Why Intersectional Feminism Is So Important

Why Intersectional Feminism Is So Important

If it isn't intersectional, it isn't feminism.
1100
views

Feminism itself is such an intricate movement and for some reason, there are tons of people who think that feminism and feminists are ignorant. I mean, the definition of feminism is the movement for political, social, and economic equality of the sexes (and yes, that includes intersex as well, which seems to be left of a lot). I don't think that's an outrageous request, considering that people are discriminated against and even killed for parts of their identity that they cannot control. Feminism, however, does have flaws when it comes to fighting for the rights of everyone. Countless groups of people are left out or forgotten when it comes to activism, so that's where intersectionality comes in. Intersectionality refers to the interconnectedness of social categories such as race, class, gender, and socioeconomic status.

The reason why intersectional feminism is so important because it aims to include all groups in the movement for equality. Some feminists only focus getting equality for certain groups, specifically white people. For example, when someone says that people should be allowed to wear whatever they mean, that should mean Muslims wearing hijabs, Hindus wearing bindis, and men wearing makeup and dresses, not just white girls wearing short skirts. And while yes, it is important for all people regardless of color or background to wear whatever the hell they please, it shouldn't be restricted to just one group. You shouldn't be praising white girls for being bold for wearing a low cut shirt, yet criticize an Indian woman for wearing her cultural dress. You shouldn't be praising white girls for wearing sweatpants out in public, yet ostracize a man for wearing a turban. And this goes far beyond clothing. This includes religion, race, culture, background, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, and everything else in between.

When you're fighting for the rights of others, or at least being an ally, you should be thinking of all groups and not just the ones you're involved in or express an interest in. If you're fighting for women's rights, that should include women of color, trans women, women with disabilities, women of diverse religious background, women of low socioeconomic status or in poverty, and all the women out there. If you're fighting for religious freedom, that should include people from Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and every single other religion out there. If you're fighting for the rights of those with disabilities, that better include deaf people, blind people, people that need wheelchair assistance, people with learning disabilities, people with all types of mental illness, people with physical disabilities, people with obvious disabilities, people without obvious disabilities, and every type of disability that exists. Every type of person and every combination of person should be included in your feminism, or else it truly isn't feminism.

Of course, no one's feminism is perfect because we all have our biases and internalizations, but that doesn't mean we can't have to carry those forever. We have to try to get rid of those biases we hold and aim to include every single minority in our fight for equality. We need to not only educate others, but we need to educate ourselves on what it truly means to be intersectional. We need to be activists for everyone, and if you come from a place of privilege, use that privilege to advocate for those that get silenced and can't speak by themselves alone. At the same time, don't try to make yourself part of a group if you don't belong there. Just because you fight for black lives doesn't mean that you can say the "n" word or adopt black culture if you're not black. Just because you're an ally or an activist doesn't mean that your voice gets to overpower those with the minortiy status, and that doesn't mean that people should listen to you more because you have privilege. You shouldn't drown the voices out of those who are experiencing the hatred and inequality; you should simply stand with those who need it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter.com

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
451873
views

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

440
views

Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

Related Content

Facebook Comments