Kimberle Williams Crenshaw makes an excellent point in regard to intersectionality. During her speech “What is Intersectional Feminism” She speaks out stating how black women are oppressed against, in more ways than one. They are discriminated against for being women as well as for being black. During her epic speech she states that when black people were able to vote that did not include black women. As well as when women were allowed to vote, that also excluded black women (Williams Crenshaw, 2016). This is what intersectional feminism is all about. Intersectional feminism expresses how some people are discriminated against in more ways than meets the eye, and although two people may be experiencing the same form of discrimination, it may affect them differently. Understanding intersectionality is vital in regard to feminism and gaining equality. We don’t want equality for one oppressed group, we want equality for all. Educating one another and showing people how many women are experiencing oppression and how our forms of discrimination and oppression may differ among us is crucial.
Intersectional feminism provides a voice to all women, not just white American women. It provides an opportunity for women all over the world to share their own personal experiences. Discrimination and oppression is not something that solely happens in America. Intersectionality extends to all women on a global level. Based on the theory of intersectionality, equality will have been successful achieved once everyone can be seen as equals, regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, or religion.
Jerin Arifa, formerly undocumented Muslim activist who has been constantly changing the lives of millions of people through her activism made a powerful statement during her interview on intersectional feminism. She stated, “there can be no freedom as long as there’s one group oppressed because it’s only a matter of time before they come for you.’ As long as one race, gender, or sex is superior to another we have yet to experience freedom. Jerin goes on to state, “Kimberle Crenshaw came up with the term intersectionality to describe black women who were in court because they were being discriminated against for being both black and women. But they were not able to get justice because that idea had not been explored before. Intersectional feminism looks at all forms of inequality, not just gender-based but race ethnicity, language barriers, everything. And it says that there can be no equality without equality in all forms.” If we allow society to believe that intersectionality does not expand internationally, we are dismissing thousands of other voices. Women all over the world are fighting for equality in all aspects. One woman’s concerns, opinions or situation may not translate for another woman. We need to take into account how inequality affects us as individuals as well as a whole.
Jerin is the founder of the National Organization for Women. This feminist group is actually one of the most popular feminist groups here in Arizona, which is referred to as AZ NOW. This particular group works to advance equality for women in all aspects of their lives. Some of their top priority issues involve ending domestic violence, racial justice, reproductive rights, and constitutional equality. AZ NOW is currently focusing on protesting against women’s sexual and reproductive rights, against Brett Kavanaugh. Since we just experienced that election. Which may be one of the most important midterm elections in history, that put women’s health, reproductive and sexual rights in jeopardy, I would like to elaborate on reproductive rights, specifically what they are and why we need them. Reproductive rights is a term that is commonly used that allows and individual to control when and how they chose to have or not to have children. It allows that sole individual to have complete and utter control over their own body, and to make decisions for themselves regarding their body. Reproductive rights are commonly present in regard to contraceptive such as birth control and condoms, as well as abortions, whether medically needed or not.
Republican lawmakers such as Kavanaugh are persistent in restricting access to quality contraceptive and abortion. It seems as though politicians have recently passed more restrictions and objections against women’s reproductive and sexual rights than before the 1973 Rove v Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. As a young female in today’s society, or rather as a young black woman in today’s society, it is absolutely horrifying to realize that my reproductive rights lie in the hands of elderly white republican men. A woman should have sole responsibility and say over her own body. Personal beliefs do not belong in health care system, and that is exactly what Kavanaugh has done. He along with other republican officials such as Trump, have made it their duty to restrict women’s reproductive rights as much as possible, simply because they do not agree with abortion. Opinions, beliefs, and biases do not belong in health care! Women have the right to decide what they do with their body, and they have the right to make whatever choice pertaining to their own body, without the governments input. Now with Kavanaugh sworn into the Supreme Court, receiving reliable health care may become a lot more difficult if not impossible for women.
Kavanaugh is a perfect example of what the standpoint theory embodies. He is not able to see past his own male privilege to empathize or understand the millions of women’s viewpoints on this topic. Even with all of the women protesting and trying to educate society on why women’s reproductive rights are so important, we are still being overlooked and rejected. Our voice is just as important, in fact or voice is more important in regard to this topic. This is something that will forever affect women’s lives, and we should be able to have a voice at a time like this. A woman’s rights in regard to her body should not lie in the hands of men.
Abortion, contraceptive, and proper health care is a woman’s right and it is protected by the constitution. I refuse to allow Kavanaugh to disregard my privacy and right to choose how to control my own body solely based on his opinion to not agree with abortion and birth control. There are millions of women who feel just the same as I do, and this is why we protest! This is why feminist will always be around, and this is why feminism is forever evolving. There is always someone or something that is trying to oppress or take away the rights of another.
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