Guest contributors run the gamut, but they all pretty much rock.
Guest Contributor Bryan O’Nolan
Two individuals meet on the street, say. In talking, they discover, to their joy, that each is a victim of oppression. As for why such calamity is cause for celebration, it will suffice to say they suffer from that insidious disease, modernity. Though each is oppressed in different ways and by different forces, they embrace their common experience of oppression. They walk, hand-in-oppressed-hand, down the street.
Soon they come upon a third. She — for of course a she she must be — too is oppressed, and is oppressed in her own way. They congratulate each other on their mighty common struggle against the myriad forces of injustice.
So two are now three.
They live in the bliss of intersectionality, of having found in their complex, multidimensional and disparate identities a common struggle. Imagine, if you will, a giant Venn diagram: the central ring is Intersectionality, that region where all the various struggles against oppression reside.
This will destroy them.
But for now, they walk in confident solidarity. In time, however, the third is discovered to be an oppressor, a fact of which she herself had heretofore been unaware. She has, as part of the complex makeup of her identity, a common experience of (supposed, as is more often the case than not these days) oppression, but there are also parts of her identity which lie without the Ring of Intersectionality; there are aspects of her identity other, stronger forces within the Ring see as a source of oppression.
What is she to do?
She could admit to herself that the intersectionality racket is a threat to her individuality, that she is more than a grievance, but she will be tempted to choose otherwise, for within the Ring of Intersectionality are wealth, fame and power. The region within the Ring is on the right side of history, after all. Icons of ProgressⓇ will court, and perhaps employ her for her presence there. Financial backers whose wealth can only be matched and mollified by their willingness to donate to her cause will require that you place yourself and entire operation within this ideological space, that they need not be exposed to scorn from the wrong places later. She’ll have clicks, followers, the right kind of enemies. She is no less indignant, but her indignance would now be empowered by the forces of intersectionality: it would be of a safely vetted righteousness.
She must, then, subsume those parts of herself and her identity which do not conform. She must denounce her inner oppressor. That part of herself who is seen by her masters as a tool and symbol of oppression must die.
Intersectionality, which grew out of Black Feminist Theory, was first formulated by Kimberlé Crenshaw in the late eighties and was afterward expanded upon by Patricia Hill Collins. It was Collins who identified Intersectionality as a vector for social change. Though this is only one of Collins’ expansions upon the theory, it is this one that drives Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American Sharia advocate from New York, to her prominent place as co-organizer of the Women’s March. Needless to say, in many Sharia-compliant nations the only women allowed to march do so, faces shrouded, safely behind their common husband. But Sarsour exists so comfortably within the correct intersectional space — woman, Palestinian, Muslim — and is thus excused.
This is why a lesbian Pride March in Chicago this past June told women with Pride Flags which contained a Star of David, that they were not welcome. The Dyke March, you see, was “anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian.” What it is that binds one particular side of the several thousand years old struggle for the Levant with faraway Chicago lesbians? Intersectionality.
This is why the oppression of the Egyptian Copts is popularly ignored. They are, Christians, of course, and thus, though unquestionably the victims of sectarian violence, their Christianity makes them, in the twisted, ill-informed logic of 21st-century social justice, problematic, as they say. The term is a polite synonym for anathema.
The reality is, of course, that few of these oppressed peoples are oppressed in a way that early 20th century Armenians, or European Jews of the same era, or South African blacks under Apartheid, would recognize. Intersectionality allows one to connect legitimate social grievance (“I have to have substandard schooling because of my skin color? I don’t think so”) with mere social discomfort (“I’m gay and I’m not sure everyone around me is okay with that”) and in doing so equate the injustice and urgency of the former with the relatively pedestrian insecurity of the latter, a social justice grievance-by-proxy syndrome.
Like the teens who all choose to be different in the exact same way, intersectionality requires conformity and the refutation and removal of all elements of the self which are evidence of the equal evils of Wrong Thought and Wrong Being, obverse and reverse of the same coin of hate.
Intersectionality is advertised as a kind of grievance network which enables a discovery of commonalities and is a source empowerment, but what it really empowers is the Intersectional Ring which will destroy all other grievances and all other voices which do not, can not or will not conform.
What then will become of the legitimately aggrieved and the sincerely oppressed? What of those repressed by Intersectionality itself?
No matter; they were on the wrong side of history.