In simple terms, ‘Feminism’ refers to a wide range of socio-political movements that share a common goal: to achieve equality of the sexes.Although it originated in the West, various manifestations of feminism are seen world-wide transgressing national boundaries. Intersectionality is a word used very often by people today, nonetheless many fail to recognize and respect its true meaning. Intersectionality is said to lay emphasis onthe ways in which oppressive institutions such as racism, sexism, homophobia, etc are interconnected and cannot be examined as separate entities of social evil. As a movement, it urges people to consider more diverse groups and ethnicities while describing challenging and important theories, ones that could help achieve more equality in the world.
The term intersectional feminism was coined by Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989. She spoke about including women of colour and the experiences and turmoil they endured to the broader spectrum of the women’s movement. Following the first three waves of feminism which began in the United States of America and mainly focused on white women, when the fourth wave of feminism hit, a major change was brought about. Women all around the globe began to stand up and raise their voices, they pushed for the inclusivity of all. During this period, the term ‘White Feminism’ was coined and it took into consideration the fact that women of different races need representation.
Slowly, women with disabilities, queer women, women of different sizes and colour and those from economically and socially backward classes began to garner the attention they deserved. Thus, intersectional feminism fights for the rights of all these women regardless of the amount of melanin in their skin or the number flashed by weighing machines. Another important feat intersectional feminism has achieved is that is encourages men to be a part of the feminist movement. Campaigns such as the #HeforShe seek to spread awareness about the important role men have to play to achieve the equality of the sexes.
As the years pass by, we hear news of women springing up in different fields- making a path of their own. However, it is wrong to assume the ineffectiveness of feminism in today’s world. Rather, it is now more important than ever to join hand with one another- men and women- and strive towards achieving the goal of equality in society.