Critical Response Paper: Intersectionality
WGSS3010/ Fall 2020/ Prof Stephanie Evans
We’re Better Together
Intersectionality creates an atmosphere that most people would want to be a part of. It helps us gain more knowledge while also recognizing the struggles that other groups are facing daily. An intersectionality society would help people become more sensitive to others situations because it is more talked about conversation whether it be about race, gender, sexuality, or class. Kimberlé Crenshaw and The Combahee River Collective examines the black woman’s intersecting experience of discrimination with both sex and race.
In “Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color” Crenshaw argues that black women face the problems of sexism, but that is not the only fight they are fighting, because along with that they face the issues of racism. She explores a more specific issue around the violence that black women face throughout this reading, to ensure that she people understand how the two of these are not mutually exclusive regarding women of color. “Although racism and sexism readily intersect in the lives of real people they seldom do in feminist and anti-racist practices.”(Crenshaw, 1) Some of the evidence that Crenshaw uses throughout is experiences of women in shelters, the Marriage Fraud Amendments, rape, domestic violence, statistics, etc. All of these things help this reading feel relatable to those reading and when things are relatable and things that people have seen first-hand, it helps the writer become more credible and also keeps people interested in what she has to say regardless of how long. I completely agree with Crenshaw’s argument because often times we as people get caught up in the major discriminations that we face that we forget to focus on all the other ways we are being oppressed. It’s important to be able to distinguish the two, because not everyone deals with the same one or all the numerous ones that one can face.
In “A Black Feminist Statement” the Combahee River Collective focuses on being a black feminism and using those experiences to further develop their idea of intersectionality. I believe that the main evidence that these women use, is the experience identifying as black lesbian women. They also dive into the women who came before that contributed to this sort of ideology stating that, “A black feminist presence has evolved most obviously in connection with the second wave of the American women’s movement beginning in the late 1960s.”(Combahee River Collective, 116) This is honestly the strongest evidence that can be used in my opinion because who can speak on the experiences of these women better than women who live in it every day. I agree with their view on intersectionality and the thought that we have to destruct imperialism, capitalism, and patriarchy in order to see real progress in our society.
In the music industry I believe the idea of intersectionality is one that is not talked about enough. If they were all to come together, it would definitely be a completely different outlook on a lot of things that we see in the media. Even if we as people lived in a complete intersectional society, the bash that they receive would ease up a lot. People like Cardi B, Meg the Stallion, A1, Young Thug, Lil Uzi, and the list could truly go on, would not get the backlash that they do for the things that they do. They would not experience it because people would be understanding to the different discriminations that they are already facing as black people in America, as black women in America, as black women who are sexually liberated in America.
Collective, Combahee River. “A Black feminist statement—The Combahee River Collective 1978.” Still brave: The evolution of Black womenVs studies (2009): 3-11.
Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color.” Stan. L. Rev. 43 (1990): 1241.
Feminist Theory Reader : Local and Global Perspectives, edited by Carole R. McCann, and Seung-Kyung Kim, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/gsu/detail.action?docID=4586266.