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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Merriam-Webster defines Intersectionality as the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups. In reality, it has become an “Oppression Olympics” where people claim victimhood status based on a miscellany of diverse racial, religious ethnic, sexual etc. identities. This ever-changing hierarchy likely currently has Muslim, genderqueer, indigenous, disabled, obese people of colour on top. When a “group” has the temerity to become successful despite a history of genuine oppression or discrimination (take Jewish or Japanese Americans) they no longer qualify and it becomes socially acceptable to discriminate against them. As a rule the winner of this oppression Olympics tends to be whatever group has current media-based anti-American grievances.
One group that seems to have gone from part of the victimhood pyramid to oppressor, according to Intersectional activists, is women. After President Trump was elected progressive feminist groups flourished. Trump had made some unsavoury comments about women before he was a politician and they had been caught on a hot mic, so progressives decided that he, and as a corollary all of his supporters, were irredeemably sexist. They had annual women’s marches that in 2017 drew over a million people but died down and attracted less than ten thousand this year. The #metoo movement dominated headlines in 2017-2018 with the #believeallwomen moniker and almost destroyed the career of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with evidence-free allegations. It too has died with a whimper as those same progressives refused to believe credible and corroborated sexual assault allegations against Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Another reason that women are being pushed aside in the intersectionality hierarchy is the increasing prominence of transgender and genderqueer activism. (Genderqueer seems to be defined as people who do not believe in men and women or identify as some strange combination of the two. However, its definition is ever-changing.) There is an internecine warfare between these new genderqueer activists and the typical feminists, who are concerned about women and who are now being pejoratively dubbed TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists), based on the observation that trans and genderqueer individuals have been invading and taking over women’s spaces.
One notorious area is the increasing prominence of biological males, who purport that they are women, invading female sports. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a Civil Rights complaint on the basis that High school female athletes were denied “opportunities for participation, recruitment, and scholarships, contravening Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex.” There was a case where a notorious trans activist sued female aestheticians, specifically targeting minority immigrant female aestheticians, for not providing genital waxing (some did not know how given the different genitalia and some were uncomfortable) and some were run out of business.
Another effect of this oppression hierarchy is some men, who belong to a victim group ranked higher than women in these oppression Olympics, forgetting the basic rules of chivalry and even basic decency. Take last month’s incident in central park. A woman was walking her dog off-leash in an area of the park that required leashing, something that a lot of people do. A man, who happens to be black and gay, approaches her asking her to leash the dog. She ignores him and then he says “Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it” and proceeded to pull out dog treats to lure her dog away (and has written that he has done this in the past. He then started filming the interaction. She becomes hysterical, calls the police and brings up his race in the complaint. I will be the first to say she behaved terribly, bringing up his race is likely racist and she should have just leashed her dog or left as soon as she got into this confrontation.
The video was posted to social media, the online mob shared it widely, and she lost her job, her reputation and briefly her dog. Her life has been ruined. Her actions may have been atrocious but did that merit such a response? This also ignores the man’s behaviour. A man that harasses women walking alone in the park and lures their animals away is unquestionably a creep and a predatory harasser. Men, before intersectionality and to a certain extent modernity, knew that their place was to protect women. This man, who is a progressive activist, instead claimed victimhood and managed to get a platform campaigning for Joe Biden.
Another incident involved a woman who got into a driving altercation with a man where she flipped him off, and behaviour but something that often happens while driving. The woman happened to be white and the man happened to be black. He was a professional activist with a history of unjustly accusing people of racism. He baselessly accused her of using the N-word and then followed her home. She became hysterical, worried that this interaction and accusations would ruin her life so he filmed her and included her home and license plate so she could be doxed. This video has been viewed over 10 million times, shared all over twitter and he has been selling T-shirts off the incident, making fun of her for having a black husband. I think this man should be locked up and have questioned how we got to this point, where he has any sympathy.
I have also seen incidents like these on a smaller scale in my personal life. When we are constantly told that behaving terribly is fighting back against the oppressor, and that it is ok to torment people who belong to a more “privileged” group than you, this behaviour often gets excused. In reality we have no idea how privileged someone is because you can never know what somebody has personally experienced and frankly it does not matter. If we are to live in a society together we need to be held to the same standards of decency. While we can understand and sympathize with discrimination black American men may face, it is not a carte blanche for activists to harass women. We can sympathize with and provide help for people who struggle with their gender identity and feel that they are in the wrong body but we should not play into delusion. Women are being left behind in this new progressive intersectional world so I ask that good men stand up to it, speak against it and protect us.
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