It’s 69 degrees! It’s 69 degrees! My dendrites are free from waxy yellow build-up!
So I thought I might as well enlarge on a point that seems to have sprouted some ambiguity of late, regarding my views on intersectionality.
Here’s what Bushfire said:
Twisty does focus on women’s oppression but she also makes it clear that other oppressions are at work and she doesn’t use broad generalizations about women.
And here’s what AlienNumber said:
Really? Funny, we’re reading the same thing and I don’t get this.
AlienNumber went on:
Twisty, the way I’ve been reading/understanding her – and maybe I am projecting, which is entirely plausible – connects ‘other oppressions’ to the one underlying, fundamental oppression of women. I’m putting ‘other oppressions’ in quotation marks because there are no such things. Racism/classism/colonialism/homophobia etc ARE sexism.
Apparently I have not been entirely clear. What else is new.
1. While I do perceive a connection between the “other oppressions” to which AlienNumber alludes, in my view the connective tissue is not Women’s Oppression, but rather the megatheocorporatocratic ideology of domination to which it is my somewhat lazy habit to refer as patriarchy. Domination ideology is predicated on the notion that social hierarchies are rooted in and validated by Divine Truth. All oppression — such as “women are whores” and “let’s enslave some Africans”– proceeds from this idea.
In other words, a universal oppression paradigm makes the world go round. As a result, all non-white, non-straight, non-abled, non-affluent, non-dude, non-godbag, non-Western [etc] persons are forced into subclasses in order that they may enjoy their own customized versions of tyranny. Women — the sex class — are but one of these many subclasses. It’s a pretty big and significant one, to be sure, hence the whole women’s liberation movement dealio (and this blog), but it’s not the whole bollawax.
Obviously, membership in one subclass does not preclude membership in others, hence the whole intersectionality dealio. Racism, classism, colonialism, homophobia — these are not equivalent to sexism. These isms share common components (see “domination ideology,” above), yes, and I speculate that a feminist revolt would go a long way toward fixing all that shit, on accounta most (not all) oppressed subclasses have women in’em, too — meaning that, for instance, racism cannot be eliminated without women’s liberation because you can’t say “racism is over!” if you’re still oppressing women of color — but the experiences and narratives and motives of all these subclasses, though similar in that they proceed from the same primary ideology, are demonstrably not identical.
To recap: women’s oppression is not the armature upon which all other oppression is hung. However, because sexism has been so comprehensively assimilated across the board, the elimination of racism, classism, ableism, homophobia et al cannot obtain without the simultaneous liberation of women from patriarchal tyranny.
2. This blog focuses primarily on the gruesome effects of patriarchy on the sex class because it particularly pleases me that it should. This focus should not be construed as an endorsement of the view that white feminists know what’s best for everybody or some shit.