Intersectionality – Acknowledgement of Different Social Categorizations

Intersectionality is the acknowledgement of different social categorizations such as race, gender, and class that apply to an individual or group. Additionally, intersectionality also explains how each person within the same group may experience oppression differently than another individual depending upon their intersection of identities.

After I analyzed and examined intersectionality, it really made me understand my privilege. I understand that there are many institutionalized forms of oppression that I do not have to face and that there are individuals who are disadvantaged because of multiple sources of oppression. Looking through a lens of intersectionality, I realized many ways which I am privileged. I am white, which means that I have an inherent advantage over other races. An example of the way I am privileged through the class category would be that I was born into a financially stable family, and if at any time we were to move, we would have the ability to purchase a house in an area in which we would like to live. There are many individuals who do not get to experience this, and do not have the means to do so. I was born straight, and therefore every state privileges me based off of this alone while people who identify as LGBTQ must go to the Supreme Court. I was born cisgender and will never have to question if the locker room or the restroom at my gym will invoke a public issue. I was somewhat blind to the privileges that I have because I was born with them. Once I took a look at intersectionality and utilized intersectionality to look at the ways I am privileged, I understood my privilege better.

An example of intersectionality is when people are marching for gender equality. Individuals marching for gender equality is an example of intersectionality because there is a large diversity of individuals who are involved in this march. Not everyone will have the same privileges and not everyone will be oppressed in the same way, but they march for the same cause. Another example of intersectionality is a homosexual white male and a Muslim woman. A homosexual white male is oppressed in different ways than the woman who is Muslim. The homosexual white male may face violence because of attitudes towards his sexual orientation. Conversely, he is male which indicates that he is more likely to be paid more than a female coworker. The Muslim woman faces the never ending comparison in American culture of beauty what a woman is supposed to look like. Additionally, she may face the constant stigma of being a Muslim woman in a society that is ignorant of Islam. Therefore, she is belittled due to her being a woman and considered a danger to society because of the stereotype on individuals who are Muslim.

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