Research and discuss one current event through an intersectional lens. Why do you think it’s important to analyze social problems through an intersectional lens?

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In my view, we can achieve greater insight into the Jeffrey Epstein case and its ramifications by viewing them intersectionally.

First, we're looking at both issues of gender and class in this series of criminal acts. The girls who were "recruited" to "work for" Epstein were primarily of a relatively impoverished class background. It was not only the inherent and assumed power dynamic of male over female that enabled Epstein to operate this way but the dynamic of wealth. In general, sexual abuse in society needs to be viewed through the intersectional lens because, although the gender issue is at its core, it disproportionately occurs in situations where money is a factor. Those women who are financially secure and independent on their own are less likely to suffer and to put up with physical abuse (or other forms of abuse) from a man. It is an intersection of gender + money + the power granted by money.

In the Epstein case, the apparent involvement of Prince Andrew is another aspect that needs to be looked at from this standpoint. Here, the issue of class is even more valid in its intersection with gender than was the case with Epstein directly. As a member of the Royal Family, Andrew is a representative of the highest class level in our society. Because of this many people might still reflexively credit his word over that of another, especially a young woman whose status in society has neither royal nor class privilege nor money. It is again the gender-class-money convergence that shapes the public perception of the incident.

Fortunately, however, Prince Andrew's BBC interview was, in fact, publicly viewed as a "disaster" for him, which signals that things are changing and that these traditional perceptions are finally being revised. Andrew inappropriately downplayed the allegations, and his statements overall lacked credibility. His asserting he had "no recollection" of the young lady was the typical thing a predator says. Rather than just stating directly and absolutely that he had absolutely never met the girl, he gave the sort of equivocal response that indicates guilt. An innocent man would remember that this had definitely not happened. When asked if the photograph with the young woman had been faked, instead of saying, "Absolutely, it must be a fake," he waffled, giving an ambiguous response that "it might have been doctored."

Again, although this was seen as a disastrous interview, probably no legal difficulties will come to Andrew because of the intersection of gender and money and class status. He's a man, he's wealthy, and he's a royal. Epstein escaped the worse punishment of life in prison by suicide or perhaps the still ultimately easier fate of being murdered in his cell and thus spared years of further disgrace in jail.

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