A recent political discussion that started with a story about how the Black Death was a “reaction” by Mother Nature to humanity’s excesses and overburdening her evolved to a recommendation that people could help fight global warming by having fewer babies. That, in turn, reminded me of a story I heard about how, in that ivory-tower-liberal mecca known as Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a woman who had two small children and was obviously pregnant with her third was scolded by a stranger on the street for not limiting her child-spawning to two.

The recounting of that story elicited a (rhetorical) question about why these scolds and unbidden advisors have little to say about the birth rates in the Middle East. The (obvious) answer is that the Left refuses to criticize Muslims the way it does people from identity groups that it doesn’t deem quite as oppressed.

This suggests a new concept, one I’ll dub “grievance intersectionality.”

I’ve discussed the social justice concept of intersectionality in the past. To summarize, it’s the theory that, in order to fully understand the oppression an oppressed individual encounters, one must consider the sum total of identities that individual comprises. So, it’s not enough to simply contemplate the race-based oppressions a black person encounters if that person has other oppressed identities.

The flip side of intersectionality is that someone with an oppressor identity (remember – in that worldview, each of us has many identities) would, I imagine, have the oppressed-ness of another identity diluted. Thus, I surmise that a straight black man doesn’t qualify as being as oppressed as a gay black woman.

Now, consider another idea I’ve discussed in the past: the grievance hierachy. There, I posit that certain identity groups have higher standing than others, and that the hierarchy determines who can scold whom. Empirical evidence tells us that, in practice, Islam ranks extremely high in the hierarchy, and today’s topic – “too many babies is bad for global warming” – reinforces that idea.

So, it seems that certain identities serve to insulate from criticisms that other identities and/or actions would draw. Thus, it’s acceptable to correlate a mass murderer or suicide bomber’s actions to his Christian beliefs, but not his Islamic beliefs. And, thus, it’s acceptable to chastise a well-to-do American woman for having too many babies, but not to levy the same criticism at a Middle Eastern woman.

Examples of this “grievance intersectionality,” which can be expressed as the need to consider the sum total of identities before criticizing a particular one at someone, abound. In other words, a particular identity grants you immunity from being criticized for doing (or not doing) things that you’d otherwise be criticize for. Got it?

Is your head spinning yet? That’s the nuttiness of the modern social justice movement for you. Word salad, polysyllabic words and phrases, deep pseudo-intellectual claptrap which I suspect is meant to feed the publish-or-perish monster. Scattergun ideas and dissonant notions driven more by feeling superior and showing off than about real improvement to society rule the roost, and woe be unto you if you dispute any of them. Unless you’re one of the favored identities, that is.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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