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Noodling on intersectionality (more on the 1%, the 20%, and the 80%)

Still trying to learn to sketch. However, my handwriting, bad with pen and paper, is horrific with an iPad and a stylus, so herewith a digital version of the initial assumption:

Class, in other words, is "vertical"; the others are "horizontal." This is a restatement of the 80/20/1 framework discussed here. I'll try a sketch that has fewer words:

Triangle #1 is our familiar 80/20/1 structure; it's all out of proportion ("not to scale") because that's the best I can do! In Triangle #2, we add a "horizontal" dimension to the vertical, in this case gender: pink (female) and male (blue). Given that the division of male/female in our society is approximately 50/50, we'd expect, if we drew a dotted line vertically from the apex to the base, to have all the pink on one side, and all the blue on the other. However, everybody knows that's not true; in Triangle #3 we see the red arrow of discrimination[1] pushing the red dotted line out of plumb. However, at this point, I'm concerned that the triangle concept is "chart junk" that distorts the data.

What the triangles do well:

1) Communicate that there are fewer women (smaller blue area) in the 1%. This is clear to all: There a lot more Jamie Dimons than there are Carly Fiorina;

2) Communicate the vertical/horizontal distinction/combination: It's clear that there are both men and women at all levels of the 80/20/1 hierarchy; it's also clear that although their sub-triangles have different proportions, they are still triangles; gender, that is, does not make class go away;

3) Communicate the fundamental unfairness of discrimination; why isn't the red dotted line plumb?

4) Communicates the limits of analytical approaches that focus only on discrimination. A subtriangle is still a triangle, with its own 1%.

What the triangles do not do well:

1) Communicate the actual numbers (and proportions) at each level. For example, the male/female proportion in the 80% is very distorted (hence, "chart junk"). I think that could possibly be remedied by using separate dotted lines at each level, instead of the single dotted line, hanging from the apex.

There's a lot more to this topic, obviously, but since I promised I'd write something every day on the 12 Point Platform....


[1] I'm playing in my mind with a distinction between "classification" and "discrimination."

NOTE These come from a YouTube titled "Neoliberalism as a Water Balloon", I think by Tim McCaskeill, which I'm not including directly because IMNSHO the water balloon metaphor doesn't actually work.

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