CANTA issue #12, 2017
First things first: Have you voted yet? If not please do go vote!!In this episode we discuss a question we very often come across.
What is intersectional feminism?
Briefly, intersectional feminism acknowledges that women’s experiences are not uniform. The second wave feminist movement of the 60s and 70s viewed female oppression under patriarchy as universal. This view however, was critiqued by many, including black feminists in the USA. Kimberle Crenshaw, who coined the term intersectionality in 1989, highlighted the fact that that neither the feminist movement nor the anti-racist movement addressed the experiences of black women. Black women, being at the intersection of two marginal identities (by virtue of their gender and race) faced challenges were not represented by the feminist movement which was dominated by middle class white women, nor the anti-racist movement dominated by black men.
Intersectional feminism acknowledges the challenges people face as a result of the interplay of factors such as gender, economic class, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability etc. For instance, the challenges faced by a working class Pasifika transwoman in New Zealand will not be the same as a middle class white woman.
Intersectional feminism acknowledges these differences and strives to be inclusive of the diverse identities and ensuing challenges that many are subject to.