Intersectional Reflections

Coleman Hughes writes:

Perhaps the most pernicious consequence of intersectionality, however, is its effect on the culture of elite college campuses. … It operates as a master formula by which social status is doled out. Being black and queer is better than just being black or queer, being Muslim and gender non-binary is better than being either one on its own, and so forth. By “better,” I mean that people are more excited to meet you, you’re spoken of more highly behind your back, and your friends enjoy an elevated social status for being associated with you. …

At the same time, elite campus culture is overcorrecting for more traditional forms of identity-based oppression by giving cis-straight-white students—or at least those among them who are embedded in the intersectionalist subculture—a choice between being honest with themselves and being held in high esteem by their peers. Ultimately, we should want to create a culture that does not provide strong incentives for people to be anything other than who and what they are.

4 Comments for “Intersectional Reflections”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    “The main problem with intersectionality is that it’s an armchair philosophy. Its purveyors do not look at the social world, gather evidence about it, and formulate theories based on what they see. Instead, they pontificate about the world from a distance.”

    Oh, what a load of crap.

    The problem with internationality is that it is a layman’s psychology. Its purveyors formulate theories based only on what they see, and refuse to distance themselves and apply objectivity to their methods and analyses.

    Armchair psychology better describes the people who oppose intersectionality.

  2. posted by JohnInCA on

    I had a long response, but here’s the bottom line: I’m sorry you feel excluded from a sub-culture that was created by the people the majority culture rejected, though I expect you will be able to sufficiently console yourself by maintaining a stranglehold on all levels of political and economic power in this country.

  3. posted by Kosh III on

    More gay-bashing from the Regressive Republican nannies

    Gov Lee wants to force his theocratic OPINION onto everyone else.

  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The problem with intersectionality is that it is a layman’s psychology.

    True enough, but that doesn’t make the roots from which intersectionality theory arises less valid.

    It seems that the problem identified by intersectionality theory is not so much that rejection by the majority culture of individuals in two or more rejected classes is additive (that is, an individual is not necessarily more rejected because he/she/they are in two or more rejected classes) but that the effect of being in two or more rejected classes is cumulative (that is, an individual in two or more rejected classes is more likely to experience rejection by the majority culture more frequently than if he/she/they were in a single rejected class).

    More generally, I’m old enough to have seen many cultural enthusiasms come and go (and intersectionality is, right now, a cultural enthusiasm among the young on the left), so I tend to take the current intersectionality enthusiasm with a “this too shall pass” grain of salt. Along the lines of cultural enthusiasms, it seems to me that the current uproar among conservative homosexuals (rising to near-hysteria levels as often as not) about transgender issues and intersectionality issues, both, is a similar cultural enthusiasm, fear-based and unwarranted for the most part.

    The bottom line remains a constant: The benefits and burdens of citizenship should be shared by every American citizen on an equal footing, and anything that interferes with that basic principle of “equal means equal” needs to be swept away unless there is a clear and compelling reason, closely tied to the common good, why discrimination is necessary. Every step we take to reduce fear-based discrimination is a step forward, intersectionality or not.

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