Theory Of Intersectionality

860 Words4 Pages
The theory of intersectionality has been growing and developing for hundreds of years. This theory suggests that women are more than just their gender; that they have all of these different underlying identities, oppressions, and privileges that have influenced who they are as an individual. While the concept may still be new to many individuals, Black feminist thinkers everywhere for years, have been struggling to have their voices and opinions heard about how their lives are more than just their gender, that they are more than simply one single issue. By tracing back throughout history and looking at how these black feminists thinkers developed their theories and ideas, only then can one fully try to understand the whole concept and importance…show more content…
Dating all the way back to 1866, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper believed that she was more than just her gender. When attending the inaugural meeting of the American Equal Rights Association, she stated, “The white women all go for sex, letting race occupy a minor position. We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity” (May 22). Another famous historical statement was by Sojourner Truth, when she stated her struggle of slavery, then continuously asked, “And ain’t I a woman?” (Beale 111). Thus proving, how even before the actual term of intersectionality was even a flicker in Kimberlé Crenshaw’s mind, black women were already working on describing it. These women believed there were more identities and oppressions occurring throughout their lives, and they were correct. Nevertheless, once the term of intersectionality was created, Crenshaw was still criticized for it. People believed that the term intersectionality was too narrow of an idea when looking at all the aspects that influence one’s life. People also argued that this term did not fully encompass every type of person, that it overlooked others, specifically white women. However, Crenshaw responded that white women’s intersectionality is in fact, fully operative (May 25). Other Black feminist thinkers have built off of Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality and developed it even further. One idea was the concept of a matrix way of thinking. This approach was the idea of how inequalities intermingle and mix, that people can “add and stir” their identities and that they can always think in an “and/both” way of thinking (May 22). Another term that is used to describe the oppressions that these women have gone through would be this idea of double or triple jeopardy. Double jeopardy is when an individual is a woman, and a race other than White. Triple jeopardy
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