Intersectionality in Philosophy

Intersectionality refers to sociology theory that outlines how an individual may be discriminated against. The term intersectionality originated in an essay written by Kimberle` Crenshaw. People are discriminated against for their race, gender, age, sexual identity, ethnicity, physical ability, class and any other characteristic that makes them a minority (Hanikivsky, 2014). Intersectionality provides a detailed look into feminist theory. Women of color are subject to a greater level of discrimination because not only are they women but for the color of their skin.

Feminist Social Philosophy

A man and a woman with the same educational background doing the exact same job do not receive equal pay, women earn about seventy-five cents to each dollar that a man makes (Mitchell, 2015). Throughout history women have always been thought to be inferior to men. Women are discriminated against for their sexuality. If a teenage girl gets pregnant it is her fault not the baby’s father, it is the prostitute’s fault not the person paying for the services (Mitchell, 2015). Feminists are women that have argued on behalf of justice (Mitchell, 2015). Simone de Beauvoir was a philosophy professor in the 1930s in France. In the 1930s French women were not allowed to vote. Beauvoir came from a wealthy family. Beauvoir’s relationship with Sartre and her essay defending his questionable philosophical position led her to making the discovery that there was not equality for women in society (Mitchell, 2015). Beauvoir found that she was different than her male counterpart as she was something else (Mitchell, 2015). Beauvoir wrote a book called The Second Sex which describes what it is like to be the “other” sex (Mitchell, 2015). Alterity is the term Beauvoir used for the “otherness” that was experienced by women and nonwhite men (Mitchell, 2015). “No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society; it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine” (Beauvoir, 1952, p. 267).

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