Now there’s a way to quantify your victimhood, writes David Quinn
Have you ever calculated your intersectionality score? Do you even know what intersectionality is? The answer to both questions is almost certainly ‘no’, but actually, if you want to understand political correctness and its demands it pays to be familiar with the concept.
Intersectionality basically describes the multiple ways in which someone can be a victim, or the different ways in which they suffer oppression.
For example, if you belong to a minority ethnic group, it is much more likely that you have experienced racism than if you are white. If you belong to a minority religion, you far more likely to have experienced discrimination than if you belong to a majority denomination.
Women are far more likely than men to have been victims of sexism than men, and gay people are more often victims of discrimination than straight people.
The point of intersectionality is that you can be a victim of multiple types of oppression because you fall into multiple victim groups, that is, the various types of discrimination intersect. Thus, you could be woman, a lesbian, a member of a minority religion and a minority ethnic group all at the same time meaning you are must more likely to be a victim of societal oppression than a white, straight woman.
There are actually websites that allow you to calculate your intersectionality score, that is, your victimhood score. As a Catholic, middle class, middle-aged straight white man, my score is extremely low, less than 10 out of 100.
The aforementioned woman would score 70 plus on the same scale, and even higher if she was also poor and born outside of a Western country.
To put it another way, someone with a high intersectionality score suffers from high levels of social disadvantage; they lack social ‘privilege’.
Someone like me is considered to have a lot of privilege, but so would a middle-class white woman. She might lose out by being a woman and therefore be a victim of direct and indirect sexism, but she benefits by being white and middle-class.
If you are aware of how advantaged or disadvantaged you are in society, then you are considered ‘woke’. The more ‘awake’ you are, the more you know why some people are advantaged or disadvantaged, an oppressor or one of the oppressed, and what must be done about it.
If you are advantaged, then you must ‘check your privilege’. As a middle-class, white man I must become aware that history has benefited me. I have been put where I am because men have been given a privileged place in society compared with women, white people compared with non-white people, the middle class compared with the poor.
Conversely, the minority race, minority religion woman from a poor background must be given a leg up, so speak, through the likes of gender and race quotas in employment and in the education system.
You can, as a man, deliberately step down the career ladder in favour of a woman. As a white person you can do the same for a non-white person”
Is there something to be said for this analysis? Well, yes there is, just as socialism provides insight into the nature and causes of economic inequality.
There is no doubt that certain groups are historically advantaged compared with other groups, and still benefit from this today.
But from here on, things get more complicated. For example, intersectionality politics, or political correctness, doesn’t really see us as individuals at all, but as parts of groups, and we are part of either oppressor or oppressed groups.
Thus, all whites are in some way oppressors and so are all men. The individual qualities of a person are diminished, their individual merits are disregarded.
This could easily mean that a man will not get a promotion because there are now gender quotas in place in his organisation and a woman will get the job instead. He will be disfavoured because of his sex, and she will be favoured. He is seen as a beneficiary of history and she as a victim, and he will not get the promotion and she will, because of that. His own individual qualities won’t really come into the picture. He is a man and therefore he must be forced to make way for a woman, to compensate for the ills of history.
A further consequence of this kind of analysis of society is that certain groups are deemed collectively guilty of oppression and certain groups collectively innocent. At an extreme, this sort of thinking is incredibly dangerous. In the likes of China under Mao and in the Soviet Union, literally millions of people deemed to belong to oppressor groups were killed even if they were individually good people.
It also offers very little reprieve to those considered members of oppressor groups. A man still remains biologically a man even if he legally becomes a woman. And you cannot change your race. You are a member of an oppressor group, or intersecting oppressor groups, for life.
You can, as a man, deliberately step down the career ladder in favour of a woman. As a white person you can do the same for a non-white person. This will earn you merit but you are still irretrievably white and male.
A woman at the University of Pennsylvania actually wrote that because of her ‘whiteness’ and the history of racism, she has decided to have no children so she will not pass on her privilege, biologically speaking.
In other words, she believes there is no true redemption for her. This makes a political correctness a particularly merciless belief system.
It is also highly utopian. It is yet another attempt (like communism) to repair history by punishing certain people in the present for deeds they have no personal responsibility for. Ultimately this is injustice in the name of justice. Yes, we must do what is reasonable to address social disadvantage, but the cure cannot be worse than the disease.