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The hollowness of intersectionality

Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash
Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Being a huge stand-up comedy buff, I recently re-watched a clip of the late, great Norm Macdonald on "The Dennis Miller Show." He shared a story about how he did a joke in San Francisco about gay pride. During his profane commentary, he joked that being gay isn’t an achievement or something that one works their whole life toward becoming. While the entire room howled with laughter, it got me thinking about how there would be no way, in today’s society, Norm could have shared that joke without the alphabet mafia coming for his blood. 

To be clear, I am not trying to condemn or pick a fight with homosexuals or any particular group for that matter. 

Last month was Pride Month. The idea of Pride Month and other months and weeks where certain heritages and groups are celebrated come from the concept of intersectionality. For those who don’t know, intersectionality is the idea of looking at various aspects of life through the lens of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other similar identities.

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In this piece, I’m discussing the larger idea of intersectionality and how in modern society, people, especially young people, are being told to hold an intersectional view of the world and to take pride in their own identities. 

Taking pride in things such as skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or some other arbitrary identity not only has people focusing on unimportant areas of life, but it actually robs individuals of self-worth.

What is even worse is the fact that people are actually being praised for identities they should actually be concerned about and/or ashamed of, like obesity for example

When I was back in California, I was running on the track at my old middle school and as I was resting for a bit, I struck up a conversation with a man who used to be more than 400 lbs. He shared with me how he had already dropped 200 lbs and had 50 more to go. He shared with me pictures of his former self and the transformation was absolutely unreal. Before he left to go home, he shared that wasn’t trying to be boastful, but he was proud of his progress, his transformation, and he shared how his self-worth and self-esteem were “now higher than they’ve been in years.”

My new friend at the track was able to take pride in his hard work and milestones. The time, effort, and commitment that he put in caused tremendous improvements in his own life. 

It’s my contention the issue of intersectionality is a major contributing factor to the mental health and low self-esteem issues Americans suffer from today. There is no hard work or achievement involved in being Hispanic, Native American, or Asian. It is not a milestone to be a lesbian, transgender, disabled person, or anything of the like. Deep down, individuals who outwardly take pride and celebrate these various identities are in reality hurting and filled with emptiness. This is because it is deeply ingrained in humans that something has to be earned in order to feel pride. But it is the Left who tells people to take pride in such shallow identities. 

What is also completely insane is the idea that there are certain identities the Left deem off-limits and a person can receive serious backlash for taking pride in these off-limit identities. 

For example, according to pieces published in the Daily Dot and The Odyessy Online, if you are white and proud of being white, you are racist. Meanwhile, according to a piece from The Buchtelite and a piece posted on LinkedIn, it is perfectly acceptable to be black and proud of it. If you celebrate being a heterosexual and you take a day to celebrate it, then you are out of touch and missing the point. On the opposite hand, if you are someone who identifies as anything other than heterosexual, it is completely okay and you are even encouraged to celebrate that sexuality.

The truth is people should be celebrating achievements and milestones that are tied to effort, hard work, and improvement. Instead of people ranting and raving about their genitalia and what they do with it, they should celebrate the fact they finally landed that dream job. Instead of an emphasis on their ethnic origins, folks should celebrate the milestones of having purchased their first car or having moved into their own apartment or home. 

When attention is turned towards the facets of life that involve personal responsibility and self-improvement instead of intersectionality, life takes on a whole new and better meaning. It opens up the eyes to the fact that each individual is mostly in charge of their life. There are certain things that happen in life that are completely out of a person’s control. But through all of the road bumps, detours, delays, and other problems that came upon a path, the individual was triumphant in his or her goals.

My new friend at the track had to discipline and fight back against the cravings for sugar and soda. He had to make himself get out of bed, get dressed, put on his running shoes, and go for a daily run, rain or shine. If he faltered and broke his promise of no fast food, he would pick himself back up off the ground and make sure his next meal was a nutritious and home-cooked meal. As he progressed on his fitness journey, he was able to lift his hands in victory at how he overcame those obstacles and celebrate the fact that his overall life and well-being were in a much better state.

By pushing the insane gobbledegook of intersectionality, we as a society program people into thinking that the most important thing about them is their various identities. But we as humans are so much more than these identities. 

Polymath Benjamin Franklin didn’t spend his time pondering his gender, but instead used his ingenuity to create bifocals which have helped countless people improve their sight. Bill Gates didn’t brood over the fact that he was a straight, white, male, but instead used his acumen to create a lot of good in the world through Microsoft. Letitia Geer didn’t flaunt her sexuality but instead used her brain to help save countless lives when she invented the modern medical syringe. 

When people take their focus off of identities and shift their focus to improvement, at an individual level people become better, and on a global scale, the world becomes better.

Solomon Green is the Opinion Manager of The Christian Post.  His writings can be found on Thinkspot, Merion West, The Christian Post, and Medium

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