“Intersectional feminism” is much more than the latest feminist buzzword. It is a decades-old term many feminists use to explain how the feminist movement can be more diverse and inclusive.
If feminism is advocating for women’s rights and equality between the sexes, intersectional feminism is the understanding of how women’s overlapping identities — including race, class, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation — impact the way they experience oppression and discrimination.
A white woman is penalized by her gender but has the advantage of race. A black woman is disadvantaged by her gender and her race. A Latina lesbian experiences discrimination because of her ethnicity, her gender and her sexual orientation.
All women, but in particular white women, need to recognize that gender isn’t a single category. There is a need to acknowledge underrepresented women and domestic groups that have different histories and are at a tremendous disadvantage.
Check out the list on how to be a bad feminist and avoid checking the boxes!
- Ignore/ discount the experiences and struggles of women from marginalized groups
- Assume all women are your race, hetero and CIS
- But say you speak for all women
- Ignore criticism from other women when you ignore or omit their voices and perspectives
- Get defensive when people call you out on your priveledge
- Co-opt ideas from other women without crediting them
- Claim your cause is more worthy than other groups
- Alienate the LGBTQ community by telling them to focus more on ‘women’s issues’
- Make it all about you
- Ignore harassment of other women, specially in marginalized communities, until harassment affects you personally
- Ignore gender equality issues if they don’t affect you
- Claim people would be more outraged if the word women was replaced with a racial slur
- Accuse people of racism when they criticize your white privilege
- Ignore structural and systemic barriers
- Slut-shame and bring down other women
- Downplay cultural appropriation and wear inappropriate clothing at music festivals
- Be a TERF
- Speak for other women’s experiences, specially oppressed women, instead of giving them a voice
- Claim to care a lot but don’t do anything to change your limited views
This list was modified and inspired by a post originally published by on Medium by Erin Wilson on October 19.
Like what you read? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our content in your inbox every month.
Catharsis Productions' mission is to change the world by producing innovative, accessible and research-supported programming that challenges oppressive attitudes and shifts behavior.