themselves first as a member of a victim group, and as an individual second. From their membership in their particular victim group (or groups), they are programmed to see political and social issues all through the lens of the group. It is ironic that this new paradigm is the reversal of the ideation from the Civil Rights movement championed by MLK. His plea was that he would see a future when people were judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. This is the antithesis of identity politics.
Intersectionality encourages its stakeholders to set aside any internecine conflicts that may arise around a particular issue, for example the outrage from some quarters of feminism wishing to exclude transgender women (that is men who have been surgically altered to mimic a female) from their latest protest. It must be quite a conundrum for them.
In the absence of the overarching unifying principle of intersectionality, these two victim groups would be at each other’s throats (and actually, they are). But intersectionality reminds them that they share a common bond: the identity of their oppressors. Feminists are oppressed by men, and transgenders are oppressed by “heteronormism.” The intersection of which is ... wait for it ... straight men.
Recognizing their shared victimhood, victim groups should table their differences on whatever current matter is in contention, in service of the higher truth. Never forget who the ultimate enemy is: the straight white male.
* * *
As the 3rd Rail’s definition states, “... a strategy to forestall the inevitable result ...” 
The balkanization of the Left into its ever-growing number of victim classes and their petty rivalries must inevitably devour itself. Even with shrewd strategies like “intersectionality,” the inherent nihilism, toxicity and hatred of the Left will consume it.   As sixties’ radical Abbie Hoffman once intoned about a different “enemy”:
“The system will collapse under its own weight. Our job is to give it a few kicks and stay high.”
I don’t recommend the drugs inference, but I love the sentiment!

*Who Killed the Liberal Arts?” Heather Macdonald, Prager University video lecture

Copyright  ©   2018 Marcus Clintonius

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