This week’s Lexicon entry has nothing to do with current events because there really isn’t anything new out there that some other commentator or dumbass hasn’t already covered. Good thing you have me so you can check off both boxes in one fell swoop!
Instead, I want to talk about a concept popular within Leftist circles, a little thing the kids like to call intersectionality. As much as I would like to say this is about determining who goes first at intersections, I’m afraid I can’t. Intersectionality is something far less useful, yet far more stupid.
What the Left thinks it means – the study of how systems of oppression/privilege overlap
What it really means – figuring out ways to make people into much bigger victims than they actually are
The Center for Intersectional Justice (and I swear this is a real thing), defines intersectionality thus:
The concept of intersectionality describes the ways in which systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class and other forms of discrimination “intersect” to create unique dynamics and effects.
Think of it as one big Venn Diagram, only a lot less orderly.
The idea behind intersectionality is where there is overlap, there is more opportunity to be a victim. A white lesbian quadruple diabetic amputee has a different number of touch-points than a black gender fluid left-handed bisexual with a speech impediment because…reasons! And with more touch-points of oppression comes more victims and, oddly enough, more privilege in Leftist circles. But intersectionality is supposed to address privilege, so…
Fuck if I know!
Along with intersectionality comes a process for Leftists to determine a victimhood hierarchy called a progressive stack. In short, the more victimized/marginalized you are (or are perceived to be by other Leftists), you get to speak before others who are less victimized/marginalized. Which further makes victimhood a positive…which defeats the purpose of fighting inequality since the Left is making inequality a means to elevate others…
I got nothing.
Like, literally. I got nothing.
There is no making sense of intersectionality or the progressive stack because it’s not about logic. It’s all about fee-fees. Leftists thrive in a world where feelings don’t care about your facts. Why else do you think 6’8″ 350 pound bearded men wearing pink taffeta can demand to be called Susan and Leftists don’t bat an eye? It’s because it doesn’t matter if the man has more between his legs than a male porn star because he feels like a woman and, thus, we have to respect that.
And the more you can claim you’re being oppressed, the more secure your position within Leftist circles.
The only problem (well, aside from being batshit insane) is the Left keeps shifting the meanings of key words to suit the situation. Try to get them to define a woman that doesn’t get dropped faster than a TikTok fad. Yet, gender and gender identity are part of intersectionality. So, how can these two concepts be so ill-defined in Leftist circles and still be parts of the intersectionality puzzle?
If you think logically, they can’t co-exist. If you think Leftically, they co-exist like they belong on a lame-ass bumper sticker on a Prius.
This same exercise can be repeated with race (which Leftists say is a social construct), gender identity (which Leftists say you develop as a toddler), and gender (which Leftists say is also a social construct), just to name three. And believe me, you don’t want to go down this rabbit hole any more than you have to. Leave that to me so you don’t burn any brain cells you might actually need.
Where intersectionality gets really fucked up is when you consider it makes personal pain into a tangible real world (or as real as Leftists feel) benefits. As you accumulate more and more sources or potential sources of oppression, the more valuable you are to a Leftist because it makes you easier to exploit. And if you think that’s harsh, there really is no better term to use here because, well, it’s fucking exploitation.
But wait, there’s more! With this exploitation comes an ego boost to generations who are already narcissistic from the jump. So, there is an instant dopamine boost from being a victim because you get attention and sympathy. If you have actual oppression in your life, what is the motivation to overcome it? If you fix yourself or your situation, you become less valuable to Leftists, which means you don’t get as much attention to feed your ego. You might even identify as an oppressed class because the Left’s definitions are looser than the world’s least profitable casino.
I’m lookin’ at you, Rachel Dolezal and Shawn King.
This notion is reinforced by progressive stacking. The way the stack works is the most oppressed gets to speak first. Implicit in that is the idea the most oppressed has the most important viewpoint and should be listened to by virtue of that oppression. The problem is that’s not true. After all, Puddin’ Head Joe and Kamala Harris say equally stupid shit on the regular, regardless of the order in which they speak.
Although this is theoretical stuff, we shouldn’t judge intersectionality and progressive stack until we see it in action, right? Well, it works as well as you might expect, which is to say it doesn’t.
But you know what does work? A little thing called the Golden Rule. Treat everybody else like you would want to be treated. And unlike intersectionality (and the people who push it), it actually works. Give it a try, Leftists, and let me know what you think.
In the meantime, we need to remember not everyone who claims to be a victim is a victim. Yes, this means we have to do some digging and not just believe, but when you consider how the Left uses oppression as a bargaining chip, it’s worth it. In these matters, Ronald Reagan’s “Trust, but verify,” could be the best stance to take.
Well, aside from pointing and laughing at the Leftists pimping pain, that is.
Remember when Bill Maher was Leftist Jesus..you know if they actually believed in Jesus? During Republican Administrations, Maher would consistently rail against what he saw were Republican mistakes and idiocy, and Leftists cheered. Then, when Joe Biden became President and Maher started railing against what he saw were Democrat mistakes and idiocy, the Left no longer found him to be a voice of truth. But they did find him to be a traitor.
Welcome to the party, Bill. Go grab some punch and a cookie.
The reason I brought up Bill Maher (something I try not to do much for the sake of my sanity) is he recently introduced a Leftist term I hadn’t heard before: presentism. Apparently, Leftists are applying this whenever they discuss history, and it may be coming to a history discussion near you.
What the Left thinks it means – framing historical figures and events with modern sensibilities
What it really means – holding the past up to present standards to establish modern superiority
There’s an old saying, “History is written by the victors.” Although, these days, it could be written by the Victor/Victorias, but that’s not important right now. The saying refers to how some aspects of history get ignored or forgotten because people tend only to think in terms of winners and losers. Leftists have seized upon this tendency to push for what they call a more comprehensive view of history, i.e. downplaying the “white” view of history in favor of the histories of marginalized people.
And that’s how we get Post-Modern Native American Albino Lesbian Literary History degrees.
It’s all a part of the Left’s intellectual (stop laughing!) approach to all academic fields called intersectionality. Although this could be a Leftist Lexicon entry in and of itself, the long and the short of it is every form of oppression overlaps with others, like racism and sexism. By recognizing it, Leftists hope to undo the damage by…well, they haven’t figured that part out yet, but it has lead to some interesting discussions on who is considered more oppressed in a country where they’re allowed to drive, vote, and dress like Miley Cyrus during a performance at a strip club. Or, as she calls it, Tuesday.
By framing everything in terms of oppression, the Left has created a hellscape where just about everyone is oppressed to some degree. Unless, of course, you’re a straight white male. Then, you’re everybody’s asshole. Of course, I already have a lot of Leftists think I’m an asshole, so it’s nothing new.
Presentism plays into this framework by allowing Leftists to dictate the standards by which figures of the past (i.e. straight white males) are to be held without those figures even knowing it. Because, you know, they’re dead. That gives the Left all the power to frame the past with none of the piddly little details that add a little something the Left has a love/hate relationship with called context.
When I was in college back when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, Leftists at the time were up in arms over Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because of the book’s use of the n-word. I won’t give the whole word for a number of reasons, not the least of which being I want to save Chris the headache of having to answer more angry emails about me than he usually gets. In their attempt to virtue signal before such a thing was a thing, they ignored a lot of context, namely the historical backdrop for the story and how Huck became the voice of those who wanted to treat blacks like everyone else. If it weren’t for people who actually read the book for comprehension rather than to find naughty words, there might be a generation that wouldn’t even know who Huck Finn was long before YouTube turned their brains into tapioca pudding.
On the other hand, it prepared them in case they ever got elected to be President of the United States.
The same attitude the Left used over Huck Finn is the same drawback presentism faces today: the lack of context. I’ll be the first one to admit human history is rife with events and attitudes that elicit shame and disappointment (like when Gary Cherone took over singing duties in Van Halen). Having said that, the people then didn’t have the advantage we have of being able to look back at the historical record. In more than a few of these dark periods of history, what happened was unprecedented because it had literally never happened before with the circumstances they had to work with. It’s like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle in the dark blindfolded while strapped to a ticking time bomb. You’re going to make mistakes, and the results won’t always be good.
Then, there’s human nature to consider. Contrary to Leftist belief, yet completely consistent with their actions and thoughts concerning others who disagree with them, humans are assholes. We will consistently choose evil over good for whatever reason we can justify in our own heads. Hatred, lust, greed, convenience, having to listen to “Baby Shark” on repeat because your child loves it, and so on. It is only through work, thought, and determination that we overcome our base nature to be better, and you can’t regulate your way to that end.
Can you say “War on Drugs,” kids? I knew you could.
In spite of those dark periods, there are points of light that Leftists will likely overlook or disregard because of the race, gender, and sexual orientation of the ones responsible for them. Take William Wilberforce, for example. During the British slave trade, Wilberforce worked to end it at great personal expense and against the prevailing attitudes of the time. But given the Left’s current prevailing attitudes towards white men (especially Christian white men like Wilberforce), I’m guessing he’s going to be mentioned well after someone like Cardi B.
Which is to say probably never because, well, Cardi B.
The big issue with presentism for me is how easily it can be manipulated for ideological gain. And by “can be” I mean “will be.” With Leftists controlling academia, they have all the power and, since they’re around other Leftists, none of the accountability. Combine the two and you have the perfect storm of academic and historical malpractice through the revision of history in real time. It will be like Wikipedia, but with more academics signing off on it.
Of course, nothing bad will come from academics signing off on bad ideas just to fit in, right? That reminds me, how is Michael Mann’s “hockey stick graph” holding up these days?
The worst thing we can do right now is to overlook how far-reaching presentism is. We’ve seen how Common Core has fucked up math and English, and presentism will wind up no differently from where I sit. And as George Santayana once wrote, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Or was it my high school history teacher threatening summer school if I didn’t get my grades up?
Either way, we will have to be on our toes and make sure what is being presented as historical fact meshes with actual historical facts. Yes, that will require us to be honest about our past, even the dingy corners of it, because that is the only way we will have the intellectual high ground. Opting for a version of history that just so happens to fit our beliefs doesn’t achieve this. We have to be above board because we know the Left won’t be.
So, Bill Maher was good for at least one thing. Yay…I guess?