07 March 2014

Intersectionality


To better educate myself, I've been reading feminist and African American history. Currently, I'm reading bell hooks' Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism. In this book and in the article quoted above, the two authors talk about the racism in the feminist movement(s).

Feminism, to me, includes women of color as well as poor women, trans* women, immigrant women, lesbians and bisexual women, disabled women, fat women, ALL women. We have to recognize and work to end problems for all of these women. If we just focus on white, middle-upper-class educated women's problems, then we're not doing anything to help women who may have it worse off than we do.

That's not to say that we should be comparing who is more oppressed or who has it better off, aka playing the "Oppression Olympics." We just have to acknowledge that different forces affect our lives in different and intersecting ways, thus the word "intersectionality." Straight working-class black women have different experiences than do disabled queer white women.

We have to work to end all types of oppression against women. Racism is a strong force in black women's lives, a force that white women can help combat. We have to start by recognizing and fighting against our own racism. And by listening to black women and what they have to say. That's where I'm at now.

No comments:

Post a Comment