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Is intersectionality the new caste system? Show more Show less
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The concept of intersectionality is viewed by some as a liberating principle that allows their voice to be heard, whilst for others it creates divisions and hierarchies of victimhood. Is intersectionality the new caste system?

Yes, intersectionality is the new caste system Show more Show less

Intersectionality is the new caste system as it places labels on people and introduces divisions between them. It promotes an individualistic politics where debate is shut down, where the identity of the speaker is more important than what they say.
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Intersectionality introduces labels which divide people

Intersectionality places labels on people, who are categorised as oppressed or oppressors, and encourages individualism. It suggests we are defined by our identities and that we have little common ground.

The Argument

Intersectionality places labels on people, categorising them according to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender orientation, class, and so on. These labels then determine how oppressed someone is, and as a result we become defined by these particular characteristics, not by our actions and beliefs. In this way, labels undermine individual agency, whilst at the same time encouraging individualism, where subjective experience rules supreme.[1] Intersectional narratives also divide people according to whether they are oppressors or oppressed. Focusing on victimised identities, it fosters an ‘us versus them’ mentality, typically against cisgendered heterosexual white men.[2] Categories as emotive as ‘oppressed’ and ‘oppressor’ not only ignore the nuance needed to overcome societal challenges, but they challenge the identity of those grouped as ‘oppressed’ but do not feel that they are.[3] Instead of a long series of battles where specific identities fight for their own liberation, we need a more universalist approach where marginalised groups are not framed as at odds with each other.[4] Intersectionality implies that freedom is a zero-sum game, creating a situation where other identity groups are targeted, and the larger system is not challenged. People cannot be neatly organised into social categories, we need to recognise a more universal humanity to end oppression.

Counter arguments

Intersectionality doesn’t place labels on people, these labels are created by a much larger social system. Intersectionality is a way to understand that we are not single-issue individuals, and our identities are complex and unique.[5] The belief that intersectionality introduces a new caste system has things the wrong way round; the larger capitalist social system has created a caste system revealed by intersectional thought.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/the-battle-of-woke-island/
  2. https://www.prageru.com/video/what-is-intersectionality/
  3. https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/intersectionality-limits-true-premise-wrong-conclusions/
  4. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/broken-mirror-intersectionality-and-loss-universal/
  5. https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/5/20/18542843/intersectionality-conservatism-law-race-gender-discrimination
This page was last edited on Friday, 13 Nov 2020 at 16:23 UTC

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