Cathy Young: Social Justice Warriors verraten die Werte der liberalen Linken
The ordeal of Northwestern University film professor Laura Kipnis, hauled before a campus gender equity tribunal for publishing a critique of academia’s current obsession with sexual misconduct, has brought the backlash against "political correctness" to reliably left-of-center venues such as Vox. But this is only the latest incident in the culture wars over "social justice" that have been wreaking havoc in a wide range of communities —including, but not limited to, universities, the literary world, science fiction fandom and the atheist/skeptic movement.
The progressive crusaders driving these wars have been dubbed "social justice warriors," or "SJWs," by their Internet foes. Some activists on the left proudly embrace the label, crowing that it says a lot about the other side that it uses "social justice" as a derisive epithet. But in fact, this version of "social justice" is not about social justice at all. It is a cultish, essentially totalitarian ideology deeply inimical — as liberals such as Jonathan Chait warn in New York Magazine — to the traditional values of the liberal left, and not just because of the movement’s hostility to freedom of "harmful" speech.
(...) While social justice discourse embraces "intersectionality" — the understanding that different forms of social advantage and disadvantage interact with each other — this virtually never works in favor of the “privileged.” Thus, intersectionality may mean recognizing that disabled battered women suffer from both sexism and “ableism.” Recognizing that disabled men may be at greater risk for spousal abuse because disability reverses the usual male advantage in strength? Not so much. To acknowledge advantages enjoyed by the “oppressed”—for instance, gender bias favoring female defendants in criminal cases or mothers in custody suits—is pure heresy. The only moral dilemma is which oppressed identity trumps which: race or gender, sexuality or religion.
(...) The practical effects of such "social justice" ideology be seen in the communities where it flourishes (mainly on college campuses and online). It is a reverse caste system in which a person’s status and worth depends entirely on their perceived oppression and disadvantage. The nuances of rank can be as rigid as in the most oppressively hierarchical traditional society. A white woman upset by an insulting comment from a white man qualifies for sympathy and support; a white woman distraught at being ripped to shreds by a "woman of color" for an apparent racial faux pas can be ridiculed for "white girl tears." However, if she turns out to be a rape victim, the mockery probably crosses a line. On the other hand, a straight white male trashed by an online mob for some vague offenses deemed misogynist and racist can invite more vitriol by revealing that he is a sexual abuse survivor suffering from post-traumatic stress.
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