Saturday, September 8, 2012

do different forms of oppression intersect or dogpile?

Or "the problem with the middle-class feminist theory of intersectionality, part 2".

If you wonder why the implications of a word like "intersectionality" should matter so much when anyone with half a brain knows a disabled queer black woman is going to have a harder time in the US than an able straight white man, it's because social justice warriors take a religious approach to understanding injustice.

They claim socialists who stress the importance of class are "class reductionists", even though socialists have always been at the front of the struggles against racism and sexism. Whenever a group creates a label for their opponents, you know the matter no longer has anything to do with reason. When I hear of any debate over theoretical points, I remember Michael Servetus, the unitarian who Catholics and Protestants both wanted to burn for heresy. For some people, nothing is more offensive than having their belief rejected.

Thanks to the discussion in the comments at the problem with the middle-class feminist theory of intersectionality, I'm going to try to sidestep the problem with "intersectionality" from now on by using a different term for what happens when several kinds of prejudice work together: dogpiling. Social justice warriors would be able to continue to argue that each dog comes from a different place, socialists would be able to argue that one or two dog handlers are siccing the dogs on the working class, and everyone should be able to agree that we need to do something about those damn dogs.