About Intersectionality 

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In every person, there is a unique formation of social categories that encompass who they are and how the world may perceive them. It is nearly impossible to identify with only one social category and if you do so you may unknowingly neglect other aspects of your identity that affects this one category. The belief that these social categories inform and shape one another is called intersectionality. Kimberlee Crenshaw coined the term back in 1989 in order to explain the unprecedented discrimination black women faced in the court of law. In the present, intersectionality is a framework that can be used to uplift a wide variety of voices to create new opportunities that are inclusive and provide equality to all. In this essay, I will be focusing on race, gender, and class and why it is important to use intersectionality in our approach to social causes.

There is a general misconception about race. Race has not existed since the beginning of time. It is a fairly new social category created by distinguishing physical traits in humans that was constructed with white explorers who left their European lands in the pursuit to conquer new lands came in contact with other people who bore no resemblance to them. Their practices, physical appearance, and language were foreign to them and they deemed people like them as savages or inferior. In this way, race was used as a biological concept that explained social differences in non-white people and ultimately justified discrimination against them. (cite) In the United States, “damage imagery” (explanation) has been used against black people in the attempt to keep them enslaved. In their eyes, if black people were unable to take care of themselves, how would they ever survive in society? Even though damage imagery had no biological results to back it up, the concept still was used in legislation that made it difficult for black people to become self-sufficient. Racist ideologies have also been used to justify other disgusting acts perpetrated by white supremacists. In Smiths analysis of the 3 pillars of white supremacy, it is found that whites have gone to wars, enslaved people in capitalists systems, and even murdered indigenous people in order to claim land. These acts have immensely damaged our society and how we perceive people around us. Even today, we as a nation still judge people according to their race and the unfortunate stereotypes that come along with it. People of color have a harder time identifying themselves as something other than preconceived notions created by whites.

Gender, like race, is another highly debated social category whereby its definition changes from person to person. Historically, gender has been defined as a social category based solely on the genitals of an individual. . Because of this belief, society has been structured in a way that deems anyone who fits outside of this model as abnormal or even biologically deformed. People who believe that their gender is separate from their sex are told that their identity is not real and their experiences are invalid. The way in which you present yourself is always being judged and because gender is imposed on several things from hair to the clothes you wear, it is nearly impossible to escape having a gender ascribed to your identity.  

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About Intersectionality . (2021, Apr 01). Retrieved July 12, 2024 , from

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