Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Shallowness Of Intersectionality

Ethnicity & Sexuality


An unexamined but glaring double-standard looms over anyone who traverses racial and sexual politics from acutely restorative angles. It's worth accentuating that these angles are uniformly past-minded and take cues from influential theories foregoing neutrality in intergenerational accounts of justice. To right past wrongs, they encourage members of certain groups to view their raw subjective experiences as epistemic leverage in answering questions of factual import. Adjusted for varying levels of past injustices, some maltreated groups are afforded more experiential leverage than others, though this is controversial and inessential for the main tenets to be introduced.

The uncontroversial tenets hold that the more Historically Wronged groups one belongs to, the more internally-crafted epistemic cred one secures for oneself. The fewer Historically Wronged groups one belongs to, the less internally-crafted cred one secures. The upshot is that, for one particular group, no such clout is plausibly on the table. At least insofar as its members live in the West.

This is not to suggest that the traditionally minded are altogether insusceptible to double-standards of this kind. No one is foundationally immunized from the standpoint "leverage" oversight, no matter their professed pol-orientation.

It just so happens that the epistemic blinders I'll be focusing on here are less likely to take hold once traditionalistic dogma enters the fray. How can this be? The reasons I give are stretchable and mazelike, intended for the diligent and temperamentally mature reader who fires no shots at the messenger and who assesses what the post is getting at incrementally.

It is commonly believed that, amid depoliticized human affairs, associational selectivity now enjoys a cordial amoral status thanks to generic progressivism. Culturally induced monogamy has had its day. Its replacement doesn't demand widespread support from any mainstream culture, it merely demands that non-monogamous choices not be condemned the way they were prior to the sexual revolution. As with other forms of assortative choosiness, the moral stakes are neither good or bad. They just are, and they ought to be respected or tolerated.

The setup goes something like: There are rights and there are responsibilities. Civic norms operate on the give-and-take between the two. The freer a society is, the more progressive it becomes, the more roominess it affords to arbitrary favouritisms within apolitical domains. Trying to outrun the inescapability of instinct and choice, once all impersonal responsibilities are fulfilled, is a fool's errand. Seek to stultify this progress and be met with reminders that what goes on consensually behind closed doors is no one's business dammit. Alright then.