The intersectionality of politics & the significance thereof
Words and photography by: Zayan Ismail
The term ‘intersectionality’ was first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an African American woman, in her 1989 paper, ‘Demarginalising the Intersection of Race and Sex’. Intersectionality is a concept in social studies that refers to how different factors such as age, race, ability and class all interact with each other to bring about inequalities. The term still holds true today in a world that has begun to shift under the tides of drastic social change. It is not surprising that Kimberlé came up with the word based upon her own experience, nor is it surprising that the term has been misused, misconstrued and not properly credited over the years since. Her experiences are the sad reality for a woman and person of colour in academia, and it’s the same behaviour we witness in our communities which is built upon discriminatory views formed by our own biases. It is still exactly what Kimberlé warned us about and the marginalisation that she faced when she was immediately sidelined for being too critical and playing into ‘identity politics’. But don’t we all speak from our own experiences and knowledge? This question is where it all began, and how I first came across the conceptual understanding of intersectionality in my sociology classes.… How Are You Any Different?