BY KATRINA C. MILES
Oftentimes, we disregard issues if we don’t believe that they directly impact us. Inner city schools have poor funding? Who cares, I went to private school. The unemployment rate keeps rising? Oh well, I’ve got a job. Gay people want to get married? Not my problem, I’m straight. Women don’t get the same pay rate as men? Guess I’m lucky I’m a guy then. What this mentality leaves us with is a group of individuals who fend for themselves, and neglect the notion that just because an issue doesn’t affect them personally, doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue.
In steps this idea of intersectionality, a mentality that brings together all people with the conclusion that forms of oppression are all interwoven within our institutions. Since we are not “either/or” beings we cannot function under and “either/or” mentality of oppression. A black lesbian woman in a wheelchair has to deal with the intersection of racism, sexism, ableism and homophobia. These forms of oppression are simultaneously forced upon her within our society. Another component of intersectionality is that you cannot fight one form of oppression while letting the others stand. So, for instance, by fighting homophobia, you are simultaneously fighting the oppression on women.
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Tagg Magazine is a print and online resource for LBT women in the DC Metropolitan and Rehoboth, DE areas.