The benefits of intersectionality I put forward are more apparent when given math analogies. Set intersection provides an easy reminder that choosing both is a wise idea. Conceptualizing oppression as a multidimensional space discourages Oppression Olympics. Intersectional analyses are good/responsible practice in the same way that checking for and reporting significant interactions is in statistical analysis.
Intersectionality is a fairly recent buzzword in the social justice left that is often accused of being divisive and the root of puritan perfectionism. I argue why intersectionality is (1) the opposite of those things, at least in my experience, and (2) necessary for making the world a better place.
How do you teach a student from an oppressed class without the wider oppression of society being mirrored in the teacher/student relationship? This book describes how control and oppression work, and argues why it is important to take care that education helps people imagine and create a world with less oppression, rather than merely embodies and reinforces oppressive structures. To accomplish this, the author proposes a pedagogy built around the practice of education as dialogue and the practice of problem-posing.
This book is about the process by which conflict is mistaken for, and thus escalated into, abuse. The author also talks about how shunning shuts people off from crucial knowledge, and how a mentality of supremacy and/or trauma drives this escalation + shunning behavior. She analyzes how this process plays out for an eclectic set of social issues ranging from abusive relationships to large-scale political conflict. I discuss the shared themes of Conflict Is Not Abuse, Why Does He Do That?, and Nonviolent Communication in order to give some insights into abuse, rationalizations of violence, coercion/control, and deescalation.
Dealing with criticism is hard. I give some tips drawn from my life experience for dealing with criticism gracefully without feeling bitter and resentful at the person dishing it out.
Identity politics seems intuitive but has very different meanings depending on the person using it. People exploit intuitive notions of "identity" or the ambiguity of "identity politics" in order to manipulate people. I advise caution both when you see people criticizing "identity politics" AND when you see people defending it.
It's unfortunately very common for people to weaponize empathy -- to call for empathy in order to tell people seeking justice to be quieter. Due to this frequent occurrence, I think it is common for people to view practicing empathy as antithetical to achieving justice. In this essay, I argue that the act of truly practicing empathy is much different than what is prescribed by many people who call for empathy, and that truly practicing empathy dovetails with (rather than opposes) justice.