Intersectionality and feminism, the two intertwine so much that I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain the correlations. But, here I am.
As you all should know, feminism is the idea that people, regardless of sex, are equal, simple enough.
Intersectionality is basically just different social groups (i.e. race, gender, religion, etc.) sharing the same space.
The overlap is that people of all sexes are in different social groups. Surprise, but it’s not that simple.
The use of the word “intersectionality” here is to explain different subgroups of the feminist movement who are fighting for a similar, but more specific set of rights.
To give you an example, black women are not only working towards equality as females, but equality on a racial standpoint. That overlaps to create a sort of Venn diagram subgroup of people who fall under multiple characteristics of oppression.
It’s important to understand this because the feminist movement is not just women fighting for white women’s rights. And you might be thinking, that’s crazy; why would we just fight for white women?
When you think about our country’s history with rights (ahem, the Constitution only being catered towards landowning white men), it’s not much of a surprise that our modern-day civil rights movement is just working for the white section of the oppressed.
Yes, white women have more problems than white men. But that’s not who we’re fighting for. We’re fighting for every human being on the planet. That’s what feminism is about. To forget the intersectionality of the movement is to forget what the movement is.
We have to fight for the right to wear a hijab or other form of religious or personal covering. We have to fight for the right to close the wage gap; not only between men and women, but also between whites and minority groups.
To disregard the subgroups of feminism is to disregard the basic principle of the whole movement. And I think that a lot of feminists forget about that.
We’ve taken to fighting for the white woman’s problem and seem to have forgotten that white women, who are U.S. citizens, or white American feminists, are not the only people with oppression issues.
There’s an actual country (Saudi Arabia) where it’s illegal for women to drive.
If we aren’t keeping our Saudi sisters in our minds as we develop our ideals of feminism, then we aren’t being wholly feminist.
I know it’s impossible to think of every single person on this planet and keep his or her struggles in mind.
And if it were, you’d be the most depressed person ever. But we can’t just let ourselves get away with being narrow-minded in our path to equality.
If we don’t bring everybody up with us, then there’s still a gap that needs to close. We cannot win until every human has their rights upheld and protected.
What we can do as feminists is look into the intersectional struggles abroad and at home for women and men.
If we understand that each person’s societal problems are an issue to the movement itself, then we will be more motivated to fix the problems and reach our goals.