What Is Intersectionality?

What Is Intersectionality?

You probably think your opinions matter. You probably think you’re an individual
with unique experiences, thoughts and ambitions. Well, I hate to break it to you, but according
to current leftist orthodoxy, you’re wrong. You see, your opinion only matters relative
to your identity—and where that identity ranks on the hierarchy of intersectionality. If you’re now thinking, “What the hell
are you talking about?” you haven’t spent much time on a modern college campus. Intersectionality is a form of identity politics
in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to. At the bottom of the totem pole is the person
everybody loves to hate—the straight, white male. And who’s at the top? Well, it’s very hard to say, because new
groups claim victim status all the time. No one can keep track. So, how does this intersectionality thing
play out? Something like this: Let’s say you’re a gay, white woman. Your opinion matters, but less than that of
a gay, black woman. Why? Because while all women are oppressed by the
patriarchy, and all gays are oppressed by the heterosexual majority, blacks have a victim
status that whites obviously don’t. Of course, a gay black woman’s victim status
is less than that of a black trans woman, who ranks below a black, Muslim trans woman,
and so on. The more memberships you can claim in “oppressed”
groups, the more aggrieved you are, and the higher you rank. Get it? Good, because it’s about to get even more
complicated. Intersectionality takes your victim status
and uses it as the basis for creating alliances with other victim groups. Thirty or forty years ago, activists encouraged
racial solidarity among blacks to combat oppression. But today, that’s not enough. Today’s activists demand blacks make common
cause with other allegedly “oppressed” people —gays, lesbians, transgenders, Palestinians,
Native Americans, whomever. Here’s the logic: A black gay and a Hispanic gay may not belong
to the same victim group racially, but they do belong to the same victim group on the
basis of their sexuality. By focusing on the places where various victim
identities intersect, intersectionality creates a united “us” versus “them” paradigm:
righteous victims rising up together to fight the oppressor, those dreaded straight, white
men. This explains why at a rally protesting the
treatment of Palestinians by Israel, you might see a contingent of lesbian activists. That’s intersectionality at work. They’re so united by their victim status
that it doesn’t matter if Islamists throw gays off of buildings or murder female family
members who defy their father’s wishes. Victim solidarity trumps all other considerations. The term “intersectionality” was coined
by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at Columbia University. She explains that intersectionality “was
my attempt to make feminism, anti-racist activism, and anti-discrimination law do what I thought
they should—highlight the multiple avenues through which racial and gender oppression
were experienced…” To Crenshaw, America is a terrible place full
of victim groups, each with their particular set of grievances. Why shouldn’t these victim groups get together
and form a political coalition unified by the belief that the majority society has harmed
them? That some professor tucked away in an ivory
tower would come up with this nonsense is not surprising. What is surprising—and disturbing—is that
so many people actually go along with it. America is the most open, least racist nation
on the planet. That professor Crenshaw is free to spin her
nonsensical theories and get paid well for it should offer adequate proof of that. And since when do you have to live someone’s
experience in order to understand them? You don’t have to live as a slave in order
to understand that slavery is cruel and wrong. You don’t have to live as a woman in order
to recognize the evil of rape. Finally, and most important, intersectionality
promotes the biggest hoax of all: that we aren’t individuals who are to be judged
on the basis of how we act, but are merely members of groups to be judged on the basis
of our group identity. In other words, you and I as individuals with
our unique experiences, thoughts and ambitions count for nothing; our racial and sexual identity
count for everything. It’s hard to imagine an idea less likely
to produce a free and equal America than that. But what do I know? I’m just a straight, white male. I’m Ben Shapiro for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “What Is Intersectionality?

  1. “America is the least racist nation on the planet.”

    How could that possibly have come out of your mouth.

  2. Shapiro clearly has NO clue what he is talking about, and here’s a video debunking everything he’s said in this video by the YouTuber anarchopac:


  3. So if a transgender says that the world is a giant cookie then no one will disagree, and if a white man says otherwise he won’t be listened to? Just sad.

  4. So the most oppressed person would be a half black half native-american, fat, trans woman, who is also a lesbian and muslim!

  5. Poor white people, lol, "new groups claim victim status all the time", well I think the newest group is the Donald Trump white male supporter, just look at this Shapiro guy. smh, snowflakes

  6. I've apparently been living under a rock. I've discovered the name or a term for all this idiocracy + insanity
    You are a 5 Star General in the ranking system if you also have a mental illness

  7. I almost laughed my ass off when he said "America is one of the least racist countries in the world."

  8. That’s not what intersectionality is. I would say the intersectionality is opposed to feminism, feminism says that the patriarchy hurts men too, while intersectionality says that all men benefit from the patriarchy

  9. Thanks Ben for your time.

    "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." ~Thomas Jefferson

    Unfortunately, he seems to be confusing intersectionality and standpoint theory (which even here is represented poorly). I wish he would have included some primary sources (i.e. not WaPo, his own website, and thinkers who agree with him but the actual authors and thier ideas in proper context) to help explain where this misinformation came from. Good debates come from placing your interlocutor's opinion in the best way possible and then destroying it, not by misconstruing them.

    "According to intersectionality, your opinion only matters relative to your identity and how that identity ranks among other victim groups." I'd like to point out that he doesn't actually provide a source for this specific point. None of the sources under the quote actually say this.

    Intersectionality is more about how different forms of oppression relate to one another, not "how valuable your opinion is". Basically, the person who coined it argued that the law protects women and people of color, but not necessarily women who are black. "How?" you ask, understandably. I'm not going to get too much into it, but some employers were hiring white women and black men, but not black women. And this is legal, because /technically/ they are fulfilling their part as Equal Opportunity Employers, but she argued it was wrong. Here's a primary source here: https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1052&context=uclf Here's a less lawyer-y source that's easier to read: https://www.cjr.org/language_corner/intersectionality.php

    Standpoint theory does describe (SLIGHTLY) what Ben is talking about. Imagine having a boss who inherited a car factory. He decides to automatize his factory. How well do you think he could empathize with how you as a worker feel being displaced and laid off? Standpoint theory says that in that situation your experience (standpoint) is more factual than his experience in regards to what being laid off is like. HOWEVER, it also suggests that people who study this phenomenon can offer insights that people on the ground may not notice by studying this group. So you can be outside of a standpoint and still contribute a valuable opinion. Primary source here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23739232?seq=1

    Don't trust what I say, do your own research.

  10. -spends 4 years on a college campus in political science clubs and feminist alliance

    never heard of any of this

  11. One of the best explanations, also another video is out there which explains in 7 minutes but I see youtube has banned it

  12. Ben Shapiro… ben Ben Ben… you are making radical generalizations about groups of people. You claim that we are making an “us” vs “them” scenario when you are making the “us vs them” scenario yourself because the straight white males with no exposure to minorities lives or feelings are truly oppressed when we say their opinions on us don’t matter as much as our opinions on us. Maybe, if you don’t want to be labeled as a xenophobic bigot, you should stop acting like one. We are all similar people rising up against our oppressors, how is that a bad thing? Similar groups of people who have been snubbed out by greedy rich white men coming together to put a stop to it are suddenly offending the greedy rich white men with our insolence? Sorry but you’re part of the problem Ben. We don’t hate straight white men. We hate straight white men like YOU. Who shout that we are offended so easily and how we need to be quiet and then the moment anyone says to stop. We become the out of control, radical belief that people should be treated equally. It’s scary isn’t it, to finally see karma get its kiss for you? Take a seat Ben.

  13. Just watched a claymation video about Intersectionality (clearly aimed at inculcating children). I found that video just as insufferable as this flippant and dismissive Ben Shapiro piece. Think for yourself.

  14. I don't know where this guy was getting his information from, but intersectionality has nothing to do with who's opinions matter more.

  15. The Democrats have always utilized mobs. From the KKK to Union thugs to ANTIFA and intersectionality, they always use the same playbook.

  16. Dude the term ;intersectionality' was coined in 1989 by Kimberly Crenshaw. You just heard it in now. lol! Read up on White Fragility https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/white-fragility-why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism-twlm/

  17. Does Ben truly identify as a White male, or does he play the "I'm not White, I'm Jewish" card? I really like Ben, we need people like him right now in this War on Reason. Just wonder where he stands on this, what he teaches his Children on the religious issue, as many Jewish Americans deliberately do not identify as White, as that term specifically belongs to European Whites. Identity politics are a good thing in a World where everybody else is allowed & even encouraged to organize for their collective interests based on Race, & White People would be fools not to.

  18. This is completely false and has much more to do with Shapiro’s need for power than it has with contemporary sociopolitical ethics and practice. Intersectional identity politics is not hierarchical, nor is it about championing victimhood. It’s about recognising an unjustifiable deficit of voices in politics and society.

  19. If you watch this video with no idea what intersectionality is…you still don't know what it is.

    Granted there is this informal "hierarchy of intersectionality" among leftist politics. This does not mean we should go misdefining terms and acting as if everyone who acknowledges the intersections of multiple identities within one individual is automatically a leftist that want to silence straight white males.

    As a liberal myself, I do not ascribe to the idea that one person's opinion matter over others. You can be liberal not ascribe to that because it is not a key feature of liberal ideology even if it is a practice we are at odds with.

  20. In the UK we are seeing the beginning of the reverse side of the victim intersectionality thing with the emergence of positive or affirmatively intersectionality. I.e Muslims and Christian conservatives banding together on the basis if their shared contempt for LGBT and abortion rights and mutual interest in family based society. This alliance is becoming quite strong and vocal. It's funny how so many ideas that are illogically conceived by the left come back to bite them in the ass.

  21. I don’t think intersectionality is meant to argue that certain people are more valuable or have more valid opinions than others. Perhaps it is true that proponents of intersectionality do that.

    Nevertheless, I think the point of intersectionality is to show that there can be discrimination where groups intersect.

  22. THIS IS NOT WHAT INTERSECTIONALITY MEANS THIS IS A PRESSED RIGHT WING IDIOT ….IF YOUR HERE FOR ACADEMIC RESEARCH PLEASE LOOK ELSE WHERE !!!! Stupid not-even-white-man-to- begin-with person discussing identity politics….Just interchange everything he says!!

  23. Fanatics of Identity Politics will never assimilate or strive for peaceful coexistence, ever. That includes the left's victim groups and it especially includes dual-citizenship Zionists (Shapiro will never call out the latter). They are loyal to Israel only and anyone who criticizes them is "antisemite" and therefore an enemy in their eyes.

  24. Coming from a straight white male, this does not surprise me. You need to educate yourself my friend. I wish you the best though.

  25. this comment is only for strong people who ACTUALLY want to understand intersectionality and don't feel threatened to know their privileges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1islM0ytkE
    if you're as weak and sensitive as ben shapiro, this might be too much for you, poor babies :(((

  26. It is not about victimization. As someone who studies the social construction of gender I can say intersectionality is a theory that attempts to show people the view the world through the lens of others who might not have necessarily experienced the same things. This is SHORTER and more ACCURATE way of describing intersectionality –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6dnj2IyYjE

  27. Hey PragerU, I love your video but I’m just curious on one point and it is that at 3:03 where Ben Shapiro says that American is the least racist nation on the planet. I’m just curious if there’s a study about it you based your video on.

  28. intersectionality is hella complex so i get why u don't quite understand it. u are way off base here pal im sorry. i cant believe i just listened to a white man who benefits from patriarchy and capitalism victimize HIMSELF for 3 minutes

  29. Nice video, but it would have been more effective by not depicting the straight white male as the primary victim of this belief.

  30. so is this simply organising in order to make change happen? is America not based on slavery and oppression? with a fantasy of an 'american dream' as a good comedian once observed that you have to be asleep to believe it

  31. you say that america isnt racist sexist or homophobic

    and yet if we look at the orange blob we have in office as well as his lackys, it tells a much different tale

  32. Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

    Intersectionality: a quasi-religious dogma based on hate, victimhood, and tribalistic divisions.

  33. the only straight white male is one who dont belong to any supposed oppressed group so shapiro by been a jew is not it he still one of the most powerful of all other oppressed groups

  34. the adl created by jews to protect themselves hold way too much power while defaming everyone else who called them out

  35. Neither liberal nor conservative here – I identify as human mainly. Please don't take these peoples views as 100% accurate before informing yourself, otherwise you are as bad as brainwashed liberals, and brainwashed conservatives, that's facts. Here's another view on the topic, why not watch this before forming an opinion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_srHFez588

  36. I believe in intersectionality because it is not what is presented in this video — intersectionality is merely the idea that a multiplicity of things shape ones experience of society and the world. it is in no way hierarchical or about mob mentality and honestly he must have pulled that from other stereotypes of liberal behavior. intersectionality is a philosophical concept that originates and was popularized by the left, but it is not dogmatic and it is definitely no where close to what ben says here. if you are genuinely going to say that liberals misrepresent conservative arguments instead of listening, then go do some research on intersectionality yourself and don’t just listen to ben’s strawman fallacy.

  37. You truly have a gift for lying in complex ways.

    Intersectionality isn't a hiearchy. Its an acknowledgement that oppression is complicated. Its a call for understanding each other & realising that many groups overlap. When a chinese guy is racist its those who are mixed race chinese who are harmed most. When a black person is homophobic or a queer is racist its those who are both who are most affected.

    Its not a ranking system. Only PragerU would allow such drivel to pass as journalism

  38. So sad that people searching for intersectionality will first be greeted by this uneducated dweeb on this lying channel.
    Edit: for those who care to step out of their echochamber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7u5i7yT8UU

  39. This is ridiculous, I swear white men want to be oppressed so bad but the thing is they are the most racist egotistical jerks on the planet 😂😂

  40. Same shit happens in India with the Majority Hindu community…..where rather than their race, their religion is attacked

  41. What a lot of young people now-a-days don't understand is that the only people that care about your race, disability, sexual orientation ect. are the people who are going to try and put you down in life.

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