Another idiotic idea is in vogue with the Perfectionist Progressives: Intersectionality. It’s perfect for its intended purpose, justifying attacking people for the supposed sins of their group. How do they know your group? The hierarchy goes like this: first, skin color; tied for second, religion and sex/gender; tied for third, income and residence address; fourth, sexual preference. Or maybe I have third and fourth place in the wrong order, but not to worry, the order is fluid, it can change with the latest fad. The latest fad, if the half-assed major media machine’s feeding frenzy over the “smirk seen ’round the world” is any indication, is Facecrime, which is the wrong kind of person–white, male, Private school privilege, presumably heterosexual and cisgender, Catholic and Southern–adopting the wrong facial expression at the wrong time. But three wrongs seem to make a right for the MMM to exploit.
The official definition of intersectionality is: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. “Regarded as creating…..” Regarded by whom? Gee whiz Batman, is that “I’ll give you three guesses, the first two don’t count?” Okay, I’ll bite….the Perfectionist Progressives? Who else?
I don’t regard any so-called “social characterizations”, each person to me is an individual, with their own unique set of experiences, perceptual apparatus, genetic makeup, culminating in their unique responses to any set of circumstances. Jonah Goldberg, writing for National Review, had an interesting take, which inspired my title. Identity is the new individuality. In his words: “Identity,” Leon Wieseltier once suggested, might be thought of as “the solution to the problem of individuality.” If one fears to be judged on your own merits because you know, deep in your soul, you’ll be found wanting, you’ll attach yourself to some abstract identity that gives you meaning you did not earn. The man who never served who claims to be a veteran, the veteran who never saw battle who claims to have fought bravely, the loser who falls back on his white skin to claim to be better than others, the minority who blames his failures or bad luck on the innate evil of the majority, the young activist who insists she must be listened to solely because she was born more recently than her more-informed elders: Women are more liberated than ever before, but they grow louder about their oppression. White supremacy has been erased from most hearts and from the law books alike, but we are told that this has only freed the menace to grow.” Why do the aggrieved howl louder as they have less to be aggrieved about?
My explanation is, prosperity brings leisure but often at the cost of meaning, so to inject more meaning into a life of more leisure, we seek causes to champion, but at minimal personal sacrifice, i.e. cheap grace. The more aware we become that our causes have either been already won by those who were willing to really sacrifice, or that progress itself has removed the reasons for most of the grievances, the more vociferous those seeking meaning, and feeling guilty about their unmerited blessings, become about their chosen causes. Thus intersectionality is born, because instead of howling about one grievance at a time, the PP’s can combine grievances and howl louder, while making solutions, if actually needed, far more complex and difficult to achieve, which allows the howling to continue apace.
When I mustered out of the Army in 1970, I was easy to identify as a Vietnam veteran, because I had the face and arm tan, the cropped hair, the jungle fatigues and boots, and it was well known in the area that these guys leaving Oakland Army Base were coming from Vietnam. Back then, we were greeted with derision, slander and scorn. I never would have guessed that in 2019, a guy like Nathan Phillips would claim identity in that group, in order to enhance his status, stolen valor they call it these days. We wanted to be treated as individuals, we were treated as members of a toxic group, and now some individuals claim membership in that group to get better treatment. Go figure.