The Importance of Intersectionality

By: Jessica Martin, SDSU Chapter Member

Everyone has a multi faceted identity. Each of these facets twist together to form the unique individual that you are, and they shape how others perceive and treat you. Unfortunately, some of these aspects of identities are targeted by parts of society and can lead to discrimination. As women in science, we can all relate to some form of discrimination, whether it be an academic struggle in our fields of study or simply being perceived as the weaker, more fragile sex. 

These different parts of our identities weave together, and some people are forced to face much more discrimination than others. In other words, combinations of identities that some parts of our society falsely assume to be “inferior” can lead to much more disadvantage and higher likelihood to be a target for hate crimes. We must attempt to eliminate this type of thinking within our society.

While I am sure that you all are practicing feminism, I think that it is extremely important that we practice intersectional feminism as well. An intersectional feminist strives to foster equality not only between the sexes, but also between all people regardless of their race, gender identity, sexuality, or any other aspect of their identity. This is essential because we stand in the face of discrimination every day and know how it feels. No one should ever have to be looked down upon or denied opportunities because of who they are. 

In my perfect world, people would be given opportunities purely based on their merit with no interference from the different factors that make up our base identities. Clearly, we are not in that world yet. But if we all take conscious steps to work towards equality for everyone and support others for their merit, we can come one step closer to that world where identity does not surpass qualification. 

©2018 by Women in Science Society, Inc.

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