“10. I can be fairly sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.”
Obviously she has never met a LOUD black woman.
“11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another woman’s voice in a group in which she is the only member of her race.”
What does this even mean? Some black women are worth listening to, others are not. Oprah Winfrey, sometimes. Melissa Harris-Perry – take a hike!
“12. I can go into a book shop and count on finding the writing of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods that fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.”
This is white privilege? Firstly, bookshop is one word. Secondly, much of her pablum concerns the same nonsense. For example, “24. I can be reasonably sure that if I ask to talk to ‘the person in charge,’ I will be facing a person of my race. ”
How is that an advantage? If she were living in Japan, what would she expect the person in charge to look like?
Let’s jump to number 46; this one is really idiotic. (It is quoted here verbatim):
“…I can chose blemish cover or bandages in ‘flesh’ color and have them more or less match my skin.”
Presumably she is alluding primarily to Elastoplast and Band-Aids. As these were invented by white men – like almost everything else in this world – their colouring is hardly surprising, but does it really matter? A bandage or plaster is a medical aid, not an ornament, and certainly not a symbol of white supremacy.
If you go through the rest of this essay exercising a little critical faculty, you will realise how far off the planet Peggy McIntosh is. Unfortunately, this kind of rubbish is now being taught not only in our universities but in schools and even to the military. Now let us move on to intersectionality. Crenshaw is pictured above.
Intersectionality takes white privilege, male privilege, homosexuality, disability…and constructs a pyramid of oppression. So a homeless white man is higher up the totem pole than Oprah Winfrey?
Crenshaw’s original essay doesn’t go that far, but it isn’t an easy read; she starts with the assumption that black women are somehow “erased”. For people who make so much noise about sweeping generalisations, she and Peggy McIntosh sure do make a lot of sweeping generalisations. She examines a number of legal cases concerning allegations of racial discrimination in employment. It is a standard ploy when a disaffected employee is fired to raise allegations of discrimination, be it racial, sexual, or whatever. How did this turn out for Ellen Pao?
If white employers were so “racist”, why would they employ blacks in the first place? On page 148, Crenshaw claims:
“…in the few cases where Black women are allowed to use overall statistics indicating racially disparate treatment Black men may not be able to share in the remedy”.
Playing games with statistics is a favourite of all race agitators, feminist airheads and social justice warriors generally, but statistics without context are meaningless. She continues on page 154 with the claim that feminist theory remains “white”. No, it remains idiotic. One is tempted to ask what Peggy McIntosh and other white feminists think of this claim of “racism”.
Her entire essay is saturated with nonsense about sexism and the mythical patriarchy, and of course no feminist discourse would be complete without mentioning rape. Best not go there, but on page 163 she attacks Daniel Patrick Moynihan for his 1965 report on the black family. Many people recognised its racism, she says, but not its sexism. Three decades and more on from Crenshaw’s essay, many sane black commentators agree with his position, namely that the absence of fathers from black homes is a far bigger social problem than so-called racism. Crenshaw’s solution is to expand feminist theory and anti-racist politics. Again, this is no solution at all.
While intersectionality is largely a problem for the social sciences, it has increasingly been infecting STEM fields, as pointed out by Janice Fiamengo here. Exactly what has astronomy to do with diversity? And can anyone take seriously the claim that the study of glaciers needs to be gendered?
Intersectionality’s most notable victim of late is Kizzmekia Corbett, that rarest of creatures, a black woman with impeccable scientific credentials earned on her own merit rather than gifted by affirmative action. Sadly, a stratospheric IQ and awards galore do not immunise anyone against idiocy, as can be seen from this Mail Online article about her views on the coronavirus.
So if intersectionality is a delusion and white privilege ludicrous, what is the truth? As most people know instinctively, privilege comes primarily from money. This doesn’t mean the wealthy are necessarily happier than the rest of us, the long list of celebrity suicides is surely proof of that. It does mean though, as somebody once pointed out, they enjoy their misery in greater comfort.
In 2013, Oprah Winfrey was said to have been a victim of racism in Switzerland. She wanted to look at a $38,000 handbag but was told by a shop assistant it was “too expensive” for her. Clearly the assistant didn’t recognise her, but was Oprah a victim of anything? A woman who is worth $2 billion can be called a victim if she is mugged in an alleyway, has her car stolen, or even if she catches the coronavirus, but not because she is undervalued by a humble shop assistant.
There are too other forms of privilege, some of which come with immense responsibility. The Queen of England is believed by many to be a woman of immense privilege. At 94, she has certainly enjoyed the privilege of a long life – her mother lived to 101. But in many ways she is a bird in a gilded cage. She could never have smoked a spliff or got blind drunk at a party, even if she had wanted. And has she ever insulted anyone in public? She is the head of state, but not a mere president like Donald Trump!
Then there is the privilege we all enjoy, namely that we are living in the Twenty-First Century which is built on the genius of mostly long dead white men and the suffering of all our ancestors. Intersectionality has no solutions to any of the problems we currently face, indeed it can only make them worse or create new ones. The current wave of madness sweeping the United States is proof positive of that.
One final word, about the origins of white privilege and intersectionality. Some people trace them to Saul Alinsky’s book Rules For Radicals; some to the Frankfurt School and what has been called the long march through the institutions. Some go back even further, to Karl Marx, the Order Of The Illuminati, or even the Elders Of Zion, but McIntosh, Crenshaw and those who followed them have not a clue about the origins of such dogmas, which can probably be traced back in one form or another to some ancient Greek philosopher, or more likely some long forgotten ancient Greek housewife. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for example isn’t simply a political lightweight she is a political illiterate who believes there was a famous economist named Milton Keynes, and that the White House is one of the three branches of the US Government.
Back to Part 1.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.