If Your Feminism Isn’t Intersectional, Who Is It Even For?

If Your Feminism Isn’t Intersectional, Who Is It Even For?

Incorporating intersectional ideas into feminist practices.
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The term “intersectional feminism”— and individuals who identify as intersectional feminists — are often overlooked within the feminist community. Whether this disconnection is due to lack of knowledge or blatant disregard of the concept, intersectional feminism is gradually being accepted and consistently practiced amongst dedicated feminists. Therefore, after hearing the evident benefits and positive leaps this practice brings forth, one can only ponder after learning more about intersectional feminism why this concept is not being embraced as frequently as it should throughout the feminist community.

Feminism alone provides many positives for women, such as equality in multiple forms. Whether it be social, political, and/or economic, questions and some underlying confusion on how intersectional practices contribute to this powerful movement are sure to arise.

What, exactly, is Intersectional Feminism?

According to Geek Feminism, intersectionality is defined as, “a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.”

In summary, in relation to feminism, it is the act of exercising feminist ideals without excluding women of various backgrounds.

Whether one identifies as a feminist or wants to become more involved in the community, it is crucial to understand that, yes, women are historically known to be oppressed. However, due to personal circumstances, race, culture, sexuality, etc., they each experience oppression but can be marginalized on multiple wavelengths.

For example, not every woman will experience a circumstance pertaining to street harassment in the same fashion. A cisgender white woman compared to a transgender woman of color (who are often targets of extreme ridicule) will not have the same story to tell when speaking on street harassment. While both the cisgender white woman and the transgender woman are open to catcalls, whispering, and inappropriate comments, etc., the transgender woman of color will also deal with racial slurs or even transphobia. The message is not to excuse or belittle either of their individual experiences, but to respect that they both encounter harassment uniquely and at dissimilar frequencies.

Intersectional Practices

Consciously or unconsciously, there are scenarios where we tend to focus on our own experiences of oppression and disregard others in the process. Despite whether this behavior is intentional or not, this series of centered thinking involving feminism can be biased and undoubtedly limits other women.

As feminists, this movement requires critical, mindful understanding of the concept of intersectionality. Feminism supports all women. Therefore, once we start to unconsciously pick and choose who and what form of oppression we want to advocate against, feminism begins to lose its true intent.

Additionally, we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the notion of intersectional feminism. We should be continually striving to exercise more inclusive and unified feminism that supports and stands for various types of women of diverse races, cultures, sexualities, classes, etc. and remember how our differences can essentially bring us together.

In all, we must reflect on our own experiences and openly share them while attentively listening and aiming to fully understand others in the process. Imagine how much more influential feminism would be with intersectional principles, and how much more undivided the movement could be if we frequently remain aware of each other’s individual truths.

Cover Image Credit: Cake

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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