For many of us it feels like feminism is having something of a revival at the moment, but the truth is, it never really went away, and I'm thankful for that. Until we close the gender pay gap, the orgasm gap and the doors of the patriarchy, feminism is our closest ally and confidant. Because let’s face it, misogyny sucks.
So what is Intersectional Feminism? Intersectionality is a term coined by a visionary of her time, Kilmberlé Crenshaw in 1989 who declared it as:
‘The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.’
Intersectional Feminism is a version of feminism that strives for equality for ALL women, not just the cisgender middle class white women who identify with the gender they were given at birth.
I myself am a straight, economically fortunate, cisgender mixed-race woman, though I have incredibly light skin which means that for all intents and purposes, I am white. This means that I am extended white privilege in all aspects of life. People treat me differently when they see me down a darkened road, when I walk into an expensive store or when I’m tired and I’m acting strangely in a public place with a backpack on.
Some of us, like me, are women fortunate enough to only worry about one form of social repression; sexism. Other not so 'lucky’ women, also experience classism, microaggressions, homophobia and transphobia.
Let's look at some stats:
- On average a cisgender person has a 1 in 18,989 chance of being murdered.
- A transgender person has a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered.
- The average life span of a cisgender person is 75-90 years old.
- The average life expectancy of a transgender person is 23-30 years old.
- 75% of people killed in anti LGBT+ hate crimes are people of colour.
Transphobia is literally killing women all over the world. Their lives are being taken by an unfathomable violence which stems from people's confusion and inconceivable hatred of transgender people.
This is why Intersectional Feminism is the only version that genuinely fulfils the truest form of what feminism was created to do. We must fight for the rights of all women because we all deserve to feel safe walking home at night. All women deserve to live their lives to the fullest. All women deserve to age gracefully and watch their grandchildren grow up.
Taking part in Intersectional Feminism sometimes means acknowledging your privilege and using it to lift the voices of those who have been quieted for far too long.
The revolution is coming.