Free Speech, Sex-Positivity & Intersectionality in the Age of Trump
The Intersectionality movement has a strong focus on how language should be policed to avoid terms that cause offense. This I would argue, goes against the foundation of traditional liberalism which is free speech and debate.
An accusation of sexism or any other kind of prejudice can stifle comment or criticism. Whether it comes to jokes, criticism, stereotypes, and ignorance people have to continually self-censor, walking on conversational eggshells because it is now so easy to offend and then be called out.
Micro-aggression is an incendiary phrase. It is used in an objective tone to make an accusation of prejudice based on a personal offense. Many 'triggers' that give personal offense are then defined objectively. People can be classified as prejudiced by simply not keeping up with the latest list of forbidden and acceptable words and phrases.
Since I first heard the phrase 'politically correct' from a white college student in Japan when I live there in 1990 I saw the danger to this approach of policing language rather than addressing the legal and political system that actually causes real prejudice. It is an approach that creates Trump supporters in America and elsewhere where white people live.
When I speak to Trump supporters or see them in interviews, one of the traits they like about him is his political incorrectness. 74 million people including a majority of whites voting for him. A similar right-wing shift has happened in Europe with white people voting for leaders who are ethically Nationalist.
Despite what one may think, all these people are not racist. Many white people as simply sick and tired of being blamed for everything bad in history.
With the Intersectional approach, any person from an oppressed group can ‘call-out’ a perceived offense using an objective tone, ‘that’s racist, or sexist’ etc. When a person uses such an objective tone, especially over what is known as a ‘micro-aggression’ it is the equivalent of painting a scarlet letter on the ‘offender’ which can hurt them socially and professionally.
The vast majority of homeless people in Portland are white. Those people might have great difficulty in seeing themselves as 'privileged'. Many white people living in trailer parks all over America probably do not feel much white privilege. Just blame for who they are. So they vote for Trump.
Systemic racism is very real and our focus should be on that. Making every liberal white person feel guilty about their words and the actions of their compatriots is counterproductive. It causes many to quietly vote Republican who then stack the courts and keep this country in the past.
I have hardly ever heard an Intersectionalist condemn the horrific treatment of women in Islam because they are so afraid of appearing Islamophobic. This double standard is actually quite prejudiced in that intersectionality has one standard for whites and another for everyone else.
It is easy to blame heterosexual white people for the ills of the world. However, this approach is not fair nor effective. Using the stick alone does not bring about consensual change in any group or person. Often carrots and sticks work better when used together.
We all know that whites have created many problems on this planet. Nazism, colonialism, the extermination of native cultures in the Americas, the invention and use of the nuclear bomb are but a few. They should never be forgotten.
With Portland, a leading example, one major area that I would like to give white cultures credit for is Western feminism and its effect on the Sexual Revolution. Since the '60s, mainly white women in Europe and America have fought for the right to sexual equality. I applaud white women for this because they were the only ones in the world to do so.
Filipino, Nicaraguan, Sudanese, and Pakistani women are still fighting for the basics of equality in economics and politics. They are not fighting for orgasmic equality. This is true whether they live in America as immigrants or in their country of origin.
The sole group of color where women fought for sexual equality in African American women. From the sixties to the female rappers of today, black American females have been very much a part of the sexual revolution.
Broadly speaking, most cultures of color in America and across the world, are still quite patriarchal and puritanical on the subject of female sexuality outside of marriage to a man. And women in these countries who ‘stray’ face much more severe penalties than white women from Western cultures.
White liberal Portland is one of the most sex-positive, feminist, tolerant cities on the planet and I have searched the world. It is why I chose to live here.
I traveled and lived in 36 countries; dating, loving, and searching for sexual positivity on this planet. I was inspired by very hippie ideals of free love. With my university education in sociology and Women's Studies, I was a cultural anthropologist with a sense of humor.
I kept my focus on what is happening in sexuality and feminism around the world. However, I could not find any country of color where women enjoyed as much sexual freedom as in the white-majority countries of Europe, Australia, and America where women enjoy the greatest gender equality.
By focusing on white oppression, Muslim, African, and other patriarchal cultures get a free pass even though they oppress female sexuality much more. In many countries of color, sexually liberated women wouldn't just be 'slut-shamed', they would be killed for daring to explore sexual options outside of heterosexual monogamous marriage.
With intersectionality, one cannot talk about male oppression of women in communities of color because the focus is on white male oppressors. This approach does not help women of color. I would like to see SPP workshops or classes that talk about male sexual oppression in different cultures that are taught by people of color.
“I have learned much in life about prejudice and free speech! I am a Caribbean Indian male who was born in England. I grew up in a period when it was still okay to beat up 'Pakis' in the UK. And I was beaten up enough times in my youth because of my Race.
If I chose to see myself as a traumatized victim waiting to be offended by a trigger word or 'micro-aggression', I don't think I would have found much happiness in my life.
With my history of racial abuse, I could still have a big chip on my shoulder and see prejudice everywhere. But I don't. If I took offense at every negative inference or comment I have received about my race I would never have evolved as a person. I also realized that no race, creed, religion, gender, etc is so sacred that it can't be criticized or joked about!
One reason why I chose to live in America, home of the 1st Amendment is that it has a bawdy, obnoxious, loud, scathingly humorous tradition of free speech. Free speech allows one to look into dark corners with honest and open discussion and debate. That can often lead to better outcomes than simply shutting down the discussion with an accusation of prejudice such as is the approach of Intersectionality.
By dividing people into prejudiced oppressors and oppressed victims, Intersectionality ends up creating new forms of prejudice:
- White liberals are made to feel more guilty than they already and white conservatives become more entrenched in their views.
- Creating a double standard of oppression with whites always on top is actually unfair to people of color as it ignores oppressions from within their communities.
The 74 million mostly white people who voted for Trump are not all racist. Many of them are sick and tired of ever-changing standards of political correctness that eventually manage to call them prejudiced in some way.
By Mojo Mustapha
The Way it Could Be:
Hedonisia Free Speech Conversation Guidelines. These are simple principles that allow for open easy conversations that respects the individuality of each speaker as representing themselves and not the demographic groups which they come from.