“the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism ) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups -” Intersectionality definition Merriam-Webster dictionary.
A topic that has been critical in the discussion of Identity. Intersectionality is something we’re all apart of. What is it? You may ask. If the definition and the video didn’t explain it entirely, here’s my interpretation.
We are all the combination of many identities. For example, I identify as a black man. Here are two identities that intersect. First, for me is being black. Secondly, being a man. Now I can add identities. Such as being christian. Or straight. These are the identities we live with. However, intersectionality is deeper than that.
Intersectionality is the combination of these identities that allow us to take different lenses independently and cumulatively into said identities. As well as understand the different struggles and discrimination they experience. For example, the second video attached to this post involves Kimberele Crenshaw’s TED talk. In this, she opens up with discussing how black women murdered by the police unjustly were frequently overlooked compared to black men. The TED Talk goes farther in-depth in discussing the exclusion of identities being excluded, such as Black women in workplaces.
Crenshaw is known as the mother of intersectionality when she coined the term in 1989.
With all that said, let’s recap intersectionality.
It is the recognition of different identities and how to Key in on the varying struggles they experience.
The question is how can this benefit us as we look forward to be inclusive as a world.
The true question on the topic is how can it not help?
Intersectionality allows us to see how discrimination works differently with different identities. Black women suffer a different type of women’s discrimination than white women when it comes to Feminism. The two battles are far different. Regardless of the two races being women. Black women still face a larger amount of discrimination.
Homosexual black men face a different type of discrimination compared to homosexual white men or even heterosexual black men.
This is not to say that people’s struggles and discrimination hold different weight. Everyone has their own discrimination that they face. However this discussion is to bring light to the fact that there are levels to discrimination, and in order to eliminate it, we must understand the root of said discrimination.
Being able to tell people the stories of the trials and tribulations of another when it comes to intersectionality is crucial. comprehending others identities and he discrimination they face is crucial to dialogue.
Intersectionality is not designed to divide. It is designed to identify and create spaces for people to recognize different identities and experiences. It isn’t designed for victim shaming or victim empowerment. below is a Prager University video that wrongfully explains intersectionality. It propagates the idea that intersectionality is designed as a social credit for opinions. The more identities you can be victimized by, the more social status and power of opinion you have.
This is not intersectionality. Intersectionality doesn’t do any of this. Intersectionality is a means to better understand differences to eliminate discrimination of race, gender, sexual orientation religion etc…
By understanding the different battles people face based of identity we are able to understand each other better and cooperate in a world of differences. Once we can identify differences and comprehend them we can begin to have empathy for another person and work with them at a better understanding.
From this, we can open dialogue and begin to understand the other side, or our opposition better.
In today’s world where identity is critical and acceptance is rising, intersectionality is pivotal to the paradigm shift of old. We are now embarking into a world where people with intersecting identities are raising their value and expressing themselves more. This allows the world to become more accepting and culturally inclusive. This opens the doors for many possibilities. It causes change. This can scare people.
Which is normal. But the world is changing, and either you’re with the times or it will pass you by.
Thank you for reading.