This webpage includes my thoughts on gender studies in relation to intersectionality.
Intersectionality cross references the many ways different people are oppressed. It utilizes the sameness in their oppression(s) as a foundation to create a common ground working towards the same fight. In other words, intersectionality is the basis for bringing people together to fight towards the same cause. That cause is to dismantle system(s) that were not built, does not represent, benefit, or conflicts in the interests of all people. Almost 30 years ago Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality which was "meant to draw attention to the way that black women's experience sometimes distinct experience of gender discrimination was buried under the experience of white women and black men sometimes distinct experience of race was buried under the experiences of African-American men". This is quoted from her Keynote speech at "Wow 2016" which references her article "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex in Anti-Discrimination Law", which is where the term intersectionality was coined.
In her speech, she uses the example of black women not being able to get work in spaces that hire black men and white women, because they were black and women.
Today, a transgender, deaf, black, woman, may experience discrimination in the workplace because of these things combined. Inter, which is prefix means “among,” “in the midst of,” “mutually,” “reciprocally,” “together,”. So, her allies should include women of all races, because she's being discriminated on the basis that's she's a woman. In her support should be any white, deaf, cisgender, men, because they're both deaf. And rallying for her rights should be the LGBT community and all people of color. They all experience discrimination based on the parts that make them the same, she's experiencing discrimination because of all of those parts combined.
A low-income, Asian, woman is raped, let's call her June. June wants to get an abortion but she cannot afford to. In the same light a Mexican, Muslim, middle-class working, woman is pregnant with her boyfriend of 5 years, let's call her Mable. Mable also wants to get an abortion. A pro-life activist, from Jamaica, who is Christian, and a single father, let's call him Joseph. Joseph does not believe Mable should get an abortion because she's practicing adultery and she was not raped. This is an intersectional failure. Joseph, June, and Mable's common ground is pro-life, that means he should not compromise his religious beliefs for his moral ones.
An important social justice issue that I discussed in an earlier assignment, is "the ability to fight for the African-American community, learn about the gender binary, but still criticize the way privilege allows some of us to express ourselves". I was referring to Rachel Dolezal, "a white woman who's been living as a black woman for over a decade. Currently she's the president of the NAACP" (Blaque 2014). My pressing issue is Dolezal posing as a black woman while simultaneously helping to improve the black community. Except Dolezal is a white woman. With intersectionality, I'd like to shine light on the use of Dolezal's white privilege, as she erased the experience and potential rewards of a black woman.This issue is important to me because people, like Dolezal claim to be for a cause while participating in the erasure of the people from the same community they claim to want to help. Intersectionality gives everyone a voice and does not erase anyone's identity for the sake of advocacy.
Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex in Anti-Discrimination Law. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989(1). Retrieved September 18, 2016, from Digication.
Kat Blaque. "Why Rachel Dolezal isn't Caitlyn Jenner." Online Video Clip. Youtube. Youtube, 14 June 2014. Web. 11 September 2016.
Southbank Centre. (2016, March 14).
Kimberlé Crenshaw - On Intersectionality - keynote - WOW 2016. [Video File] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DW4HLgYPlA
The definition of inter-. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/inter-