A ranking system that organizes itself based on arbitrary values. Hierarchies posit one kind of thing at the “top” of the system and have a set list of gradations that end at a “bottom” point. What is at the “top” is generally what has the most power and that which is at the “bottom” has the least power, and is a poor subsititute for the highest ranking thing. Hierarchies allow people to view other human beings as if they exist on a “scale”, making it easy to identify the value (or worth) of someone based on how far away or close they are to the highest point. Race and gender hierarchies are often justified with concepts such as evolution and mental or physical difference. Hierarchies exist within all social spheres and vary according to the culture and values of each group.They can be dependent on multiple determinants; for example, a straight white male (the authority) might be at the top of someone’s hierarchical scale and a black lesbian woman (the subordinate) might be at their bottom. A gay white male could be posited as higher than a gay black male because “white” and “male” are factors that make up the person at the top of the scale. Hierarchies contribute to a narrow world view and both form and are formed by oppressive ideologies, making them ultimately untrustworthy.