I believe in intersectional feminism.
I believe that my privilege is less than a white man’s and greater than a person of color’s, not in fairness, or on purpose, but because systemic conditioning and media saturation has created an environment that reinforces the false idea that our gender, sexuality, or race somehow influences our abilities and our character in negative ways.
I believe in intersectional feminism because I believe in equality. No one, man, woman or non-binary, should have to fulfill the burden of social conventions in fear of becoming “the other,” becoming something that is mocked, criticized, or killed.
We are not static beings.
We are taught throughout our lives to grow, to learn, to be more, but along the way we are also taught to grow only as far as others will accept you, to learn only in ways that are conventional, to be more so long as that more doesn’t upset anyone else’s sensibilities. We can succeed, but only if we do not push beyond. We are not static beings, and no one is the same.
I believe in intersectional feminism because I believe that the way in which we have framed our world is limiting it to a place of hate. We fear each other because we have conditioned ourselves to fear each other. It is a feedback loop from hell. A man must be aggressive; a woman must apologize. A transsexual person or a non-binary person cannot be much of anything, for there are no societal conventions to hold them to that informs how they should be. Behaviors outside the expected are conditioned to a fear response that limits us all.
Fear is not the answer.
We are not static beings who form the world only through the lens of what is white or heterosexual. We are diverse, joyful, creative, intelligent, broad, and cultivated by the differences we love in one another, and the tolerance we learn.
Intersectional feminism is not a dirty word, as so many think. It is not a thing that is only for women, or women of color, or people proselytizing in textbooks and on social media. It is a tangible thing held in trust by us and is marked heavily by the need for equality and the hope that all people can be given the same experiences regardless of race, gender, disability, sexuality, or religion.
I believe in intersectional feminism because it is not limiting anyone or taking away the rights of all. It is an attempt to lift us all up, only recognizing that some need more help than others to get to a place of equality. It is looking at the world in a honest way and seeing that my experiences are not the same as my neighbor and reaching out to them for no other reason than because it is right and good. It is an act of honesty, of accountability and morality.
Stepping on the backs of others is not equality. Ignoring the people around you who say that their life experiences are different than yours is not truth. Creating narratives where everyone is the villain and you are the hero is not reality. It is dangerous. It is wrong. It is insidious.
I believe in intersectional feminism because I believe in the power of us, lifted up to equal spaces, equal minds creating wondrous opportunities and forward motion for a society that, more than ever, needs brilliant minds creating even better solutions to make us kinder, better, and stronger.
I believe in true equality, and I believe we can make it happen. All we have to do is listen.
I believe in intersectional feminism, and so should you.