I was going to talk about Demisexuality today because demis get a lot of disrespect and erasure, then it occurred to me that I assumed everyone who reads this newsletter understands intersectional feminism.
I’m not going to go into history and evolution because the point of this is to stay under 500 words and keep your attention. However, I will tell you that intersectional feminism is a response to white feminism or the belief that misogyny is the only issue women face. If you’re like me, black, queer, neurodivergent, and poor, you know that’s not true.
Intersectionality is simply seeing how all oppressive systems affect women and knowing that women will never be free until every single one of those systems has been taken down.
Let’s talk about me some more. If white feminism achieved an end to misogyny, I’d still be affected by racism, queerphobia, ableism, and capitalism/classism. If I decide to tow the Afro-feminist line, and we put an end to racism too, there are still four systems oppressing me, so I won’t be free.
That’s where intersectionality comes in. We can’t pick and choose what oppressive system to face because women are affected by every single one of them. We cannot say we’re only going to tackle one oppressive system because until all of them are down, oppression will not end.
The hand-holding kumbaya singing nature of oppressive systems is why I identify as a queer feminist, and why I’m disgusted by terfs. The thing with oppressive systems is that they stretch and reach and will find a way to affect more people. It’s their MO. Transphobia is a real issue affecting trans lives (I mean just look at the death toll), but what terfs don’t realise is that it affects ciswomen too.
Bioessentialism is one of the branches of transphobia and it has been used to oppress ciswomen, see Caster Semenya being disqualified from her sport for instance. Bioessentialism focuses on what’s “inside”, genitals, hormones e.t.c., so when a woman doesn’t have the biology women are “supposed to have”, her womanhood is questioned.
Examining physical attributes is another way transphobia affects transgender people and is something that can be found in a lot of terf rhetoric. And yes, it has affected ciswomen too. From calling Megan a man because of her height to calling Michelle a man because of her sharp features, transphobia affects all us.
This is just one example of why intersectionality is important. Oppressive systems don’t respect boundaries, they will stretch and reach and twist and contort themselves till they find a way to oppress EVERYONE.
So, my dear siblings in feminism, we need to join hands together and fight against all systems of oppression because if one woman is oppressed, we’re all oppressed.
With love and everything nice