The ever more popular Theory of Intersectionality sure brings out the best in people. Yesterday, we heard from a black New York Times ex-writer, Greg Howard, about how racist white women take up too much space on his sidewalks. Now, a white woman in The New Statesman, Charlotte Riley, complains about how men (race unspecified) are taking up too much space on her sidewalks. And, like everybody else these days, she’s mad as hell and won’t take it anymore.
From The New Statesman:
If you don’t move out of the way for men, your commute changes. For one thing – I’m not going to lie about this – you do collide with a lot of men.
BY CHARLOTTE RILEY
… The point is that men have been socialised, for their entire lives, to take up space. Men who would never express these thoughts out loud have nevertheless been brought up to believe that their right to occupy space takes precedent over anyone else’s right to be there. They spread their legs on tubes and trains, they bellow across coffee shops and guffaw in pubs, and they never, ever give way.
Women have not been socialised to take up space. Women have been socialised to give way, to alleviate, to conciliate, and to step to the side.
The English used to be pretty good at being polite to each other in a crowded county with lots of opportunities for unfortunate interactions. But these days, traditional politeness perhaps seems like a condescending microaggression, part of a vast superstructure of microaggressions intended to maintain Privilege. (Indeed, the English novel of manners is an artifice of microaggressions.)
More and more people apparently feel that I morally deserve, due to centuries of slavery, sexism, colonialism, Emmett Till, redlining, transphobia or whatever, to walk or drive wherever I feel like going right now, and everybody else ought to get out of my way.
The strategic vagueness of the Progressive Stack is no doubt conducive to this feeling: black man Greg Howard feels morally entitled over white women due to his blackness and Charlotte Riley feels entitled over men due to her femaleness. But if black man Greg Howard and white woman Charlotte Riley are walking straight down the sidewalk toward each other, which one deserves to make the other step aside?
iSteve commenter Iron Pastoral suggests:
Someone should set up an experiment in which Greg Howard and Charlotte Riley are made to walk straight at each other. Who, according to the laws of Intersectionalism, would have to give way to whom?
“Intersectional Intersection” would be a good reality game show in which contestants first give the equivalent of a college application essay listing all their claims to Diversity Pokemon Points, then play Chicken.
Nobody on the Left is volunteering to arbitrate these disputes other than to point ever more frenetically at straight white male hate crimes, like that white boy who dared smile at the Tribal Elder.
I’ve written a few times about one of the weirder aspects of the Late Obama Age Collapse, the surprising rise in pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents, and speculated on the causes (e.g., the proliferation of smartphones, but whether among drivers or pedestrians is unclear; or perhaps legal marijuana).
But what if another cause of this unexpected trend in car-pedestrian fatal encounters is a growing attitude in the English-speaking world that it’s racist for a person like me, with all my Intersectional Pokemon Points, to have to defer to my moral inferiors, like you, just to avoid a crash?