Sunday, April 19, 2009


I search your profile
for a translation
I study the conversation
like a map
'cause I know there is strength
in the differences between us
and I know there is comfort
where we overlap
~Ani D.

The way we address intersectionality is important. Part of the call for intersectionality in anti-oppression work is not because someone can be pared down and defined purely by one or two random traits. The call was made because each identity and the experiences it brings shapes the others and the experiences they bring. There is no monolithic, hive mind, universal experience.A queer woman of color will not have her experiences of womanhood separate from her experience of race separate from her experiences of sexuality.Her experiences of womanhood will be those of a queer woman of color. It is easy to imagine the extrapolation of this spiraling onward, and onward. In the end, we are each individuals and every experience we have will be colored and shaped by our individual identity. When one lives in a system that treats one as "less than" for one or more of those identities, and seeks to separate one's racial identity from one's gender identity, a discussion absolutely about one or the other by those who benefit from that same system that oppresses one, regardless of intention, only exacerbates the problem.

That is not to say that trends are not identifiable. Women of all colors can relate to each others experiences of sexism, even though not a one of them will have the same experience as the others.

When we talk about which identities overlap and how they do, we must be careful to avoid treating identity as a Venn diagram. As Morbo would say: IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

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