As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning, procrastinating about getting up as long as I possibly could, I came across a number of posts reminding Marchers from the recent Women’s March Anniversary that if their Feminism isn’t Intersectional Feminism, it isn’t Feminism at all. I agree with this concept, wholeheartedly.
But, what is Intersectionality, exactly?
“Intersectionality is a term that was coined by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. The concept already existed but she put a name to it. The textbook definition states: The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity.”
Intersectionality acknowledges that no two humans’ oppression will be exactly the same, but does not belittle the experience of either as “less bad”. There is no standard – oppression is oppression. It is also about complete and utter inclusivity; equality – regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, culture, language and class. Intersectionality maintains that all of these variables are overlapping and connected in a myriad of configurations – therefore you cannot separate any one from the others.
Unfortunately, as adorable as those pink pussy hats are, they are not Intersectional, because not all women have pussies and not all pussies are pink. #justacceptit
Seeing that this fact is something I believe in through to my bones, I lay there nodding and murmuring little agreeances…until it hit me – I do not represent intersectionality in my writing.
So many of my posts reference “women” and “men”, “girls” and “boys” but I have never taken the time to be sure those words aren’t being read in the “traditional” sense.
I’d like to rectify that egregious lapse now.
When you are here, on this tiny little occupied space on the internet called Call Me Mars, you are acknowledged as you are – as you identify yourself. If you are a woman with male genitalia, you are a woman. If you are a man with female genitalia, you are a man. If you identify as Asexual or Bisexual or Pansexual or Heterosexual (any Demi in the house? Represent!), you are acknowledged. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety or are a survivor of abuse or have been sexually assaulted and took years to finally tell someone, you are acknowledged. If you identify as a 400 year-old Unicorn from Jupiter, please wipe your hooves on the mat before you come in (and please be my friend).
No one is more or less than. No ones suffering is more or less relevant. Our experiences are subjective and they are internalized uniquely by every single human (or unicorn) on this planet. Do not let anyone tell you that your struggles don’t matter.
You. Are. Acknowledged.
I will work harder to make my words and actions represent that.
Mars, signing out. ◊