I have considered myself a feminist for as long as I could remember. It has always been an integral part of my life and who I am. But, it wasn’t until the last few years that I first heard the term intersectional feminist.
Feminism & the Privilege of White Women
At some point, feminism, in large part, became about the rights and privileges of white women rather than of all women. When we look at intersectionality, we acknowledge the affects that race have on gender equality. Minorities do not have the same power to fight for their rights because they have more to lose and potentially less to gain unless systemic racism is addressed. And, even if systemic racism is addressed, it comes down to hearts and. minds.
The State of Equality in Los Angeles
I live in Los Angeles, one of the better places in the US right now in a lot of ways (feel free to disagree). But, we are not doing so well for women’s rights. I cannot tell you the number of times I will be in a casual conversation out somewhere, and then be asked what my husband thinks about that. There are still a lot of people who believe in gender roles. Maybe not as rigidly as people once did, but there is still a steep differentiation between the two genders. There are also expectations on how those genders should act.
Equal Rights for Everyone
For me, intersectional feminism just makes sense. I want equal rights for everyone, not just for women who look like me. And, I am still learning about what that looks like. But, I get how the lack of a livable wage, the lack of adequate childcare, poor healthcare, and so much more affects her ability to fight for equality in the workplace, the right to not be sexually harassed or raped, the right to be seen as having value on her own, without someone having to ask what her husband thinks about things.
I don’t know how we get there when it so often seems we are moving backwards. But, I suppose it’s step by step, and day by day. And, continuing to fight for equal rights across all categories. I do know what thing for right now: I am an intersectional feminist–or at least I am trying my best to be.