With all the drama unfolding in the White House, I find myself with an inexplicable urge to define certain terms that have become part of the background noise of my thoughts.
The term was “coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw” in 1989. “Inter” – latin meaning between or among; sectional, section – “that which is limited to a section” or “a part that is cut off or separated.” “-Ity” – the state of (when attached to intersectional) being between sections or among sections.
Usually, a word that resides with scientific, technical and mathematical theory now is used to express a social state that is coming into focus to the degree of possessing sound. What I mean by possessing sound is this word was spoken with volume, intensity, and repetition much later in the 20th century. It was not even conceived of as a notion before 1989. It was just a reality people subconsciously lived in without a word to express it.
Word Definition – Officially
“the theory that the overlap of various social identities, as race, gender, sexuality, and class, contributes to the specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual”
“the oppression and discrimination resulting from the overlap of an individual’s various social identities”
Intersectionality and Me
What are my intersections according to the definition above? I am black. I am female. I am straight. Class is difficult for me because I fluctuate, but for now, I’m lower-middle (more parsing of that in a later post). I’m older (that is as honest as I’m going to get about that).
Intersectionality vs Social Currency
Intersectionality expresses social categorization and the different oppressions experienced. In contrast, social currency is your ease of ability to move within a group or population due to how you (or they) perceive your attributes, characteristics (physical or otherwise) and the value they assign to those pieces of you.
Social Currency I’ve Observed – “Pretty”
I am a beauty monger. I notice pretty things and pretty people. They make me feel a certain way. With that said, I recognize that I have assigned a value to the subjective state of “pretty.” I also realize that I am not alone in this recognition or act of assigning a value (right or wrong).
Perceived Social Currency of Different Intersections
Brace yourself! This blog will not just be about stereotypes of any and all kinds that I have been fed over the years but the observed ease of mobility and social value placed upon different intersections by men, women, systemic dynamics, pop culture, and family groups. (This may be so meaty, I may have to make follow-up posts).
As a “Black” woman, I was raised and surrounded by the message to be aware of the male gaze at all times. My awareness of the male gaze would not be for gain, but for protection. In follow-up posts I will describe my observations of the male gaze as it applies to different color groups of women — specifically “white” women and their perceived social currency of “pretty.”
Additionally, with this blog, I want to explore my observations of “pretty” as a social currency and its links to the false narrative of “race.” My exploration will also include my observations of the male gaze in American social heirarchy and the culture it creates.
The impact of the incessant dialogue about made up races and the delusion that they impact society and create anxiety is also an interesting conversation I would like to breach. What is actually creating social angst is the human psyche, the ego, the id, the subconsicous and consciousness and their complex and messy interactions with self, environment and the feared “other.”
We tend to delude ouselves as human beings that the limited view from which we operate is all we need in the moment to assess, analyze, and act upon a dangerous, a beneficial, or a neutral happening.
I will always end with a call to action to follow, share, subscribe, comment, reach-out or create a conversation based on the blog posts I create. I want to start the conversation. I want to have the conversation. I want to invite you to engage in the conversation with me. I enjoy speaking with experts and laymen alike to accomplish killing my ignorance about any and ambitiously all subjects.
Next Post: 1st Observed Intersection — The Male Gaze, “Pretty”, “White”, and Women
Did you know that there is a component of culture that rarely gets considered? Since it is pretty much the literal background of our human life, a blindness to it may have taken hold. And this blindness has only moments of remission when the background becomes the foreground of our existence.
I am speaking of geography. The loathsome, boring subject that made you wonder if you would ever have to think about it beyond your practical need to get from A to B. I grew up with the subtle push to know how to read a Thomas Guide. Now, I have GPS linked to a satellite in the sky. I wonder what are the ways geography bursts through our blindness to it?
One way is actually quite subtle. It is through culture. I was reading this very dry business book that executives read to edify their business perspective and maybe give them an internal edge. I learned how weighty geography is when it comes to the creation of culture. People forget why they do a thing in the first place. They forget the original reason why they eat the food they eat or why they wear the clothes they wear or even why they look the way they do. Oh, yes! Geography can influence your looks from generation to generation and be at the seat of why your culture developed in the direction it has.
The name of the book is “Riding the Waves of Culture.” It is a dry read, but worth at least scanning through to get a unique perspective on how consideration and the lack of consideration of one’s geography shapes an individual’s perspective on life, on themselves and others.
Your ability to bounce back quickly and progress forward is your resiliency. How many times, during a life pivot, has your resilience been tested? How many times has your resilience been tested for its durability? For its mere existence? During an abrupt life pivot, it probably feels like an unending series of unwanted pop quizzes that you have to face alone.
There are two types of life pivots: one is abrupt and unplanned, the other is calculated, motivated, and executed with precision. Abrupt life pivots often leave us reeling at what the next step could possibly be. It would be great to have a hybrid helper. A person with a smorgasbord of skill sets and talents to help you change from lane A to lane B. It would be somebody who is knowledgeable about the specific, abrupt life pivot you are going through and access to a valuable toolbox of resources to get you through this abrupt, life, lane change.
Allow me your, life pivot coach, to do the research, SWOT, and plot your next move. You don’t have to be alone when the stuff hits the fan. Let me hold your hand through this bump in the road and successfully get you to that next life chapter. Just shoot me an email about what your particular issue is and I’ll set aside an hour to help. At $50/hour it will be well worth it to know you don’t have to go through your situation blind and alone.
Everyone needs help sometimes.
Any ideas? What prompted this post was a Youtube video of The View, entitled: “Why Didn’t Romney Get Picked For Trump’s Secretary of State?” (0:29) In this video, Joy Behar, a host on The View, presented a direct quote from a Roger Stone (Trump surrogate) stating they offered the position of Secretary of State to Romney just to mess with him, because he harshly criticized Trump. Asunción Cummings ‘Sunny’ Hostin, another host on The View, made reference to another individual, who has harshly criticized Trump, who was also offered a position in Trump’s administation. It was to counter the idea that Roger’s statement that it was just a joke offer may not be true. It appeared that Sunny couldn’t accept the truth presented. It made me wonder why we as human beings do that? And, why do we do it to our detriment at times?
Someone essentialy shows us who they are and no one wants to believe that it’s true. The reaction to the true statement is outright dismissal. Is this the psyche protecting itself from the destruction of it’s world view? Or, is it the ego protecting itself from the realization that someone has conned you or gotten the best of you, undeservedly so.
Reader, has someone shown you who they are and you just dimissed it as not true? Why did you do that? What did you gain by ignoring the truth?
Let me know in the comment section below.
I love The Doctor Who series. I am sure all that can be said about this great show has been said and I am just adding to the noise. I was discussing my warm feeling for the show with an acquaintance and wanted to write about it.
I first encountered Doctor Who in the 70s. Tom Baker was the actor who intrigued me as Dr. Who, because he essentially had an afro. Well as afro as a British dude could have. My 7-year old self was impressed. Didn’t take too much back then. Age does make a difference in what impresses you easily. Then the storylines drew me in.
What does “good storyline” mean to me? I like seeing actors I haven’t seen before (with exceptions of course). I don’t enjoy the beauty standard being forced down my throat. So, a spectrum of looks perks my curiosity. If you steer clear of the “A” model of storytelling I start to generate the mental starch that sets up my stickiness to a story’s beginning.
The next ingredient would be a great villain or anti-hero. He/she has to be fully fleshed out with a backstory I want to know about over a long period of time. As well as being someone I could imagine myself having fun portraying. Dr. Who presented those types of anti-heroes and villains to me.
Also, enough should be left to my imagination. Dr. Who definitely does that enough to keep me interested over a large number of iterations of one character.
I love oddity. I especially love interesting oddity. Again, this is The Doctor. He dresses oddly. He speaks oddly. He comes from an odd place. He has an odd background. He tinkers (very important). Tinkering exhibits a mind that is at work creatively. That is always intriguing to watch. He has odd transportation. He has odd acquaintances. He has odd encounters and adventures with oddly normal people.Those normal people are oddly open to being kidnapped in the friendliest most humble of ways — “Will you be my companion?” That request and the context surrounding it includes hope and excitement to which you would regret saying, “no.”
One thing I am learning after this election: how to handle toxic content. I want to be informed. I want to kill my ignorance on subjects from the grain to the lot. I suspect this effort requires a compulsive urge, not a healthy curiosity of a business analyst. I belong to the population that was on the cusp of technological change in communication and access to information. I was taught the Dewey Decimal System as a tool for research, not Wikipedia. I did not grow up with a cell phone. The internet still had a slow analog-like interaction, by the time I got an IBM PS/1 (an upgrade from the Commodore 64).
I belong to the population that was on the cusp of technological change in communication and access to information. I was taught the Dewey Decimal System as a tool for research, not Wikipedia. I did not grow up with a cell phone. The internet still had a slow analog-like interaction, by the time I got an IBM PS/1 (an upgrade from the Commodore 64).
So, here I am witnessing historical changes (good or bad), full of emotion. I now have to contemplate how to step away from the easy access of information. I want to learn. Although, like with anything, moderation is key. Too much toxic information can obscure your flexibility. Facts are good things, but if click bait pumps your blood pressure to get your attention, you may have to re-think your avenues of access for the health of your own psyche.
Facebook is too much if you post the things that are intense and illicit strong reaction. Their algorithms can pigeonhole you in a box you never intended to build nor stay in. It can attract click bait that is just too much to witness or consume.
In order to practice effective self-care, you have to relegate your feed to 1-minute cooking demos, puppies & kittens. It is hard to have your heart wound up 24/7. Sometimes it is just best to switch the feed and chill on a scenery photo or a yule log fire.
Social media as therapy can help you express your anger at unfair situations, but to get that angry would be evidence of how your social media platform interpreted your post as an invitation to feed you incensing images, rants, monologs, scenarios, and social happenings which are not very therapeutic. In fact, such emotional irritations would be best left to more constructive offline action as the go for relief.
At that moment, social media loses its altruistic intentions of keeping you and me informed, but inextricably tied to fast reaction and high emotion for the benefit of an innocuous push on the keyboard equivalent to a click.
Maybe social media can empower you by informing you, but beware of the manipulative nature of the content you consume. You can end up injured psychologically from too much negativity and noxious words such as: “bigot”, “hate”, “rape culture”, “puppy abused”, strolling into your subconscious.
Can social media be a good outlet if it unintentionally brings back to you what you try to release?
I consume a lot of online content about various things. Some of this content that I consume is about culture, societal norms & commonalities. Recently I viewed a Bill Maher youtube “Overtime…” compilation. It got me thinking about ‘social currency.’ What is it? Is it similar to intersectionality? And, what is intersectionality? I haven’t heard of intersectionality, until recently, due to the recent elections and the diaspora of issues surrounding them lately.
Social-currency has something to do with a human beings ability to move through their group/tribe/community with a perceived ease due to a society-assigned trait or attribute having high value. The trait could be physical. The trait could be status within the group because of perceived value of that trait. This is whether they are aware they have it or not.
You ever wonder how much social currency you have as opposed to how much currency you only perceive you have?