1- First page (response to the reading attached ) 275 words minimum
Respond to the attached reading from the book Queer Theory now, chapter 7- Negotiating Intersections, and respond directly to the reading and what you understand or caught your attention and made you reflect about the topic, but also try to add some of your personal experience or voice to the response. Use quotations from the reading and think along with the author and what they mean.
2- Second page ( response to this person post) 275 words minimum response
Read this person’s post based on the same readings and continue with the conversation, comment about what you like from this person’s post, what you are agree with or answer to his questions from your own voice or perspective.
-The centralization of the white woman’s experience
In my EdFound class, I had equated intersectionality to crossing a busy street with grocery bags. Those with more privilege, have fewer, lighter bags, and are thus able to cross the street without much problem. Those whose identities are maligned by society have more, heavier bags, and thus have a more difficult time crossing the street. For some of us, the intersection is easy to navigate, while others have to employ more strategy in crossing. I still like this analogy because everyone’s groceries are going to be different based on their needs, budget, and abilities.
However, Puar argues against a “problematic model of subjectivity by focusing on a ‘difference from’ rather than a ‘difference within’. I think what Puar is saying here is that the language of privilege tends to come out of the otherizing of all non-white and non-cis persons. The other problem I see is that there is no universal experience of any performed identity. Also, as an aside, it troubles me that a theoretical model to show how Black women struggle has been coopted to discuss the issues of other groups.
2. Intersectionality is based on stable, knowable identities.
Puar suggests here that intersectionality is based not only on recognizing difference but also on fixing it into a stable form. It creates a grid of privileges and identities, without taking into consideration how identities might shift over time, how new ones might emerge, and how some identities are dependent upon others.
3. Intersectionality produces state violence.
Because these stable identities are tracked by the state, they fit “comfortably within the state operations of surveillance”. Puar argues here that formulating identity into stable axes allows for things like racial profiling. While I’m a little thrown by this point, I do see the problem with the first two.
Again, I will stress that there are no universal experiences within an identity. Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the concept of identity versus identifiers. One’s identity may be partially self-constructed, partially the product of genetics, and product of the stressors of their social ecology. What or who one identifies as may be different than how one is identified. How you describe yourself is not going to be the same as how someone describes you. And of course, it will vary wildly depending on who is giving the description.
Who are you with your back turned? Who are you in the dark? Who are you when you are silent? Who are you when you are shouting?
The thing I’m curious about is whether one’s privilege and placement on the “grid” is based on identity or identifiers? And also, how much mobility is in there?
Once, I asked a security guard with a short haircut a question. I referred to this person as “sir” and treated them as an authority figure. After I left the scenario, my friend informed me that when I said “sir”, I was likely talking to a woman. Did that person in that instance have more privilege than me? Because I recognized them according to identifiers that may or may not have been correct, did I effectively change the experience of their gender? I think that identifiers in some ways shape our experience of our identity. These identifiers can shift one’s access to social space.
All this to say, I agree with Puar, that identity is messy-