Intersectionality: People are marginalized along different axes [gender, race, sexual orientation, disability status, religion, etc.] and they experience discrimination that is unique to their intersection of oppression.
- The sexism that a black women faces cannot be separated from the racism they also face
- The sexism they face cannot be addressed without also addressing racism
- White [able-bodied, cisgendered, hetrosexual] women do not experience the same issue, it is simple to separate your gender from your race when your race is the default [white privilege]
If our feminism is going to help more than just white women, we must center the most marginalized among us. Otherwise what’s the point?
I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.
― Audre Lorde
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – MLK
How do you make your feminism intersectional?
- Check your privilege
- What I mean is, check your reaction before responding to something
- “Why don’t I like this statement?”
- “Does this bother me because it’s calling me out?”
- “Why haven’t I notice this issue?”
- Acknowledging your privilege is not saying that you haven’t suffered or have it hard
- With respect to white privilege: it means that race did not act as an additional burden in your struggles. And, because our society is built to support white supremacy, society is structured to rise you up while putting others down
- It is not about denying your struggles or successes
- Let marginalized people tell you their story
- Respect their lived experiences
- Center the most marginalized
- Feminism isn’t about making you comfortable
- If you want to support equality you are going to have to sit with uncomfortable things some time
- One of those things, is that you do not have to be the main focus
- Use your voice to amplify the marginalized voices, not speak over them
- Talk to other white people
- Accept criticism
- You’re going to make mistakes
- Allow people to call you out, or call you in, without becoming defensive
- Swallow the anger, discomfort, etc. and evaluate why you feel that way
Additional information: here, here, and here
If you didn’t hear already there were no arrests in DC, where over 500,000 people gathered for the Women’s March on Washington.
Here in lies the problem, a “successful” protest. Let’s unpack this a little bit.
- It is implying that a protest is only successful when no one is arrested
- People are arrested for protesting peacefully all the time
- It is ignoring that the march was mainly made up of white women
- Police officers are less likely to see white women as a threat
- When people of color peacefully assemble police arrive in riot gear
This narrative allows us to ignore the issues when a protest involves arrest. It assumes that every arrest is justified and there is no racial bias involved
Were his protests not successful just because he was arrested?
No, the arrests had nothing to do with the successfulness of the protests and instead had everything to do with the racial biases the police officers [local government and majority of citizens] held at that time.
So, when we praise the Women’s March as successful because there were no arrests we ignore the larger picture, erase the societal structures, and we forget this:
One has the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws – Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham jail