Focusing on one area or another (gender, race and ethnic identity, (dis)ability, socio-economic status, etc) allows us to examine how specific identities affect people in different ways. This focus also helps us to understand which elements contribute most to discrimination on one level. While doing so, however, we must keep in mind that the intersections of identities are indeed endless and should be considered in terms of each other.
What They Talk About When They Talk About Intersectionality
Is intersectionality the political ideology of our time, a mere buzzword, or a religion? Is it “an attempt to dispense, once and for all, with the cishet able-bodied white male?”Does it represent “everything that is wrong with today’s world,” or is it “the only thing that will save us”? These were the questions posed at the start of last Thursday’s Columbia Law School event titled “Mythbusting Intersectionality” by organizer Kevin Minofu, a postgraduate scholar at Columbia’s African American Policy Forum. Minofu promised that the panel, which included intersectionality’s founding mother, Columbia/UCLA law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, would “cut through the noise,” and analyze what intersectionality is and isn’t.
Intersectional Feminism 101
Imagine being left out of a movement supposed to be for you, a movement that claims to be a champion for your rights but fails to recognize your existence because it doesn’t fit the “one-size-fits-all” definition of oppression. You’d feel pretty excluded, right? That’s all intersectional feminists are getting at.
Why Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional (And 3 Ways to Practice It)
But without an intersectional lens, our movements cannot be truly anti-oppressive because it is not, in fact, possible to tease apart the oppressions that people are experiencing. Racism for women of color cannot be separated from their gendered oppression. A trans person with a disability cannot choose which part of their identity is most in need of liberation.
Feminism And Race: Just Who Counts As A ‘Woman Of Color’?
Joining Mikki Kendall’s “endorsement of listening, of not always trying to be the leader, and instead handing the proverbial reins over to others” is the only way we will ever build a culture of true solidarity. Our efforts and agitation toward the dismantling of racial hierarchies make sense only when we include, legitimize and strengthen the voices of all women of color.