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Intersectionality Essays

18 samples in this category

If we look at identity politics, a lot has changed since the 1960s. While the American Left rhetoric was all about color blindness and national unity back then, it’s now changed to group-based rhetoric, and intersectionality is no exception. In current political discourse, intersectionality divides Americans along a sharp line, as it receives many criticisms – not only from the conservative side.

The idea of interaction effects is nothing new, as it has always been studied in the fields of statistics and psychology, even before Kimberlé Crenshaw first used her version as a political term. As David French, an American constitutional lawyer explains, the foundation of intersectionality lies on the common-sense, fundamental truth that people do have personal traits that would place them in one or more minority groups (French, 2019). Interestingly, in intersectional theory, the focus tends to primarily be on a few characteristics, such as race, gender, class, and sexual orientation and disregards others, like age, looks, ability, etc.

People, however, are at an advantage and disadvantage based on all these factors (and more), and essentially, one of the more important criticisms voiced is that intersectionality oversimplifies and undermines the complexity of human experience and issues. In a review on Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge’s Intersectionality, Christian A. Gonzalez points it out that even though intersectionality aims to explain inequalities and prejudice in society, it seems to ignore non-structural roots to these issues; he says: “[…] intersectionality views inequality in simple-minded terms, invariably attributing all inequality to a conspiracy of systemic oppression. Nowhere in Intersectionality’s 200-plus pages is any mention made of the internal causes of inequality.” (Gonzalez, 2018) Due to the absence of a clear definition, there is an apparent trend of intersectionality evolving into an ideology that people follow and act upon. Not so much as a theory, but as an ideology, it receives much more attention and criticism.

Helen Pluckrose states in her essay: “On the level of its ideology […] to be intersectional is to focus on many different categories of marginalized identity at once, be convinced that they are marginalized and be concerned about them all. It is not enough to be a woman or even to be a feminist. One must also subscribe to critical race theory, queer theory, trans equality, and anti-ableism discourses.” (Pluckrose, 2017) Once intersectionality turns into an ideology, it implies that true intersectionality needs to be aware of all marginalized groups, as all of them are linked in some way or another through the intertwining system of oppression. For instance, one cannot fight for social inclusion and equality for the LGBT community without including and talking about African-American or disabled minorities within the community. As intersectionality fosters inter-group unity, several combination groups are born, such as intersectional feminism, but the Black Lives Matter website has also changed its description to represent a much broader purpose than combating police brutality; “We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.” (Black Lives Matter, n.d) Chloe Valdary, writer and political activist, and Christian A. Gonzalez both warn about the “dangerous” claims and language employed in intersectionality discussions. Chloe in an interview with Dave Rubin, says: “[…] (according to intersectionality) the primary motivator behind all human interaction is power, and by that, they mean power to oppress.” (The Rubin Report, 2018) The core of the framework is indeed the idea of oppression. More specifically, instead of discussing disadvantage, discrimination, or inequality, intersectionality addresses all these social phenomena as a form or consequence of oppression.

The language used implies that in society there are oppressors and many victim groups (even though oppressors never got specifically named). It may also suggest that there’s a hierarchy among victims of oppression. Those who are part of several minority groups are facing more kinds of oppression, therefore acquiring a victim status ranking higher than those who are in fewer groups. An immediate consequence is how personal achievements are being invalidated according to this ranking. Andrew Sullivan, a conservative author takes the entire controversy one step further, with a bold comparison between intersectionality and religion. After witnessing a video on Middlebury College students protesting a lecture by Dr. Charles Murray by pre-practiced chanting and restraining discussion, he could draw parallels between the manifestation of intersectionality effects and religion. Intersectionality is actually a doctrine that could explain all human experiences. “Its version of original sin is the power of some identity groups over others.” (Sullivan, 2017) People practicing this religion first “need to check their privileges” (Sullivan, 2017) (in the ranking mentioned above) and live and act accordingly. Furthermore, as intersectionality flows into the postmodern worldview, it is increasingly difficult to debate over it, as believers tend to reject scientific, empirical reasoning and favor whatever truth aligns with their values.

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The Critiques Of Intersectionality Concept

If we look at identity politics, a lot has changed since the 1960s. While the American Left rhetoric was all about colorblindness and national unity back then, it’s now changed to a group-based rhetoric. In current political discourse, intersectionality divides Americans along a sharp line, as it receives many criticism – not only from the conservative side. The idea of interaction effects is nothing new, as it has always been studied in the fields of statistics and psychology, even before...
2 Pages 789 Words

Domestic Violence And Intersectionality: How Race And Community Influences Outcomes

Community Systems In the week two case study involving Jane (2019), one could see that one community system that influenced the outcome of her and her children’s case was religious. Jane, who met her husband through a Christian talk radio show, was a victim of coercive control, which involves using psychological techniques to subordinate women into second-class status (Stark, p. 26, 2017). Her husband used their Christian belief system as an excuse for his use of coercive control, domestic and...
5 Pages 2074 Words

Crenshaw’s Intersectionality In Walker’s The Color Purple

In this essay, I will attempt to conceptualize Crenshaw’s (1991) intersectionality and apply it to the Walker text, The Color Purple (1982). Employing my intersectional (Crenshaw, 1991) analysis, I will attempt to convey a textual representation of gender and sexual orientation through lesbian or bisexual women as linked to and interconnected to other forms of identity such as age, race, ethnicity and class. Firstly, I will conceptualize Crenshaw’s (1991) concept of intersectionality. Secondly, I will apply this conceptualization to Celie...
6 Pages 2948 Words

Intersectionality Paper: Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Classism, Ageism And Genderism

The notion of Intersectionality can be defined as a concept that connects oppressive notions of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ageism and genderism. These notions are all interconnected and play a major role in one’s life. Kimberlé Crenshaw presented the term of intersectionality as she was aiming to make a statement about the marginalization of colored women and the anti-discrimination laws but also with a feminist perspective which lead her to create the margins within intersectionality that addressed the ways...
2 Pages 972 Words

Intersectionality and Title IX in the Context of University Sexual Abuse

An inaccurate report of university sexual assault on the bases of racial bias has been created to ignore women of color given by critics of the Office of Civil Rights’ enforcement of Title IX. Keeping women out of the picture, their explanation is focused on the frequent and false accusations of men of color who are punished intensively. Women of color stand between the intersection of gender and race, which means they are prone to both, racism as well as...
1 Page 611 Words

Kimberle Crenshaw Intersectionality Essay

Lisa Kemmerer once said, ‘The reproductive abilities of women and their other female animals are controlled and exploited by those in power (usually men) and both are devalued as they age and wear out when they no longer reproduce. Cows, hens, and women are routinely treated as if they objected to being manipulated in order to satisfy the desires of powerful men, without regard to female’s wishes or feelings.’ Intersectionality is a term that was brought up by the theorist...
4 Pages 1630 Words

Experiences And Realities Used By Intersectionality To Understand Marginalized Groups And Individuals

Originally introduced as a concept to challenge a feminist analysis which spotlighted a woman’s gender experience while seemingly rendering invisible and irrelevant her other experiences and realities intersectionality is now used to better understand the plight of various marginalized groups and individuals. Intersectionality plays an important role in unpacking how the lives and experiences of an individual’s multiple identities influences how they perceive and interact with their world and conversely how their world perceives and interacts with them. It recognizes...
4 Pages 1816 Words

Peculiarities Of Intersectionality Concept

Intersectionality is the concept that in order to understand the amount of oppression one experiences in relation to others, one must first break down the amount of different disadvantage groups the individual is in. The more disadvantaged groups the individual is in, the more oppression they face. Depending on one’s race, sexual orientation, gender, and class, one may encounter far more obstacles and barriers to be successful in America than others. Within media, those who are behind the scenes tend...
1 Page 425 Words

Intersectionality Issues In Youth Sports

Children in youth sports are at risk to experience different disadvantages when it comes to being in a setting where they are learning. Children in youth sports that are categorized into groups surrounded by oppression are more likely to become exposed to issues when it comes to being in the world of sports; a world where one is constantly learning. It is important to highlight the fact that young people with the backgrounds of oppression are, in various ways, exposed...
1 Page 464 Words

The Aspects Of Intersectionality In A Doll's House

Intersectionality was introduced by black feminist scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989.Intersectionality has been a big part of society, it has affected different part of society causing for different critical lenses. Intersectionality is the interconnected idea of social arrangements, for example, race, class, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or gathering, viewed as making covering and reliant frameworks of separation or inconvenience. Throughout history, different people have been discriminated for different reason for having different skin...
4 Pages 1715 Words

Oppression And Intersectionality

Intersectionality, which is how social, economic, and other categories overlap and intersect in a greater framework of oppression. In the United States sexism, racism, ageism, classism, anti-Semitism, and other isms have deeply affected every fabric of human connection and it has become systemic. In this environment, it is one thing to be a white male, and it is another thing to be a gay black man; it is one thing to be a black woman and it is still different...
1 Page 535 Words

Intersectionality Laws Is The UK And Europe

Intersectionality, coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 19891, draws analytic attention to the fact that no social identity category exists in isolation of others. Rather, we are all simultaneously positioned within multiple social categories including gender, social class, sexuality, disability and racialisation among others. These categories reciprocally construct each other when they intersect, forming qualitatively different meanings and experiences that are situated in different contexts, times and power relations. Hence, intersectionality alerts us to the fact that we cannot understand a...
4 Pages 1917 Words

Gender, Class And Race Intersection In The Namibian Society

Gender identity is known to originate from experiences that happened in our lives and these type of experiences do not only differ based on gender but also by race and class factors. Stereotypes are formed under narrow structures of these different identities which creates a system of social control. Gender, class and race mechanisms are intertwined in these societies. In the race and class system there is a superior group and the inferior group and in the gender system women...
4 Pages 1764 Words

Gender Intersectionality With Race Or Class

Intersectionality describes the position of women of colour in the social hierarchy, of females. Gender is ultimately a constellation of norms given to a culture based on biological differences however, are performative expressions dictated and controlled by our conventional norms, thus resulting in conventionalised behaviours. With these two phenomenal beings combined only creates an intersection with the issues of race and gender which political discourses often ignore due to supposed complexities, as well as ignorance on the matter. Generalisations made...
5 Pages 2159 Words

Intersectionality On The Example Of Black LGBT Stand Up Performers

All of us know that if a person is Black or Gay or disable or belongs to another social group, which is often discriminated, it means that their life is way harder than the life of a white straight man, for example. Such people, who I mentioned before face discrimination/misrecognition every single day. Nevertheless, what happens if the person is, for instance, Asian Trans disabled? Which type of oppression does he cope with? The answer is: this person struggles with...
2 Pages 1047 Words

Intersectionality: Evolution, Development And Social Equality

Introduction: what is intersectionality? Intersectionality is an academic approach that helps us makes sense of the complexity of social reality by acknowledging the interdependence of different social ‘locations’ or ‘categories’ in people’s lives, such as gender or race, to explain their social situation and life experience. Intersectionality also helps us understand the mechanisms by which social inequality is reproduced in our daily interactions. Because of this, intersectionality provides strong discursive tools to fight inequality. I personally chose to work on...
4 Pages 1983 Words

Themes Of Gender And Intersect In Mary Wollstonecraft Works

In her choice to cite John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, (“Among unequals what society can sort, what harmony or true delight?”), Mary Wollstonecraft not only underlines the workings of the precarious system that sat perched on the backs of its followers, but also highlights the absence of “true delight” in the eyes of those have been coerced into conforming to the norm. Born in the year 1959, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin authored 17 texts in the span of her short life. Most...
2 Pages 955 Words

Intersection Of Racism And Gender In Construction Of Power And Naturalization

The intersection between gender and racism is at the construction of variations of power, disparities in power, and the naturalization of entitlement/difference that is established in individual attitudes and behaviors through the consistent obscurance of power (Pettman 1992, p. 60). Racism and gender intersect in their construction of variations of power through individual attitudes identifying individuals by points of difference in race and gender and through individual behaviors of using differences in race and gender to distinguish other groups of...
5 Pages 2298 Words
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