I do not feel connected to mainstream feminism. The feminist movement doesn’t highlight the issues that women of color face. In essence, it feels like there is a sense of assimilation that comes with mainstream feminism. We live in a white cis hetero-male, patriarchal society. After all, feminism is an umbrella term that is allegedly breaking those barriers placed on ALL women.
Intersectionality in Feminism
All women face issues due to their gender in our society but, we have to recognize how race plays a part in how women of color are treated. Intersectionality, a term coined by Kimberle Crenshaw, helps create a conversation about women that aren’t straight and white. Crenshaw created an article on the Washington Post titled “Why Intersectionality Can’t Wait“. Crenshaw explains that she created the term as an “attempt to make feminism, anti-racist activism, and anti-discrimination” within the movement. Above all, by defining intersectionality it allows us to have a more open conversation about what issues women face included sexuality and race.
For example, I have to equally deal with issues as a black person and a woman. My piece regarding being a being a black woman with anxiety displays how being a black person and a woman has affected my mental health. Some other issues that black women face are equal pay, colorism, and how police sexualize black women. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that last one another day. However, we have to create more open conversations about how oppression is able to intersect.
The lack of intersectionality in the movement is due to people wanting to categorize things. Our society tries to put different people in these boxes as a way to understand them. The problem is that humans are complex creatures. We’re not a monolith. We come from different backgrounds and that’s the beauty of people. We cannot put people in boxes in order to figure them out. As a result, we don’t bring everyone’s issues to the forefront.