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What is intersectionality and why is it important?

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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 11:51 AM
Original message
What is intersectionality and why is it important?
From wikipedia:

Intersectionality is a sociological theory suggesting thatand seeking to examine howvarious socially and culturally constructed categories of discrimination interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic social inequality. Intersectionality holds that the classical models of oppression within society, such as those based on race/ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, class, or disability do not act independently of one another; instead, these forms of oppression interrelate creating a system of oppression that reflects the "intersection" of multiple forms of discrimination.


I say this multiple times, but stop playing the oppression olympics. Everyone. All forms of discrimination intersect, all are bad, and many people experience multiple forms of oppression in their lives. I'm a Jewish bisexual woman with a disability, and none of these identities are more important than the other.

Also, if you use racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, anti-immigrant bias, ableism, or any other form of oppression to "fight" another form of oppression, you are a massive fucking tool.

That's all. Talk amongst yourselves.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. massive fucking tool...... you betcha
and fool you....

(not you, but you as in general, whoever is allowing themselves to be a tool)
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. Kicking.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 02:55 PM
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3. How is homophobia connected to classism?
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. LGBTQ youth have a much higher homelessness rate than straight youth, for example.
And there is much bias against people who are or have been homeless.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. And it's common slur and stereotype that gay people are all wealthy, fashionable white men
which renders lesbians and all GLBT people of color and all who are working-poor, working-class, low-income, etc. even more invisible. And LGBT youth who have resources to go away to college and move to more tolerant cities have a lot more options for escaping an oppressive upbringing than those who don't. Also, class is connected to education which is connected to greater acceptance and understanding. People of the "higher" classes are less likely to live in areas with a lot of violence, and GLBT people are frequently, disproportionately, victims of violent crime. Also, to replace the rights granted by marriage, gay and lesbian couples are frequently advised to draw up complex "power of attorney" type contracts - this option is only available who those who can afford and are comfortable with legal counsel....the list goes on and on and on.
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. This.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thanks. I think it's pathetic that this thread is struggling.
It's so important. Seems to me like understanding this basic concept--and doing the hard minute-by-minute work of learning to see it at work in our daily lives--is the key to defeating "divide-and-conquer." Which sometimes seems to still work all too well here. :(
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
6. K & R
It's complicated for sure - which is precisely WHY it's so important. It touches every single one of us in one way or another.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
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iris27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:30 PM
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10. Absolutely.
K&R
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. I just learned a new word.
Thank you. I think oppression is just simply oppression to the oppressed. It all looks the same from the bottom.

Thanks for posting.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
12. Lots of thought-food!
Is it possible for humans to express no oppressive discrimination whatsoever? It seems so far outside the existing experience, perhaps that of describing a fictional world.

If someone expresses something about top-paid CEOs and their outrageous incomes, is that oppressive?

Classism and Education
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Hmm....is it possible?
Maybe not entirely, but we can work towards it - starting with ourselves.

As Patrick Califia once said "I can't try to end racism until I try to end my own racism."
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