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. To everyone seeing this, everything on here is false. White males have just as much right to freedom of speech as African American males and so on. The definition that Shapiro gives is really false and you can see if with the easiest amount of research. Intersectionality is the belief that MULTIPLE things cause discrimination. It isn't a civil battle in the liberal community of "ha, I'm oppressed more than you so my opinion matters more, step aside bitch" NO. that really isn't how it works. Ben Shapiro, please do and cite your research next time thankyouverymuch. You're spreading unsupported right-wing propaganda that is absolutely false, and I, as a moderate, can see this clearly. All I have to do is research and I can easily prove you wrong, which isn't a good thing considering that this channel is wrongly influencing so many people.

  2. Watching this after watching the TED talk by Kimberlé Crenshaw who coined the term "intersectional". It's an interesting watch if you want to know what this is all supposed to be about.

  3. This… isn't intersectionality at all. Regardless of what the definition may have been originally, no liberal I know adheres to the theory described in this video.
    Intersectionality has nothing to do with opinions being valued differently, or claiming "victim status" to systematically destroy all straight, white men.

    Basically, imagine that you're an activist (oh god, the horror, how DARE I ask you to imagine what the OTHER SIDE is thinking–?), and you're fighting for queer rights. That's all fine and dandy, but if you're only actively fighting for the rights of white queer people, then you're only making a difference for some queer people, not all of them. Since your original goal was to help the entire queer community, you acknowledge queer people of color as you do your activism, and now you're back on track to making the world a better place.

    That's it. It just means not leaving people out. Kimberle Crenshaw herself has a TED Talk on intersectionality, and I'm certain looking at both sides of an issue won't do you any harm.

    TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality#t-210195

    Edit: Kimberle has a nice quote that I'd like to add: "An issue that affects black people and an issue that affects women, wouldn't that necessarily include black people who are women and women who are black people?"

  4. Ben Shapiro is the last person in the world who should be talking about intersectionality. His one dimensional and frankly racist views should be viewed as toxic.

  5. What is being said about Intersectionality, then the left is obeying tribes while hating freedom and independence, because they don't recognize American citizenship: They have grown old and tired of the American dream and now want a new answer and a communist leader.

  6. You should actually try to read Kimberle Crenshaw and Patricia Hill Collins before making up your mind on these issues. Don't let this being your only source of information on this topic.

  7. Multiple oppressed affirmative action policies now has a new word. Hope it includes ageism, so I can get on the first rung.

  8. I identify myself as a dirt biker……We are the most oppressed people in the world. We want free dirt bikes, mechanics to work on the bikes to be paid by the tax payers and in case we get hurt, it's because of patriarchy.

  9. Reading these comments I see many people who believe the video without thinking for themselves or looking for sources. Pathetic.

  10. Respectfully, it looks like you've misunderstood the concept of intersectionality. I encourage anyone interested in learning about intersectionality to read the text in which Kimberle Crenshaw introduces the idea. For a crash course if you'd rather watch than read, here's Crenshaw explaining it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWP92i7JLlQ

  11. People today, including conservatives, do not care who you share your genitals with. No one thinks that you are a bad person for your sexual choices, other than pedophilia. In other words homosexuality is pretty mainstream today. No one thinks that gays are bad people. So can we please stop tripping all over ourselves to say that they are better people than the rest of us. In this case there is a very thin line between virtue signaling and straight bashing. Payback and animosity is not the friend of acceptance.

  12. What a sad, confused little man. Who hurt you Ben Shapiro? If anybody here actually wants to know what intersectionality is, I would suggest watching Kimberle Crenshaw's TED talk or even read her original essay (which can be found online). She represents her views a lot better then Ben misrepresents them.

  13. I don't understand what your fighting for or why you believe what you do. However I do know it's wise to pay heed to the old adage "Walk a mile in another man's shoes" as for human identity, we are but single and fleeting the positive impact we leave I'd say is what's important however I do feel sympathetic the fact that you believe the straight straight white male demographic is being attacked however perhaps you should take the time rethink your perspective and be hyper critical of your own thoughts and beliefs to perhaps make room for further personal growth.

  14. "America is the most open, least racist nation on the planet" HONEY, NO. That is actually laughable

  15. Yet again, ignorant. "You don't have to live as a woman to understand the evil of rape" Honestly. Not only women get raped.

  16. Oh no! Another male, and oh my gosh! He's white too! I'm all but helpless against his patriarchal oppression to do anything but be distracted with yelling about it.

  17. Intersectionality- the biggest piece of BS that is full of logical fallacies when victim groups go against each other. This is no different than racism and sexism pre-20th century, except it has turned on the majority.

  18. “You probably think your opinion matters”
    Continues to make subjective and non factual commentary the entire video.

    This channel has hypocrisy on a new level

  19. this just grossly misunderstands what intersectionality is.
    It's really just saying that 2 or more things that shape your experience can influence each other in how each individual one affects you.
    For a very clear example: a women living is a good neighborhood might feel pretty save going out at night and not have to worry about street harassment much in general.
    But no imagine a woman that has to live in the kind of neighborhood that girls are usually told to stay out of if possible and not be caught dead in at night. Her experience with sexual harassment on the streets are likely to be quite different and she probably doesn't feel as save going out at night if at all.
    Because here poverty and being a women intersect and the circumstances poverty puts her in is likely to shape how strongly and in what way being a woman impacts her.

    this guys just avoids actually arguing with what others think my redefining it into whatever he wants and then disproving his own made up idea.
    intersectionality is not some weird opinion importance rating , it's just acknowledging that different parts of live circumstances and identity influence each other and that being a member of one groups can be experiences in wildly different ways depending on , among other things, what other groups you are a part of . It's quite literally the opposite of saying no one is an individual. it's talking about how diverse experiences can be in the same group and how that needs to be acknowledged .

    intersectionality can also be good to talk about more specific issues. Take for example an racial or ethnic minority and feminism. Talking about the intersection there can be great to talk about issues specific to women in those minorities, like for example being fetishized in certain ways.

    Oppressed groups with similar grievances or ones that intersect have been working together for decades. it's not a new concept. an example for that would the stone wall, generally seen as an important to the gay liberation movement, was also headed by some trans people. Because they were oppressed in similar ways by about the same group and often even lumped in together as the same group by those oppressors . e.g. people claiming that trans men are just dirty lesbians or that trans women are just homosexual deviants.
    It wouldn't have made sense to riot against that separately.

    In the end you really don#t have to have lived someone else's experience to understand it. But you need to have listened to to that someone and you need to have done so with an open mind.
    Otherwise all you're understanding is your own preconception of what their life should be like in your eyes.

    I'll be honest. I have always lived in nice neighborhood in germany. I feel perfectly save going out at night and street harassment has been incredibly rare. So when i was young I assumed that was every woman's experience in germany. But as I grew older I moved to a bigger city where harassment was more common. still rare but uncomfortable. And I talked to friends I made and they told me about their experiences and I listened. Because my friend that lives in a bad neighborhood in Berlin does have to be scared to be out at night. She doesn't have a single female friend there that doesn't carry a pepper spray with her. She has been harassed my groups of men on the train. It was a shock to me . But I listened with an open mind and didn't jut dismiss her because what she was telling me didn't match up with my experience. Because yes, being a woman in a bad neighborhood in berlin is different from being one is a peaceful town .
    The point of intersectionality is to acknowledge that in the one group there can be diverse experiences.It's acknowledging that knowing how you experience being part of a group doesn't mean it's that way for everyone and that you shouldn't just assume that. that you get an incomplete picture that way.

  20. So basically it's all about how much of a victim you can be? I'm a gay/native American/white but unlike kids today, I am not a victim, I'm a survivor! & I'm stronger for it.

  21. It’s gross that’s what. It doesn’t matter what I am and I fact, historically, white people have the most power. But now? White straight men are the most oppressed because these-uh… other creatures don’t really matter and if you are born a guy your a guy and same with girls. Don’t become worse then you already are, people. So really, if your NORMAL (didn't change your gender or you straight) then yeah, you matter. Gay ppl shouldn’t bang other men and lesbians too. They don’t matter, Ben. Us normal people do. Race doesn’t matter but if your not straight or transgender? Then leave the country. We don’t need your shit… please let the normal people stay!!!

  22. :25 Yep, I'm thinking "what the hell are you talking about" because what you just described has no connection to intersectionality.

  23. The ultimate victim is
    Black👩🏾 3rd
    Muslim 🧕🏾2nd
    trans-woman 👸🏾 1st
    The the more illogical, less American they are the more celebrated they are.

  24. Pretty sure no published feminist scholar would agree with the definition he led off with. He doesn't even give Crenshaw's definition or concepts- just her motivations.

  25. Oh for gawd's sake, this is cretinous garbage from a fake site. Moronic talking points from the Right. Devoid of any thought. Shapiro is a fool.

  26. Intersectionality doesn't mean this to me. I think it's more about creating this idea that if you've had a traumatic experience based on race, gender, orientation, etc., people should acknowledge your experience in the conversations of those respective subjects. And if you're an activist of preventative measures on subjects such as rape, looking at demographics on whose being affected can be really help to know where the biggest problem lies and helping to solve it. It's not an automatic hierarchy, but an assessment of who's the most safe, ex. a young inner city woman of color who lives alone has more risk of sexual assault than an older white man with a family. That's not saying that the older white man can't be assaulted, but if you're looking at the issue, knowing that inner city areas that have more single women are more at risk for assault, we can let the people most affected by it know and put more police in the area.

  27. You forgot to mention the biggest crybabies of them all…the zionist jews like you who whine about the holocaust and claim they have the supercard of all victimhood….the jewish card

  28. No Sir you couldn't be more wrong. Intersectionality means the oppressed should help each other. It means our lives are connected to each other, It doesn't mattee who you are, even if you are a white male, the trans black women problems are your problems too because we live in the same society and the oppression hurt all.

  29. ben shapiro is not qualified to discuss this subject. why didn't you get an actual scholar on the subject to discuss it?

  30. Internationality was introduced by Judy Graham in her book "Another Mother Tongue" though she credits it to others that came before her. She uses it to describe the lives lived by gay and lesbian persons who are living in the crossroads of various identities and communities such that those so inclined might describe being gay as lending to a call and a gift in bridging the differences between males and females, rich and poor, black and white because we have greater access to both identities or at least have greater ties to a diverse cross section of society.

  31. So by the definition that been just gave us I can judge all black people for the rape I experienced by a black man whenever I was 11 years old? So every one of them are at fault for something one person did? I used to feel that way and then I got over it and realize that it was only his fault and that the actions he took were only his and not a whole race. It took me years to realize this and come to terms with that. Now you're telling me I have to revert to the way I thought when I was a teenager? Crenshaw is a lunatic and so are all these sjws.

  32. This is pure stupidity. Humans are all equal in essence. Doesn't matter what gender(there are only two genders and they cannot be changed), race(which there really is only one race according to genetics), or what u believe. Humans are created in God's image period.

  33. I really Appreciate your insight @Ben Shapiro. This is a great perspective that I am glad you shared. It really gives more thought about people I relate to. But I grew up in a group Identity culture, and as there is a lot of bad things there is a lot of good things that come with it. I guess my question is why developing a group identity is something we should not strive for ?

  34. You Americans need to stop using the term ‘Blacks’. It’s derogatory. Say Black people, where do you hear people saying the ‘Whites’…

    Stupid, and in a talk about intersectionality….

  35. God straight white males really are the most annoying. Please stop whining about people you dont like teaming up to call you out for being very stupid, and grow up. This is the real world, we don't live in a magical world where noones opressed. You dont know everything, and there are some things where minorities will know about better than you can, because you lack the experience of those people. this isnt complicated ben.

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

    How could that possibly have come out of your mouth.

  37. 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:


  38. 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.

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

  40. 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

  41. 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

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

  43. 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

  44. 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.

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

    never heard of any of this

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

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

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

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

  51. 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/

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