Using this correlation, a category is formulated by taking the details of a person, such as their sex, gender, race, and sexuality. Building upon historical, political, and anecdotal biases, people who use this way of thinking make rulings on whether or not your opinion matters within the context of what is being discussed. A great example of this is what is known as the progressive stack, performed by Occupy Wall Street protesters so that people deemed marginalized would have a chance to speak. The theory behind this stack is that those who are not marginalized (meaning those who are white, heterosexual, a young adult and male) are already encouraged by society to express themselves. Groups that have special consideration are those that include women, homosexuals, transsexuals, bi-sexual, non-whites, children, and elderly people.
So lets say I'm a young man who has something important to say regarding capitalism and its negative impact in my life. I would have to start from the bottom of the queue. If a marginalized person wants to speak I would have to be bumped down, while they get bumped up. Why would this happen? Two reasons come to mind.
Liberal groups are using progressive stacks to establish an equity of experience, in which all experiences are valued no matter the percentage of a specific category represented in society. Therefore if the group is made up of 60 percent white experiences and 40 percent non-white experiences within society, modern progressive liberalism would focus on trying to equal the percentages to either balance out both or encourage one over the other in a specific forum. This ensures an equity of experience circle, where one minute you are an oppressed group the next you are a group that is given privilege of speaking because you are actually an oppressed group that is usually never given a chance to speak, until of course this very moment.
The next theory is more cynical as it allows for people of marginalized status to speak not because there is a correlation between value of experience and marginalization but experience of a person is not valued, rather it is tolerated because they have to tolerate it. No one truly cares about person X's experience but they must let them speak because they are part of the marginalized group. So we must listen and respect a homosexual woman's opinion not because of the content of her opinion but because she is a woman and homosexual. She is different and we want to show that we respect her for being in these categories.
|Feminist Alison Burtch tweet on 'progressive stack'|
What does this mean for academia? Most concepts that stem from progressivism, such as this progressive stack and diversity are learned and is not usually something people are accustomed to knowing or understanding in nature. Some say progressivism is something that is taught, not something that people readily know by way of natural (logical) thought. For example, some American children are taught to feel shame when celebrating Columbus day or Thanksgiving.
That being said it is incredibly telling when you realize that most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters were college educated. They believed the progressive stack was not only a means to support who they deem are oppressed, but rather it's a process under the banner of diversity.
future professors who subscribe to progressivism could also be a result.