Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Your privilege is showing

So apparently some of those upper-class gels over at the posh school think that the rest of us are not clever enough to understand the word intersectionality, and they are upset that what they thought was their exclusive little club is being overrun by All the Wrong Sort.

Well, here at Bluestocking central, we pride ourselves on being the Wrong Sort, and we don't think it's very hard to explain intersectionality – all one has to say is that women can also be working class, people of colour, LGBTQ, older people, a different religion, disabled, etc and that these groups’ concerns intersect with feminist concerns. I figured this out well before anybody coined the word intersectionality to describe it, and I am sure lots of other bluestockings did too. I knew that my privileged existence was only one tiny corner of the giant tapestry of feminism. I also knew that my concerns about how I might be marginalised for my gender intersected with my concerns about how I might be marginalised for other reasons.

Isn't intersectionality exactly what third-wave feminism concerns itself with? Or perhaps the posh gels over at Vagenda Towers haven't heard of third-wave feminism?

Black feminists have been there from the beginning, but apparently some hoity-toity types haven't noticed. Ladies, your privilege is showing. Perhaps you should tuck it back in. It's not very lady-like.


1 comment:

  1. I did not realise when I wrote this that it was an article by Reni Eddo Lodge whivch criticised the casual racism of Caitlin Moran which kicked off the discussion about intersectionality of feminism with race.

    There’s a good article here on how privilege is perpetuated:
    What does modern prejudice look like?
    In a nutshell, it says people tend to help people who are like them in some way, or with whom they already have some connection.

    I think that John Scalzi article on privilege is brilliant too.

    Reni has just posted an update on the situation, and about white privilege.

    I am also reminded of that quote from Martin Luther King about white liberals:

    Over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”

    Source: The White Moderate: The Greatest Threat to Freedom