There is a growing amount of influence in our culture which can trace its roots to an otherwise little-known philosophy of Intersectionality which is permeated our higher education and academia. This philosophy takes on many forms to include intersectional feminism/SJW culture/Third Wave feminism, etc. After a fair amount of research there are some pro’s to this strain of thought, but in actual practice, quite a few more negatives.
- Philosophy – There seems to be a significant divide between this philosophy on paper versus how it is often applied.On paper, it holds a fair amount of merit in acknowledging that individuals may experience varying and different degrees of discrimination and seeks to divide up (classification) based on sex, gender, race, economic class, etc. These divisions set up a decent framework for “checking your privilege” in assessing considering and discussing Social issues. Thus allowing a constructive framework for a broader consideration.
However, the application of this philosophy seems too often go in the other direction with the stated divisions being used to undermine and dismiss contrary views, and can and are applied in just as bigoted a way as someone who thinks there personal experience qualifies their opinion to apply to all other people… Instead of allowing a broader discussion it stifles discussion and often leads to an impasse.
- Language – This one I find particularly concerning
In general, the foundation for communicating is a commonality of language.
A good example of where the applied philosophy of intersectionality results in a negative impact when applied in a non-judicious way is seen in the use of the term “Mansplaining”, which in most documentation on this subject is defined as follows.
Mansplaining – “a man trying to tell me something in a
patronizing tone, assuming that I couldn’t possibly know
it already because I am a woman.”
While I understand that this does certainly happen and that there are misogynistic A-holes out there, I would also point out that in the very definition of this word it insinuates some level of “intent” and when used in certain context “malice”. I’ll also note that I have other woman friends that also heavily identify with the SJW culture and the ONLY time this phrase has been used towards me, is when I disagree with the prevailing narrative of the discussion. Often when that happens there are other men agreeing with the narrative in even more brash and condescending ways, and this term was not applied to them… This idea of dismissing ideas as a individuals “Privileged explaining” can quickly cover up any value from the communication and often shifts the focus of the discussion away from the subject and onto a defensive stance…. In general… once you question a person’s intention by calling them “privileged”, or racist, or a bigot…. You just ended the discussion… Any remaining discussion will be about the charge of bigotry, etc….
Another concerning theme of the SJW culture is the idea of allowing and supporting a person’s ability to subjectively define language based on their “Lived Experience”.
The idea of respecting someone’s “lived experience” fits well into the philosophy of Intersectionalism by encouraging consideration of others lived experiences… but…. In my lived experience 😉 … is applied to areas it should not… for example… language…. Words like Racism, bigotry, trolling, discrimination have actual definitions… and sharing how you “feel” about someone’s behavior by using the word incorrectly erodes the very commonality of language required to share ideas…
The language is defined in one way, but the way that the language of Intersectionalism is applied is more akin to a narrow subjective Cult type indoctrination. Other examples of closed-discussion philosophies that reconstruct the use of language would include McCarthyism and Marxism.
I’ll skip the part about how intersectionality is presenting itself in mass media as well…. But that is pretty interesting to….
So… in my “lived experience, there is a fair amount that can be learned in researching and understanding the foundational intersectional philosophy that is so poorly applied in the SJW culture. It can certainly chip away at some social conditioning.
I also discovered that those most vocal about fighting intolerance can be quite intolerant, and if I summarized my current thoughts on Intersectionality it would be as follows…
Intersectionality as a philosophy has merit in that it seeks to create a framework to better understand the social impact, discrimination, and challenges varying groups of people encounter due to race, gender, sexual preference, economic class and gender identity (etc). However, in practice, far too many adherents mistake what is essentially a “flexible doctrine” for a “rigid dogma” and apply this philosophy in counter-productive ways.