By Mirder O. Crows
Why hello there! Tell me: are you sick of the typical uninspired brick-for-brack quote pertaining to the value of individualism? Do you feel victimized on a daily basis based on what you perceive as “microaggressions”? Do you need to subvert logical arguments and criticism from opponents in order to emphasize your subjective experience, shutting down any form of debate? Well look no further! I, Mirder O. Crows, come here to tell you about my company’s latest product! Without further ado, I give you the state of the art commodity that will bring social justice to wherever you may be. My magnum opus: the VictimCard™! Our advanced technology allows you to use the VictimCard™ in any situation you choose, even when others may say it isn’t valid to the conversation; politics, economics, culture, education, and even interpersonal relationships are all subjects that are applicable for this very special card. However, there is one specific feature that this card has that I personally cannot emphasize enough: IT DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY FORM OF SOCIAL CURRENCY! In other words, are you worried that you may dilute the value of accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and more through overuse in places where it may not exist? No worries, just put it on the card! And it’s yours! All that you need to do is subscribe to the philosophy of Intersectionality Incorporated, and we’ll ship a VictimCard™ to you absolutely free! Get them while they last!
Want to learn more about Intersectionality Inc.? Our company has humble origins; following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an act that outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, and sex in public institutions and in the workforce, many celebrated the idea that America was living up to its core values of enshrining rights to all. Nonetheless, as many correctly pointed out, racism in society persisted even after its passage. In addition, by the 1980s, Second-Wave feminism, a feminist movement dedicated to ending workplace sexism, legal obstacles for women, and reproductive rights, had begun to wane in popularity. This is due to its perceived view of addressing issues related to white women, while ignoring women in minority communities. This can be illustrated in the famous DeGraffenreid v. General Motors court case, in which five black women sued General Motors for not receiving the same employment opportunities as others. They argued that, as being both black and women, they were facing a unique discrimination that white women and black men hired by General Motors were not subject to. Ultimately, however, the court ruled that they were not subject to a unique discrimination, owing to the fact that General Motors hired black men and white women as workers. A miscarriage of justice? Many people, even evil conservatives and libertarians, would certainly say so. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, a law professor observing the case, cited this as a specific instance of discrimination based on two identities, culminating in her feminist theory of intersectionality. According to Crenshaw, intersectionality is the idea that specific group identities, such as being black and a woman, creates a unique experience where one faces oppression based on said intersecting group identity. What Crenshaw ultimately argued was that these various intersecting identities were neglected during Second Wave feminism, spawning the intersectional theory that served as a bulwark for the Third Wave feminist movement and, more prominently, the Fourth Wave feminist movement today.
All this sounds great, but where does Intersectionality Inc. come in? After all, much of what is being said does not allow us to create the incredible card that I advertise before you. This was accomplished by intersectionality operating in a specific framework; harkening back to the idea of Hegelian Dialectics (the idea that history is a series of conflicts between two opposing sides), Crenshaw, along with other intersectionalist philosophers, stated that these various intersections in identity result in oppression. This was where we struck gold; if various intersections in one’s identity lead to oppression, this leads one to ask who are the oppressors? Presumably, if having a greater intersectional identity leads to more oppression, then those who lack these intersections are removed from these obstacles, if not the oppressors. In other words, the people that are doing the oppression are the people who are those lacking in intersections. For us, this means assuming that the main proponents of oppression are straight, white, cisgender, male, upperclass, and whatever else is considered dominant in society. They, in other words, are our enemies. There was also another revolutionary concept that unintentionally allowed us to make our VictimCard™: what experiences are deemed oppression? How is it that we can guarantee the use of our card if oppression varies from individual to individual? Does the oppression of a trans-woman of color outweigh the oppression of an LGBTQIIA+ Native American woman? The inability to form a concise definition means that oppression is based on the subjective experience of an individual and how they subjectively perceive it to relate to their group identity. The end result? There is now no need to think about the value of proving objective discrimination, whether it is present or not; so long as you perceive an obstacle is a result of your intersecting identity, it exists, hence no social currency required. Thus, we have more than enough ingredients to give everyone a VictimCard™ so that we can fight for social justice!
You may be asking, “When and where can I use this VictimCard™?” Why, it is applicable to virtually all of your needs, and can be used anywhere you like! Don’t like how someone with a different viewpoint is allowed on campus? Use the card to argue that they are complicit in your oppression! Don’t want to have a debate in good faith about political topics that you may disagree with? Use the card to call that person a racist, sexist, homophobe that should feel unsafe in public spaces, proof be damned! See something you disagree with? Take action before claiming that the “politicalization” of the issue ignores a specific identity group, then put it on the card! And we have even seen it in action here, at Binghamton University! That’s right, we have had an extremely successful time marketing our card to the people pushing social justice on this very campus. I can think of a couple of events that encapsulate the use of our wonderful VictimCard™. Take, for instance, a minor incident that occurred on a bus where an evil pro-life organization had its advertisements torn down by an activist. When questioned, they used the card, stating that what was torn down was “literally a wrong poster” and that the organization didn’t address “…poor women of color,” even if it is a private company whose services you don’t have to use and whose property you destroyed. Perfect use of the card by Intersectionality Inc.! Or how about the protests against the white supremicist harassment engine TPUSA, run in part by the African American conservative activist Candice Owens? Their very support for Donald Trump and gun rights is a subjective attack against minority communities, so protesters showed up en mass to use the card, shutting them down and later shutting down a completely separate event by the racist College Republicans. It was certainly justified with our VictimCard™, because we shut down debate with white supremicists while shouting unironically “Free Speech.” After all, hate speech isn’t free speech (even though I can’t remember what specific thing they said that was hate speech). Perhaps the most heroic moment from that saga was when a young woman yelled at one of the club members, stating that police only protect people “…like you.” When clarifying, the young activist screams “YOUR WHITE!” Wow! Not only did she use Intersectionality Inc. philosophy and the card, but she can also be characterized as a Completely-Understanding-of-the-New-Truth-type of person, the New Truth being that we can judge someone based on their oppressive skin color! Fascinating! I’m sure that anyone involved with TPUSA or the College Republicans didn’t receive any threats of violence and what could possibly be considered sexual harassment. And even if they did, it was certainly justified when an audio tape leaked, where they compared having a “scandal free year” to “scorched earth,” which was not sarcastic banter taken out of context. Just put it on the card!
Of course, not everyone is willing to take the card, and some have even proposed alternatives to Intersectionality Inc. Their philosophy is without any merit, though, and does not take away from the awesome powers of our VictimCard™. Take, for instance, the individualism posited by Ayn Rand. As a “philosopher,” Rand argued that individualism was the key to rising above the pact, that those with vision and dedication are able to overcome any obstacle, and that one should live not by subjective urges or tribalism, but instead via reason. How ridiculous is that!? Or how about those that argue that justice doesn’t necessarily mean equality at ALL levels of society, like Robert Nozick? Obvious nonsense from someone who doesn’t think of group justice, regardless of individual circumstances.
But these challenges are few and far between. After all, what would you rather do: have a discussion about the complexities of individual circumstances and how they relate to society, carefully examining if your identity is relevant to the conversation, or point to your intrinsic identity being oppressed in any given situation, with a quick swipe of our VictimCard™ to end the debate. To me, well, the choice is obvious. Even if intersectional theory didn’t set out to create the card, specific elements within it certainly provided us with enough to create this magnificent device. So get it now! Don’t worry about debating issues or questioning if overusing accusations of discrimination may dilute its value, because there is no social currency attached to this card! Even if nothing objectively wrong occurred, your subjective experience is all that matters, and you need this card to justify it. Get a VictimCard™ now!