In the 2008 horror flick The Strangers, a young straight couple are hunted in their remote home by three masked maniacs who just want to see them suffer. That film’s sequel, The Strangers: Prey at Night, is now in theaters, and in the Enemies of Dorothy parody of it, titled Social Justice Strangers, the maniacs feel conflicted once they realize they’ve accidentally targeted a gay couple for torture.
The axe-wielding leader of the murderous trio asks, “Oh, oh, OK, oh God. Is this a hate crime?” starting a larger discussion about oppression and intersectionality in a darkly comic way.
One of the gay couple incredulously asks, “Wait, you can’t kill us because we’re gay?”
“We want to torture and kill you,” one of the murderers admits. Another pipes up, “But we’re not Mike Pence.”
Pence, our Vice President, you may remember, wants to “hang all gay people.”
But as one of the gay lovers points out, not killing them because of their sexual orientation is actually kind of homophobic. “What the hell do you think equal rights even means?” he asks. It’s a line said with the utmost cheekiness.
All this is additionally complicated by the fact that the leader of the murderous maniacs is a white, cisgender, heterosexual male and the person who chose the victims is a cis, Asian-American female. Is it racist or misogynist if the gay guys attack her? And is it white patriarchy that lets the white, cis hetero maniac call the shots?
While all this unfolds in jest, a brainchild of the queer sketch comedy group The Enemies of Dorothy, it raises an interesting point about social justice, oppression and intersectionality.
That is, in an oppressive political climate when one’s identity largely determines their social outcomes, progressive people try their best not to oppress marginalized communities, like queer women of color, for instance. But these overlapping identities can create political minefields when the member of one marginalized group starts oppressing another.
The now-defunct gossip site Gawker actually tackled this very issue in 2013 through “The Privilege Tournament,” an oppression Olympics of sorts that tried to determine the most oppressed minority of all time. You can see their chart above, but it came down to Native Americans versus the homeless, and the homeless won (or lost, depending on your point of view).
No matter how seriously you take the idea of Social Justice Strangers, its take on intersectionality has struck a chord with viewers. The video has quickly racked up 228 shares and over 12,000 views since it was posted less than a day ago on Facebook.