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A Hot Girls Guide To Politics: Intersectional Feminism

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Hi Hotties! I’m so glad you’re here to learn more about inclusivity, aka the key to being a hottie. Let’s get to it!

Do you remember Sylvia Plath’s fig tree quote from The Bell Jar?

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked…and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.”

Feminism is like a fig tree. We can go our whole lives viewing it as one grand tree, but the truth is that from the tip of every branch, there are more figs or parts to feminism we can’t make out unless we take the time to study every branch or educate ourselves on how feminism affects everyone.

In America, intersectional feminism became a hot topic when Kimberlé Crenshaw gave this “problem with no name”, well, a name. Unfortunately, feminism by itself does not give everyone in America the inclusivity they deserve. This is because of what people are calling “white feminism”, or how in some instances white women only support one another and not separate communities. This is because they have race to their advantage. Crenshaw recognizes how racism and sexism can overlap for many women, especially in the workforce and university settings. When work or school is structured by both race and gender, especially with people from diverse communities going into a predominately male or white-populated place, social dynamics begin to create conflict about identity. This should never ever be the case!

So, what is intersectional feminism? intersectional feminism, according to USA Today is ” the understanding of how women’s overlapping identities- including race, class, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation impact the way they experience oppression.” In other words, this is how we can recognize the way every woman comes from a unique background, moreover, a reminder that no woman is the same. We all go through different things and have various experiences that define womanhood. Intersectional feminism is about recognizing and celebrating the differences that help us empower each other.

How can I be a hottie that supports intersectional feminism?

Great question! This is so, so, simple. One way to practice this is to become more open-minded. Just because someone doesn’t share an experience with you, doesn’t mean they’re undeserving of your support. Being exposed to diversity uninstalls the stereotypes the public sphere creates that push various communities to become more aware of each other and stop the marginalization of American women.

Hotties don’t profile! If we feed into profiling we can cause problems at work, school, and comfort places. We’ve seen these patterns before and it’s obvious that they exist, we know this from progressing movements like #stopasianhate, #blacklivesmatter, or #loveislove.

Intersectional feminism is beneficial in giving these problems a platform, especially to those women who feel lost about being forced to choose the struggles of their gender or sexual identity versus their race. No one should ever have to pick a struggle.

Another way to be a hottie is to vote! Your vote does make a difference because it’s you! Who you choose to keep in office affects how our laws work for the state and nation. This affects D.E.I bills that promote awareness of this problem, healthcare rights and benefits, gun control, mandatory parental leaves, drag bans, and so much more!

Show the government you care by attending a Women’s March. These events help rally together supporters and women of all backgrounds. This is important to help uplift communities, find a sense of purpose, and utilize it as a learning tool in your journey as a feminist.

Intersectional feminism is still growing as a concept, but by becoming socially aware you can help elevate your own and others’ understanding of feminism.

If you’re curious about more ways to interpret intersectionality, check out Kimberlé Crenshaw’s Ted+Animation here:

Crenshaws Talk on Intersectionality and Animation

Resources for Hotties:

Abygail Pulido is a 2nd year at the University of Texas at Austin honing her craft for writing and pursuing her love for reading with a double major in English and Rhetorical Writing, she is also pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing. She is currently interning at the Harry Ransom Center in Visual Materials where she is learning about the curation process of exhibits and helping select class material. Abby's goal for her articles is to make academic and political topics digestable and fun to read. She loves Her Campus at Texas because its helped her to develop a voice and gain a connection with wonderful and diverse writers.