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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 shuts down constructive debate

Intersectionality introduces hierarchies of victimhood and marginalises the voices of those told to ‘check’ their privilege. It places identity, rather than debate, at the heart of politics.
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The Argument

In framing human experience through the lens of oppression, intersectionality encourages ‘oppressors’ to ‘check’ their privilege, and are cast as immoral and bigots if they don’t.[1] Intersectionality fetishises victimhood, with the most oppressed now holding the most moral authority - the converse is true of straight cisgendered white men, whose voices are suppressed and who must confess to their privilege.[2] In this way, in political discourse what is now important is not the content or power of your argument, but characteristics that you did not choose, such as race, sexual orientation and gender identity.[3] This means that the views of ‘oppressor’ groups are automatically perceived at illegitimate, bigoted and intimately related to the various ways in which they are privileged - this is undemocratic and illiberal.[4] The product is a hierarchy of victimhood, where different groups are in competition with one another for the moral authority and legitimacy to have their opinions heard. This is a total reversal of discrimination, establishing a new caste system, rather than destroying the old one.

Counter arguments

Intersectionality does not mean marginalising privilege groups, it only calls for a recognition that people’s experiences are affected by their identity. Its demands are extremely democratic, giving a platform to the perspectives and experiences of others whose voices may not have been heard previously. It may be natural to be defensive when confronting our own privilege, but we need to to overcome discriminatory practices; the fact that people become defensive is evidence of the privilege itself.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/03/is-intersectionality-a-religion.html
  2. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/the-battle-of-woke-island/
  3. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/victimhood-olympics
  4. https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html
This page was last edited on Friday, 13 Nov 2020 at 14:37 UTC

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