Intersectionality theorizes from a position of simultaneity” (2012). This means that when thinking about feminism and feminist movements, society cannot just think of one category but all categories. For example, throughout history white feminists who advocated for equality among gender, made movements but neglected the inclusion of women of color. If the concept of intersectionality had existed during those shifts, women of color would not have been left out and the progression would not only include white women and women of color, but those with disabilities, transgendered people, all social
For the purpose of this thesis, the term, intersectioanlity will be discussed in this subchapter. Intersectionality, a feminist sociological theory, is a term coined by a famous researcher Kimberlé Crenshaw in her essay entitled Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics (1989). The notion is connected with different forms of oppressions experienced simultaneously by African American women. In her essay, Crenshaw compares discrimination to traffic. She states that women can be victims of discrimination and its consequences that may come from many directions, which she called in her research as an intersection of gender,
Early feminism was typically focused only on white women, likely because racism was still extremely prominent at the time feminism began emerging. It was not until Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced the term “intersectionality” in 1989 that feminism started to look at oppressed group’s needs (Nash, 2008, 2). Intersectionality is a way of thinking that acknowledges that when a person has identities that belong to more than one oppressed group, it impacts their quality of life more negatively. In this paper, I will argue that intersectionality is important in the discussion of feminist theories and activism because it ensures that feminism is for all women, not just a select group of them. Intersectionality has changed the way the feminist movement handles the overlapping of different identities, which has helped feminist theorists understand the experiences of women of colour much more clearly. While intersectionality has a very important role in the conversation and practice of feminism, there are certainly critiques of the concept that should be brought up. These critiques, however, can offer a way to improve the study of intersectionality.
Intersectionality has been partly criticized for being nebulous in nature and difficult to define and apply in practice. For the purposes of this paper, I do not wish to offer a defininitve definintion of the term, but instead offer an understanding of several key concepts which have particular salience for social work practice. Intersectionality can function both as a theory for understanding structural inequality but also as a paradigm through which to investigate these systems. Intersectionality scholarship has functioned primarily to highlight the complexity of interlocking systems of oppression. In doing so intersectional scholarship seeks to center the experience of marginalized groups, revealing how oppression manifests both inside and outside of social justice movements.
Women’s history is a history of oppression. Throughout time, women have faced systematic domination, which has ultimately informed women’s identities and shaped their roles in society. However, the oppression of women is not uniform and different groups of women have experienced sexist oppression to different degrees and in vastly different ways. This is largely due to intersectionality, which is the idea that the convergence and interaction of various oppressed aspects of one’s identity uniquely affect individuals and social systems. As Kimberlé Crenshaw discusses in “Intersectionality and Identity Politics: Learning from Violence Against Women of Color”, women of color are situated in such a way that they belong to at least two subjugated groups. Their particular position exemplifies intersectionality because they are victims of overlapping patterns of sexism and racism, leaving them completely marginalized. Furthermore, intersectionality highlights the interconnectedness and multiplicity of oppression in society. In her essay “’Intersectionality’ is a Big Fancy Word for My Life”, Mia Mingus explains how the oppressed can also contribute to oppression. This concept in culmination with discrepancies in discrimination within communities leads to a fraught and complex dynamic that has lasting impacts. Societies must recognize intersectionality in women’ history in order to fully comprehend and rectify the oppression of today.
In undergrad, we had spoken about intersectionality in class, but it never impacted me and my thought process the way it did in this class. I had only ever spoken about how intersectionality impacted us individually. I thought of how I was a woman, a bi-racial woman and now that I am older and in a more accepting environment I about how I am a queer woman. However, I haven’t ever extended it directly to my clients and the communities I have and will serve. The first article that spoke about intersexuality was the Annamma, Connor and Ferri article that spoke about the intersectionality of minorities and disabilities. The article reported that African American students are three times as likely to be
The intersectionality of women’s health issues such as domestic violence overlaps this problematic worldwide situation and connects vastly across cultures and continents, as domestic violence does not discriminate against women--people do. In the peer-reviewed academic design study article, “Intersectionality and Framing Domestic Violence”, Jennifer Nixon and Cathy Humphreys investigates intersectionality of feminist framing of domestic violence, and hypothesize a feminist theory specifically aimed at issues of violence against women. Nixon and Humphreys postulate that “deconstruction, not to cause harm on feminist activism has made ideological, material, and political gains for survivors of domestic violence” (Nixon and Humphreys 138). Additionally, they establish meaning that domestic violence is extensive, oppresses women, and is multi-cultural and the economic segments require revision. Subsequently, recommending that need to re-frame domestic violence should be a concentration on intersectionality, with its focus on the overlapping repetitions of gender, race, and ethnicity, class, disability, and sexuality. As the empirical results are constantly fluctuating, incorporating inclusions of updated results are vital, especially to include intersectionality which comprises the larger overlapping inclusion of the violence against women movement. In fact, Portwood and Finkel Heany’s (2007) peer-reviewed design study, “Responding to Violence Against Women: Social Science
The theory of intersectionality as a research tool has practical implications in political practice and public policy. This allows for greater efforts to be made to address the structural disparity between women’s rights based on factors such as race, class, sexuality, ability and so on. The importance of implementing intersectionality, as a feminist theory, within these spheres is that significant changes can occur and this can allow for more adequate policies in regards to women’s needs. There has been further discussion surrounding how developing ideas of intersectionality towards these structures and institutions will allow for further debunking of politicized identities, which I will further discuss in this essay as posing a limitation
In order to establish a dialogue between women of color and white women, it is necessary to understand what intersectionality is. Intersectionality theory accounts for the levels of oppression a person has to confront (Ramsay, 455). For example,
Feminist theory aims to understand the nature of gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality. Feminist political activism campaigns on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, sexual harassment, discrimination and sexual violence. Themes explored in feminism include discrimination, stereotyping, objectification, sexual objectification, oppression and
Gender is on the agenda” wrote Francis Heidensohn (1989) Feminist definition of crime is that “crime is politically informed and linked to particular interests”– of men. Before feminism, women were invisible in sociological research, this meant that explanations for female recidivism saw, female crime as a ’special case’ resulting from sexual promiscuity and biological deviance. Biological explanations for male criminality have lost credibility yet feminist research argued that biological explanations were used to understand female crimes for example the persecution of Maxine Carr. Some feminist criminologists accept that women commit
bell hooks’ second book, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, was published in 1984. It is one of her more widely known works, pushing her into the forefront as a leading voice between second and third-wave feminism. Third-wave feminism theory is inclusive of elements of anti-racism, lesbian theory, and women-of-color consciousness, brought upon as a criticism of the second-wave; which highlighted upper-middle class white women’s issues and projected them onto the whole mass without consideration of minority experiences. hooks’ novel is reflective of this and incorporates these subjects paying specific attention to the ethnic minority experience of feminism. She does this in order to raise awareness of groups marginalized within feminism, arguing that they should in fact be at the center of the movement.
For this playlist I chose to focus on an overall theme of Feminism and the impact that women in popular music have through music. A feminist supports the ideals for equal rights for women. They share a common goal to achieve equal political, economic, personal, social and cultural rights. The women music genre emerged during the second-wave feminist movement. Women artists have taken to the music industry to express the idea of women rights through a feminist movement. This playlist includes eight songs from today’s popular music, each artist’s expresses feminism in their own way. Touching on topics from a personal aspect to the overall ideals of women’s rights.
Feminist perspective developed with the ideology that women face large amounts of inequalities in a patriarchal society. They aimed to address and rid the social world of this oppression of women by men. According to Bishop, (2015) “oppression occurs when one group of people use different forms of power to keep another group down in order to exploit them. The oppressor uses the power; the oppressed are exploited” (p. 133-134). Oppression must be by individual experience and not grouped into being the same for all. This includes understanding the original ideology of feminist theory being critiqued as only considering the experiences of middle class, white women. That black women, of lower class experienced oppression much different from the other women. Women are oppressed, thus has to be understood in a different construct that women are similar in some sources, experience of oppression but also experience oppression very differently from one individual to another. Feminist theories have further been expanded do its continuation throughout society and decades to encompass many more issues and arenas than just men and women relationships. Now it seeks to understand and address oppression based on culture, race, class, etc and not only for women but for all. Therefore, Bishop (2014) outlines five components that seem common to all forms of oppression and serve to maintain its presence in society.