By Bri Griffith
If your activism isn’t intersectional, it isn’t activism
But, what exactly does that mean?
What does it mean to be intersectional, and why is it important?
Intersectionality: A word that acts as a symbol; a way to describe how different types of discrimination react. The Intersectionality Theory is the study of how different power structures interact in the lives of minorities, specifically black women. Kimberlé Crenshaw, a distinguished professor of law who splits her time between UCLA and Columbia School of Law, came up with the Intersectionality Theory, and named it in the 1980s. She has this to say:
“I wanted to come up with a common everyday metaphor that people could use to say, ‘It’s well and good for me to understand the kind of discriminations that occur along this avenue, along this axis — but what happens when it flows into another axis, another avenue?’”
It’s our responsibility to include gender, race and socioeconomic status, as activists, because even feminist and anti-racist campaigns have virtually left women of color, as Crenshaw puts it, “invisible in plain sight.”
To be intersectional is to widen our lenses rather than talking about societal issues and oppression only in terms of gender.