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Intersectionality

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse (right shoulder) and back scratcher 
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader (left shoulder)
     
"This above all, to refuse to be a Victim."   -Margaret Atwood


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,

In my discussion of Postmodernism last week I mentioned that my favorite aspect of Postmodernism is called Intersectionality. I confess up front that the very word Intersectionality immediately appealed to me before I had any idea of what Intersectionality was or is supposed to be.

It absolutely rings of Acadamese. The sort of word one would encounter in a text authored by an obscure, bleeding-edge Ph.D. and chockablock with other polysyllabic words unfamiliar to the average Joe Bag-a-donuts or the average anyone else.

A document likely impossible to make sense of while striving to remain conscious -- don't forget, logic/clarity/reason and good writing are devious social constructs created by unashamedly heterosexual white male weenies to enable them to exploit everyone and everything else -- by even postdocs or the nerdiest of crossword puzzle aficionados.

By the time you read this there will probably be a newer, cooler word for Intersectionality (Is it wrong that I delight in tripping over words that immediately shout out, "probably babble and bonkercockie, fire up the browser, this should be fun?").

After all, Intersectionality replaced a word you may have missed while you were having an actual life, Kyriarchy, Intersectionality's dad. But as things stand at the moment, according to Merriam-Webster...

Intersectionality: the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.

In other words -- we're all victims, of all sorts of things, all the time.

Everyone is qualified to become a member of the International Union of Professional Perpetually Protesting Protesters & Perpetual Victims of This, That, and the Other Thing (IUPPPP & PVTTOT).

Iggy: Even you Poppa? I thought... 
Dana: No, definitely not. If ever there was a happily heterosexual and privileged white weenie...
Marie-Louise: Tosses a delicate, refined, but nevertheless unmistakeable snort of derision at Dana and begins scratching my back. 

Yeah Iggy, even me. Everyone in fact, when you think about it. In my case:

- I was kidnapped from my wealthy but dissolute family (it's complicated) as an infant which was the first link in a chain of events that culminated in my being won by my "father" in a poker game at the Gem Saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota.

- When it came to physical attractiveness, I was no box of chocolates to begin with, but when I was (accidentally?) dropped on my head by my big "brother," which resulted in a severe case of lazy eye, I was rendered even less so.

- I endured physical bullying and psychological abuse for the aforementioned condition by my peers all throughout my tender years. If not for my ability to see around corners I literally might not have survived my childhood.

For the sake of brevity, and because I'm starting to choke up, let us fast forward to the present.

- I've just celebrated the 25th anniversary of my 39th birthday and I'm the victim of ageism on a nearly daily basis.

For example, being neither a sex or a success object has rendered me -- for all intents and purposes -- invisible to hot chicks all entities possessing certain biological traits that would seem to indicate highly favorable reproductive potential of the sort that sets the DNA of happily heterosexual and privileged white weenies to howling at the moon. That is, entities who have, till recently, suffered from arbitrarily being assigned pronouns based on the hopefully soon to be eradicated barbaric practice of identifying 'em (my personal plural pronoun for H. sapiens) as "female" on a given entities birth certificate.

[While traditional Acadamese does not come easily to me, an unexpected side effect of my extensive research into Postmodernism was discovering that I have a natural affinity for the dialect spoken by Postmodernists. Try it at your next party. I'm working on a drinking game but I haven't completed my research. Watch this column for updates.]

Kimberle Crenshaw 

If you were to go in search of the origins of Intersectionality all roads lead to Ms. Crenshaw and a paper she wrote, Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, in 1991. 

Now, while I disagree with her on a very fundamental level (I think that identity politics and the endless mapping out of endless grievances is a giant step in the wrong direction) I must compliment her on her writing style. Unlike many academics/Postmodernists, she is readable with minimal translation required. 

However, her primary argument, that any given victim is a victim in any number of ways, is obvious. Everyone is a victim in any number of ways. Life is hard. Life is unfair. Then, you die. 

Endless squabbling over who's the most victimized, in exactly what ways, and by whom is as pointless for alleged grups, My Dear Stickies, as it is when yinz (at this point in your lives, callowyutes all) engage in the occasional (rare, but not unheard of) war of all against all. And about as productive. 

It also seems obvious to me that once you start down that path, inevitably, Social Justice Warriors, like Mao's Red Guardsmenpersons, Jacobins and the like will turn on each other and begin a never-ending game of ideological one-upmanpersonship. 

From, Intersectionality is not a label, an article by Latoya Peterson in the Washington Post: 

"Actress Nancy Lee Grahn identifies as a feminist, but felt no problem for blasting the history-making Viola Davis on Twitter for bringing race into her Emmy awards speech. 'She has never been discriminated against,' Grahn wrote, without any knowledge of Davis’s life or journey." 


I've linked to it before and I'll probably link to it again, but this Jordan Peterson video says it all. When I'm king you won't be able to graduate from high school without demonstrating you've watched and understood it. 

If you want to change the world acknowledge that you, just like the rest of us, are a fixer-upper -- and get to work. Poppa loves you. 

Have an OK day.


[P.S. Gentlereaders, for 25¢ a week, no, seriously, for 25¢ a week you can become a Patron of this weekly column and help to prevent an old crank from running the streets at night in search of cheap thrills and ill-gotten gains.

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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

If you're reading this on my website (where there are tons of older columns, a glossary, and other goodies) and if you wish to react (way cooler than liking) -- please scroll down.


















This post first appeared on The Flyoverland Crank, please read the originial post: here

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