“Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.” - womankind
You’ll have heard the term used, and you may be an expert or maybe you want to learn a little bit more about what intersectionality actually means. Well, it's a HUGE topic, so I will try to break it down for you but bear in mind that the concept means different things to different people in different contexts and what I have outlined below is simply what it means to me.
INTER - SECTION - ALITY.
If you break down the word you can probably figure out the gist. Inter = across all | section = parts | ality = a movement/entity. So basically looking at equality from the experience of all sections of society and appreciating all forms of discrimination overlap and exhaserbate each other. So when we look at intersectional feminism, it is looking at the experiences of ALL women, not just the women with a louder and societally privileged voices AKA the white, hetero, cis, affluent woman.
So, for example, taking into consideration the vast difference in prejudice experienced by black women in comparison to white women, these two lived experiences will be vastly different.
Equally, intersectional feminism aims to accept that together we are stronger, and instead of fighting amongst ourselves. Fighting section to section within feminism i.e trans inc feminsim vs trans ex feminsm is just a distraction from smashing the patriachy. A good example of this is feminists who support the JK.Rowling ideology that trans women are not women are trying to invade female spaces - instead of focussing on what is essentially extremist ideology that same energy could be used to fight misogyny and for equality for all women.
Why tho? Intersectional Feminism exists to remind us that when it comes to solutions, one size does not fit all and that we need to look at the world outside of our own experience.
So how can you be proactively more intersectional?
When forming opinions or developing solutions - try to evaluate beyond your own lived experiences and perspective
Check your privilege - I, for example, am a white, cis, able-bodied, woman. Which means that I don’t face the same discrimination and challenges that some other women do and I need to listne to the expereinces of these women to truly seek equality.
Raise the voices of the women who have “less power”, empower these women. Check that they are being given equal opportunities when you are, create opportunities for them.
Work together - we are stronger together
Don’t pit women against women, save your energy and look towards the bigger picture
Help other people to all the above
Keep educating yourself and listen without judgment
Speak to the men in your life about this, make it the norm to have conversations about feminism and get them to check their privaliedge
Do you have any other suggestions on how to be a better intersectional feminist? Please let us know in the comments or email us email@example.com.