The Suffolk Journal

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The Feminist Letters: Everyone needs to advocate for intersectionality to improve equality

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When someone says the word “feminist,” most people have an instinctual idea that comes to mind about what that concept means to them; something along the lines of gender equality, sexism and ending the patriarchy. When the word “intersectionality” comes next to it, however, people do not know what the term means and how it relates to them. Extending from the goal of feminism alone, the main objective of intersectional feminism is to extend equality to all women, taking into account the characteristics of these women that impact the discrimination each female faces separately.

To be more specific, discrimination in the workplace showcases why intersectionality is a prevalent issue. Most females in the workplace will, unfortunately, face discrimination based on gender. Women of color will face oppression not only because of their gender, but also due to their race and ethnicity.  Whether it’s physically in the workplace or on their paychecks, the sex of these women will inhibit them from being treated the same as men.

the sex of these women will inhibit them from being treated the same as men.”

Women in the workplace will face the issue of the wage gap, however the gap between them will differentiate based on their race and ethnicity, according to a study by the American Association of University Women. The underlying issue of this situation, laid in that by just their physical attributes alone, these women will be paid less than their colleagues and ultimately treated differently because of their femininity.

The concept of intersectionality is crucial to feminism in the 21st century, wherein intersectionality is geared toward calling attention to issues in regard to the oppression of women based on attributes such as race, sexual orientation or class.

The role of intersectional feminism has been nothing but progressive, and it has proved to be enormously effective. Women of color are catalysts in this movement, with famous feminists such as Michelle Obama and Beyoncé. These women use their platforms to speak out in support of intersectional feminism and encourage their audiences to stand united with them on the issue.

To live in a diverse city like Boston and to be a part of a progressively diverse campus at Suffolk University, intersectionality affects everyone and needs to be put in motion so that women of color can be just as empowered as a white woman.

The issues a woman faces on a daily basis reach far beyond what meets the eye, and these issues stem even further for women of color. Human rights are ubiquitous: they are intended to be attainable by everyone. Intersectionality is something that everyone must pay attention to and speak up about.

If feminism is about supporting women, intersectional feminism is about empowering the black woman, the Latina woman, the Asian woman and all women. It’s about speaking up for the disable-bodied woman or who emigrated from a third world country. It’s about knowing where privilege lies and being able to notice when some people don’t experience those same advantages.

It’s about advocating for those women and empowering others to do the same.

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The Feminist Letters: Everyone needs to advocate for intersectionality to improve equality