Sunday, January 07, 2018

Criticizing Feminism Is "Privilege-Preserving Epistemic Pushback"

The PC left does love self-sealers:
Classrooms are unlevel knowing fields, contested terrains where knowledge and ignorance are produced and circulate with equal vigor, and where members of dominant groups are accustomed to having an epistemic home-terrain advantage. My project focuses on one form of resistance that regularly surfaces in discussions with social-justice content. Privilege-preserving epistemic pushback is a variety of willful ignorance that many members of dominant groups engage in when asked to consider both the lived and structural injustices that members of marginalized groups experience daily. I argue that this dominant form of resistance is neither an expression of skepticism nor a critical-thinking practice. I suggest that standard philosophical engagements with these expressions of resistance are incapable of tracking the harms of privilege-preserving epistemic pushback. I recommend treating this pushback as a “shadow text,” that is, as a text that runs alongside the readings in ways that offer no epistemic friction. I offer this as one critical philosophical practice for making students mindful of the ways they contribute to the circulation of ignorance and epistemic violence during the course of their discussions.
[my emphases]
This is the handiest way to poison the well against criticism since "false consciousness."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This "critical philosophical practice" of "tracking harms" and "epistemic violence" masquerades as righteous, justice, and law, but in reality remains ignorant of its own desire for revenge. In this sense it is slave morality par excellence. It functions by inculcating fear and guilt and atomization. It is totalitarian ideology in its most sinister form.

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once you hear a gender studies prof talking about "texts" it is time to tune them out.

I do find the idea of "privilege-preserving pushback" entertaining though, simply because it is probably more difficult to evaluate whether pushback is motivated by preserving privilege than it is to determine if it is both valid and destructive to the original claim. Of course, we know the standard PC line will just be to categorize any pushback against claims of injustice as privilege-preserving. Problem solved!

Also, I'd kind of love some empirical rigor around the harm caused by this pushback. We have a very good way to measure this actually: markets (uh oh...). So what would a woman of color trade to not let some evil white male criticize her claims of injustice? I'm mostly curious because I don't think the US dollar has a denomination low enough to mediate the trade.

Maybe it could work in Venezuela.

10:41 AM  

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