Intersectionality

Intersectionality

The idea/acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of existing in relation to their identity. In terms of discrimination and oppression, intersectionality encourages you to consider everything and anything that can marginalise people that relates to their identity, including gender, race, class, sexual orientation, disability, etc. 

Let’s use this example to illustrate: two British women who identify as queer have some experiences in common, including feeling overjoyed in their queerness and experiencing prejudice because of their sexual identity. However, if one of those women happens to be Black and the other is white, then those two different identities affect their experience differently. The Black woman may experience prejudice because of her sexual identity and be subject to racist discrimination because she is Black, whereas the white woman will not experience negative effects because of her race. Taking this further, a Black, queer woman experiences life differently to, say, a Black, heterosexual woman or a Black, queer man.

While intersectionality is rooted in the appreciation for the individual experience, it’s best used as a lens to examine who in our society has more privilege and power than others so we can begin to question and tear down those unfair systems.

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