A little over a week ago, the nation watched in horror as a collection of neo Nazis and white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. Chanting Nazi slogans and “you will not replace us,” the alleged rally to protest the removal of a Confederate war statue quickly descended into violence and chaos. One of the white supremacists attending the rally rammed his car into counter protesters, killing 32 year old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.
We have written before about what intersectional feminism is, and why it is so important. Intersectionality is a concept introduced by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, who used it to describe how different types of discrimination interact and overlap — making it necessary for feminists to understand and consider the needs of women from different backgrounds. Feminism has not always included the interests of marginalized groups, including women of color, women with disabilities, and LGBTQ women. The aim of intersectional feminism is to ensure that our advocacy takes into account the issues facing ALL women — and to not simply focus on gender to the exclusion of these other problems.
What happened in Charlottesville makes it even more clear and more urgent that we embrace intersectionality. We cannot truly be advocates if we ignore essential elements of people’s identities, such as their race, religion, or sexual orientation. After all, if we want fight for equal pay, but entire groups of women are afraid to go to work because they may be harassed or hurt because of their race or religion, then our advocacy is meaningless. Intersectional feminism means speaking out against racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment. It means taking a stand against white supremacy and the resurgence of Nazis in this country. It means dedicating ourselves to including all women in our struggle for equality
As intersectional feminists, we stand with Black women. We stand with Jewish women. We stand with Muslim women. We stand with LGBTQ women. We stand with Latina women. We stand with poor women. We stand with women with disabilities. We stand with ALL women.