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Intersectionality is thorny

Intersectionality is thorny in ways that both sides of the conservative/liberal divide don’t appreciate. Intersectionality refers to the idea that when someone is a member of more than one marginalized group their experience is a singularity to people who only belong to one of said groups. The analogy of a street intersection is used. If someone is both black and disabled they can get hit via either street but they wouldn’t necessarily ascertain whether it was one or other or a combination of both. The point is that like medical comorbidities, belonging to more than one marginalized groups adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

I am someone with both a physical disability and mental illness and the two have added up to more than the sum of their parts because if just one part of you is broken then you lean heavily on the parts of you that are still whole. But if more parts are you can’t do this, for example with me being a social mentally ill social moth needing company my physical disability makes it so I can’t drive to force myself on people to befriend.

What makes intersectionality more thorny than either side of the divide will admit is the fact that every way someone is has advantages and disadvantages similar to chemical compounds interacting where they can produce novel reactions. Case in point the black male. Maleness is no gravy train even if you’re white but what muddies the waters is the fact that the males feminists focus on as the patriarchy are the top 20% of men. If you just take those and ignore everyone else then yeah men are doing great. However when you start looking further down, particularly at the bottom 50% of males, a darker picture emerges. Males in this cohort of every race suffer because the three things that hit men harder are poverty, not having a father or father figure, and inability to control their anger. Now imagine being a black male, adding racism, Jim Crow, and police brutality to all of this. The intersectionality of blackness and maleness actually becomes worse than the sum of its parts because the parts of maleness that manifest themselves in men further down actually hurt them and this is amplified by the fact that aggression is actually punished more severely if you’re black not to mention the bias in the legal system.

A female walking through a store will be be ignored, a poor white male will be watched while a black male may be accosted. Anti male and anti black bias come together in multiple to make things worse. Women of all races get treated much better than men in the legal system (though it’s the worst for black men).

It’s politically incorrect to be a men’s rights activist but I think this angle can help us understand racism better.