Intersectional Feminists

'Intersectional feminism'. What the hell is it? (And why you should care)

I need to make it clear that Eddo-Lodge was not responsible for any of the abuse that she received, but the conversation was derailed nonetheless and the opportunity for her to address a large audience on a popular radio show was lost.

Caroline Criado Perez has

Regardless, what really matters here is, are people any the wiser as to what intersectionality is and how it affects them? I'm keen to steer the conversation back to the subject of intersectionality in feminism and what it really means.

To me the concept is very simple. As a black feminist, I do not condone Chris Brown physically assaulting his (then) girlfriend Rhianna, but I will object if someone describes him as a ‘black b*****d’, as one white woman did to me. It does not mean that I support domestic violence as she then accused me of doing. It means that I, like the majority of black women, don’t support racism.

The main thing 'intersectionality' is trying to do, I would say, is to point out that feminism which is overly white, middle class, cis-gendered and able-bodied represents just one type of view - and doesn't reflect on the experiences of all the multi-layered facets in life that women of all backgrounds face.

Roqayah Chamseddine is a feminist and writer that explains this further saying: “White feminism is extremely introverted refusing to acknowledge systematic hurdles facing women of colour (WOC) who are not visible. Our voices need amplifying because white feminism tokenise us and usurps our voices.”

Until the mainstream feminist movement starts listening to the various groups of women within it, then it will continue to stagnate and not be able to move forward. The only result of this is that the movement will become fragmented and will continue to be less effective.

Racism in feminism

Whenever the subject of racism is brought up in feminism, it is no different to when it is brought up in any other forum. The usual platitudes are used and the accusation of ‘being divisive’ is often bandied around.

The phrase ‘check your privilege’ that accompanies many discussions about intersectionality is one example. On Twitter in early January, there was a hashtag started by a white feminist #reclaimingintersectionalityin2014 that caused many black feminists to question how she intended to reclaim something that had never been hers in the first place.

But it does prove that the concept truly has become mainstream if it is now at risk of being appropriated.

There is the mistaken belief that the only 'privilege' that you can have relates to skin colour. This is not the case. You can be privileged because of your class, educational background, religious background, the fact that you’re able bodied or cis-gendered. A lot of black women can and do have privileges too.

One Twitter user said: "The fact that a major feminist concept has been ... pushed into the mainstream angers white feminists who refuse to acknowledge that they benefit from a white supremacist hetero-normative patriarchal system."

FAQ

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What progressive era issue became a crossroads where the path of labor radicals, cultural moderness and feminist intersected

In regards to the Progressive Era, vast industrialization brought on a wide range of labor, cultural, and feminist issues.

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