Intersectionality….is exactly how it sounds. It’s the idea that all aspects of our identity intersect, and affect how we experience the world. For example, one aspect of my identity is that I am a woman, while another aspect of my identity is that I’m straight. As a woman, I lack the privilege that comes with being a man in this society, but as straight, I have the privilege of having a sexual orientation that is typically accepted in this society. As a straight woman, I experience the world differently than a bisexual woman, or a straight man, even though we share certain aspects of our identity. Similarly, a straight white woman experiences the world differently than a straight black woman…all of these aspects affect your experience. Something really interesting about my identity is that intersectionality is significant even within my ethnicity- within one singular aspect of my identity. I’m multi-racial- half Egyptian and half Italian. Being Egyptian, a non-white identity, I have to deal with racial discrimination, but being Italian, a white identity, is more accepted and more of a privilege in this society. So even within my own ethnic identity, I experience the world really uniquely as an Egyptian-Italian, straight woman than even just an Egyptian straight woman or an Italian straight woman.
So. many. intersections.
But it’s SO important to take all aspects of identity into consideration, because that intersectionality defines the privileges and/or struggles we face, it defines how we experience the world.