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Is intersectionality the new caste system?
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Intersectionality is well meaning but too complex

The theory of intersectionality seeks to encompass all circumstances and backgrounds. But by its broad and complex definition, it alienates the very people it seeks to protect and possible allies.

The Argument

As well-meaning as it may be, it is undeniable that intersectionality is not simple term. Intersectionality aims to evoke awareness of the interconnected aspects in people’s lives which may play a part in discrimination they face. But what does it actually mean? Faced with the dictionary definition, this idea seems far more complex than it should be. There are many aspects to consider in an intersectional perspective, among them race, religion, gender, disability, social background, sexuality… the list feels endless. As a relatively new term, many people are not accustomed to it, and this newness only adds to the complexity of a long word with an even longer meaning. Most people would argue that equality is important, and fighting against discrimination is something they support. Yet if these same people were asked whether they support intersectionality, they would likely hesitate. Most people are moderates who feel that liberal values are becoming needlessly over-complicated. This leads to disenfranchisement of possible allies who would likely support the core values of intersectionality, if they could understand them.

Counter arguments

It is still a recent development. Its complexity comes, at least in part, from how new it is as a concept. The term was coined in 1989, but was only defined in dictionaries from 2015. Once it becomes more mainstream, it will become better understood.



[P1] Intersectionality has a complex definition. [P2] Most people don't understand this definition. [P3] People won't back a concept they don't understand. [P4] Many people don't support intersectionality because they don't understand it.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 13 Nov 2020 at 17:18 UTC

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