Intersectionality, And Violence Against Women Of Color Analysis

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“Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man--when I could get it--and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman?” Sojourner Truth spoke these words in 1851, at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. For 150 years these words have bolstered the feminist movement, yet hidden in such words is the unique experience of women of color in the United States. Traditional feminist and antiracist teachings document the experiences of being either a woman or a person of color, but rarely do they acknowledge the intersection of these experiences. Coined by race-theory scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, the term “intersectionality”…show more content…
Identity politics derive from some trait that has resulted in discrimination: being a woman, being African-American, etc. Liberation movements form from such traits and become sources of social empowerment, such as the feminist or Civil Rights movements. In her paper “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color” , Kimberlé Crenshaw states that “Although racism and sexism readily intersect in the lives of real people, they seldom do in feminist and antiracist practices” (Crenshaw). Crenshaw points to the real problem that arises from identity politics--if experiences of discrimination are only delegated to the bounds of either being a woman or being a person of color, the experience of being a woman of color cannot be told. This is not to say that there is a problem with identifying with others who are discriminated against, but rather that there is a problem with the rigidity of these definitions in their exclusion of women of color. Professor Lisa Bowleg, P.h.D. mirrored this sentiment in her article “The Problem With the Phrase Women and Minorities: Intersectionality--an Important Theoretical Framework for Public Health” when she stated “The problem with the ‘women and minorities’ statement...is the implied mutual exclusivity of these…show more content…
In yet another article entitled “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics”, Crenshaw writes “The paradigm of sex discrimination tends to be based on the experiences of white women; the model of race discrimination tends to be based on the experiences of the most privileged Blacks [men]” (Crenshaw). Crenshaw’s discussion here highlights the marginalization of women of color--if feminist theory derives from a white racial context, and antiracist policy is predicated upon the experiences of African-American men, there is no room to express the distinct experience of women of color. To focus on the evolution of the feminist movement, it is clear that the basis of women’s rights originated

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