Intersectionality – Sociological Theory Describing Threats of Discrimination

We grow up in the system of patriarchy. These gender roles are assigned to us as children, and as time progresses we are given continual guidance about ways for these roles to be fulfilled. With this notion of patriarchy comes the concept of intersectionality. Intersectionality is a “sociological theory describing multiple threats of discrimination when an individual’s identities overlap with a number of minority classes, such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, health, and other characteristics.” There has always been this stereotype of men being viewed as superior to women. This leads to many acts of discrimination as well she speaks on the inequalities that women and blacks faced at that time in America. Kimberle Crenshaw and Sojourner Truth speak the language of intersectionality. Kimberle Crenshaw in “Mapping the Margins,” and “Ain’t I A Woman,” by Sojourner Truth.

Sojourner Truth uses personal experiences as well as references to the Bible to help her to connect emotionally with the reader. Truth makes a reference to the Bible for the reason that men continuously state women achieve less. So she makes a reference by saying that in the Bible there are many instances where women in the Bible have changed the world. For example, God gave Mary the opportunity to bring Jesus into the world. He depended on her and she did exactly what he wanted her to do. Also, this statement that women achieve less is insane because women are the ones who carry children for 9 months, sometimes more or sometimes less. Women deal with emotional She makes some statements saying she is as strong as a man that makes it seem as if she is saying women and men are equal but that is not the case. Men have always been viewed as strong individuals but women are viewed as superior.

In the workforce, there is always a distinction between the actions of men and women. Men have always been viewed as superior to women, and this is shown strongly in the workforce. American culture has been so caught up in this continued stereotype that men are more talented than women. Crenshaw shows the crucial significance of such an intersectional approach by thinking about a couple of models of ‘structural intersectionality.’ For Crenshaw, structure alludes to the association of a general public, including the connections between individuals of various races, sexual orientations, and classes. She demonstrates how the foundations of American culture are frequently organized to overlook the crossing point of various measurements of character. These establishments incorporate everything from network associations to the United States Congress. She states that “An issue that affects black people, an issue that affects women, doesn’t that include black people who are women.” Crenshaw is stating that if a woman has an issue that targets her race, it should not be compared to issues involving her sex. Crenshaw’s main focus is how the violence among women of color is continually overlooked.

We hear about all these stories regarding police brutality and just racism as a whole. But, when these stories are being broadcasted we only hear about actions of violence done against men of color. Crenshaw explores why antiracist activists and feminists fail to share the stories of women of color. Feminists and anti-racists are part of identity politics. When domestic violence issues are discussed you usually hear about the domestic violence against white women. This is what is mostly broadcasted in the media because of the way black men will continue to be depicted to the media. Black men are continuously being stereotyped against because they are called violent and predacious.

Frances Dana Gage and Marius Robinson both agree on the overall message that Sojourner Truth is trying to convey. Sojourner Truth had an exceptionally burdened life however she transcended through her hardships. The truth was a persuasive orator although she was not ready to peruse or compose. Sojourner Truth’s actions still have an effect on many lives today. Sojourner was a woman who stood for what is right. Her speeches were very powerful and helped enforce as well as promote changes where there was an injustice. Truth never felt discouraged when saying her speeches. For an individual who did not learn to read and write she was able to go at the emotions of her audience to get their attention and get them to connect with what she was saying.

Truth is for the rights of a woman but she does see herself being as strong as a man. Through these stories, Sojourner welcomes her crowd, who are women that experience their very own types of segregation. She welcomes them in order for them to understand the shameful acts of which they excessively exploited people. Truth calls attention to a man in the group, who states that he says, “women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and have the best place everywhere.” After the depiction of how a white man portrayed the best way to treat women, Sojourner pursues with a retort. She then states that nobody has ever done any of those things for her, she accentuates this point by reiterating every one of the activities. “Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me the best place!” By stating this Sojourner explains how this man view on how women should be treated is not the same for all women. There were many black women that were not helped into carriages, lifted over ditches, nor are they given the best place. Sojourner makes this point to show how there are many inequalities shown between women, men, blacks, whites and this creates a tremendous hypocrisy amongst these groups.

Sojourner Truth believed that everyone is equal. She did her best to enforce this message through her speeches with her bold voice and her usage of anecdotes. Sojourner uses repetition as well as rhetorical questions to emphasize many points that she makes. Women are always being viewed as inferior individuals, meaning they always need help and assistance. Truth makes a connection saying she works as hard as a man and she indeed is still a woman. She uses biblical references to create an emotional and personal connection with her Christian audience, for them to Kimberle Crenshaw and her portrayal of individuals within media and their depiction of the keeping many issues involving black women because of the way black men may be perceived as a result. Crenshaw allows one to believe that when you approach situations intersectionality there will be a different outcome.   

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