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ArbitraryHuman wrote

I’ve never been able to ascertain what intersectionality is in the context of radical politics. Granted, I’ve never actually wondered about the term until now—let alone looked it up—but at this point I have seen it used in enough discussions that I should really know what it means.


this_one wrote

Intersectionality is the idea that where identities/axes of oppression intersect are unique experiences/forms of oppression.

For example, most people of colour in a society will have many shared experiences. Most women will also have many shared experiences. Most women of colour will have many shared experiences that are either uncommon or not at all present for just "people of colour" or "women".

It's also the idea that there's not a single 'scale' of oppression. That is to say, a bi man's experiences aren't comparable (or aren't worth comparing) to an Indigenous man's experiences. A queer, Deaf, poor woman shouldn't be said to be 'worse off' than a trans woman. Her queerness, Deafness and class don't each add +10 Oppression, because all those identities experience different kinds of oppression.

Something like this score is really, really, really awful and misses the point not only because it fails to specify in what society/culture it's talking about (different groups will have different experiences in different places!), nor only because it's wrong and offensive in many ways (although it really really is), but also because it places everyone on a single scale. Goodness, that image is so awful, but it's a good example of what not to do.


kore wrote

my understanding which is pretty basic is that oppression of PoC, queer people, women, the poor, just to name a few, is all tied to capitalism and the state. (white heteropatriarchy if you will). So it's misguided to think that one can end racism or sexism or homophobia alone without ending the others because they are all results of the same institutions. Again, pretty basic but I always thought this was a pretty easy way of understanding.


[deleted] wrote


kore wrote

Um, not necessarily. Maybe I should be more general and say that if there are a lot of oppressed groups then it's likely that the same or similar structures have a hand in the oppression of all of them.


[deleted] wrote


kore wrote

I don't think the word "arseholes" covers the degree of systemic oppression that is perpetrated by white cis heteropatriarchy. It's true that in other parts of the world there are other forces that oppress, like islamophobia for example (put a different way it's religious supremacy).

I also really need to add to my general statement that before the category "white" existed, PoC as a category did not exist. White supremacy created that category. So in a sense, yes, there was no oppression of PoC before white supremacy. Similar line of reasoning applies to the other groups. Though they're more difficult to trace historically.

You're right that noone is genetically predisposed to be any worse than anyone else is. Genetic essentialism is very close to racial discrimination. Sure, if a dutch person was raised in a Black African family they may not be a "self-righteous prick", and to the people of the community they could just be considered another member. However, if they came to the U.S. or Europe or something they would be treated very differently than the family that raised them.

It's all about history. You can't consider these issues in a vacuum.