Calling For Intersectionality In Mainstream Feminism

Feminism is great, right? What’s to dislike about a movement that stands for the progression of women’s rights and equality? Right…well kind of. Mainstream feminism, in a historical context, has mainly focused on the plight of white, straight, middle-class women.

Here’s the crazy thing though: there are approximately 3.76 billion women on earth and only 425 millions of those 3.76 BILLION are white women. What is more, that calculation is under the assumption that every single white woman, who is existing right now, identifies as a cisgender female.

The mainstream feminist movement has fallen victim to what I like to call the “12-year-old who needs glasses” effect. Sure, those trees that the seventh grader is seeing looks like giant smudges of green, but that is nothing out of the ordinary for our metaphorical friend.

It is only when you give the 12-year-old glasses for the first time, and they see that those green smudges are actually comprised of thousands of individual leaves, all varying in intensities of green, that they realize what they have been missing out on.

From a broad scope, the mainstream media feminist movement is characterized by being very mono-diverse: white women fighting for white women. When taking a look through a closer lens, it is apparent that there are a multitude of different subsets of women involved in this fight. However, not all of those groups of women are being represented on a larger scale or being thought of when advocating for specific policy change. What about women of color? Queer women? Trans women? Immigrant women? Poor women?

Intersectional feminism calls for a feminist movement that is intent on being inclusive of all women. Rather than pushing marginalized groups further and further away from the equality line through indifference, intersectionality is intent on elevating the representation of minority groups of women.

The modern day feminist movement should strengthen every person who identifies as a woman, be it women of color, trans women or any other subgroup. Each woman has a different background, story and, ultimately, different struggles; however, we are all united by the fact that we are women and we are independent, intelligent and resilient.

It is simple math: more people and more unity equals more influence. Together, we are more powerful. Together, we women can act as the pivotal force of positive change in the world.