Monday, 15 May 2017

Guest Posting: The Wankery that is Intersectioanality

 

 Tim Collard was one of our men in Peking for many years before becoming HM Consul-General in Hamburg until his retirement. He is fluent in both German and Mandarin and now forms a part of the Oxford Union in exile which meets up every Wednesday evening in an Edinburgh swill shop to discuss matters of great weight and drink beer.

If you have never heard of intersectionality, don't worry because most normal people haven't either. In a nutshell, intersectionality is the latest wanky idea from people who are supposedly several times discriminated against because of who they are. So a Black, disabled woman can claim to be triply discriminated against and thus triply able to pontificate to the rest of us. Now you know...

Just a brief point about ‘intersectionality’. Apart, of course from the obvious truth that anyone using the word seriously deserves to have their mental competence assessed at below zero, and, if in an academic institution, to be carried out of it by people in white coats and placed in a different sort of institution. 

Pain leads nowhere. Most of us have experienced it, either in mental form, in physical form or in the form of oppression. It’s horrible. But it hasn’t got much to teach us, except that it isn’t nice. It doesn’t give you any insights. It entitles you to sympathy and compassion, which includes being listened to. But it doesn’t make any of your perceptions objectively more valid than anyone else’s. 

But, if the perceptions of people who have suffered the pain of oppression merit a sympathetic hearing and practical compassion, that doesn’t mean they are any more deserving of objective respect as views. Abraham Lincoln argued cogently along these lines on the subject of slavery, which he nonetheless fought and died to defeat. 

I am opposed to the death penalty. But, you might ask, might I not take a different view if one of my loved ones were horribly murdered? Yes, of course it would. I’d like to see the bastard boiled in oil. But I would be the very last person whose view should be solicited on such an occasion. Please, please don’t ask me.

But, if the views of those who have suffered direct injustice should not be taken as a guide to the formulation of policy, how much importance should be attached to the views of those who can only say that they belong to the same gender, or to the same nationality, or to the same ethnic group, as someone who has suffered oppression? Easy answer. None whatsoever. Zilch. Nada. Sweet zip dangdoodley zeroesville Idaho (h/t tip Stephen Fry). And, as you people have no real skin in the game, it never seems to occur to you that pretending to support feminism or LGBT rights on the one hand and the rights of Islamic societies to enforce their rules on the other is just fucking ridiculous. But why should it? You’re just bloviating and trying to keep in with the crowd. 

And so I come to my peroration, in the tradition of the late Marcus Tullius Cicero. ‘Intersectionalists’, just fuck off, fuck off some more, and when you’ve fucked off as far as you can fuck, then keep on fucking off until there isn’t any more off to fuck. By then you have probably reached the outer walls of the universe, so just fuck off that wee bit more.

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