Happy Women’s History Month! I hope you have taken time to reflect on the countless contributions women have made to society since the beginning of time. Whether they’re your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, famous entertainers, philanthropists, authors, doctors, lawyers or educators, women are vital to life.
There’s been an an ongoing argument recently, which stemmed from the women’s marches that took place shortly after the inauguration of 45th; and that’s the argument of intersectionality. I am excited to honor women of all shades, colors, and backgrounds this month, but I have to address this serious and important discussion around womanhood in America – one that frankly has everything to do with me.
Dictionary.com defines intersectionality as the oppression and discrimination resulting from the overlap of an individual’s various social identities, which was coined by Columbia Law and UCLA Professor Kimberle Crenshaw. Because of this oppression, (and because we always take matters into our own hands), The Color Purple author, Alice Walker coined another term – womanist – in 1983. Womanism is a social framework that separates itself from traditional feminism and centers black women.
Intersectionality is why many black women felt their voices wouldn’t (and didn’t) matter to the thousands of white women in pink hats in Washington. It’s why Angela Peoples boldly and proudly held up her poster that reminded marchers that 53% of white women voted for 45th. It’s why when Janelle Monae evaded the stage with a call and response of the names the Mothers of the Movement and their sons and daughters who were unarmed victims of police brutality, it suddenly got quiet. It’s why white feminist anger only rose above he surface when 45th solidified that he’d treat them the same way black women have been treated for centuries.
Amid Women’s History Month – a month which serves the purpose to encompass the beauty, accomplishments and perseverance of all women, what must be done for us to move forward together in unity and understanding? Is it possible? Could be; but the first step to progress is admitting the problem. We’re in a space where white women are the face of feminism. What must be done for women of color to become at least a part of the face?
Last year, I became a fan of podcasts when my best friend introduced me to the podcast app (that comes pre-downloaded on the iPhone, lol), and I’ve been listening to them ever since. Some of my favorites include The Read, For Colored Nerds, Black Girls Talking; most recently, The Black Girl Podcast,Yes, Girl! by ESSENCE, and hey, girl. by self-care social media maven, Alex Elle, which I’ll be discussing more in the next post!
Yes, this blog is centered around black culture so it’s only right for me to promote the “black podcasts” I listen to. However, this sudden intersectionality conversation has me thinking about why I automatically am drawn to listening particularly to what black women have to say. And I think it comes from the disconnect between the struggles white women feel they face and the ongoing discrimination black women have endured. But black women also remain unheard.
As Women’s History Month continues, here is something to think about from The Root TV:
Remember, “you don’t have to be black to practice intersectionality in your activism, and you definitely don’t have to be a woman.”
And as 45th administration continues to erupt, who are you really fighting for?