Centering Women’s History Month in Intersectionality

Centering Women’s History Month in Intersectionality

By Dr. Sophia Bolt

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” – Audre Lorde

Just as we encouraged folx to not only celebrate Black History, but also Black joy, Black brilliance, and Black futures last month, we encourage you to expand typical approaches to celebrating Women’s History Month. Using an intersectional lens, it becomes clear that uplifting only the accomplishments of white, cisgender women does a great diservice to the profound work, stories, and continuing inequitable experiences of women throughout history and today.

Intersectionality, a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, provides a useful lens through which to celebrate an inclusive, equity driven Women’s History Month. Intersectionality helps us understand the reality that people can belong to multiple marginalized and historically excluded groups and thus oppressive structures (such as racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and so on) must be understood as intertwined and connected. And with an anti-racist lens, it is our responsibility to understand and disrupt the ways in which white supremacy works to overlook and disregard the stories, impact, and safety of women of color and those with other historically excluded identities. Two of the most vulnerablized populations today are Black trans women and Black trans femmes who continue to face deathly consequences for simply showing up as themselves, facing disproportionately higher rates of housing insecurity, police violence, and unemployment due to discrimination based on their perceived gender and race. Our feminism must recognize that women hold multiple identities at once and are in turn affected differently by our society. Our fight for equity, liberation, and justice must fight for them all.

As you move through this Women’s History Month and beyond, we urge you to unpack and understand both history and our future with intersectionality. Below are resources to continue bolstering your intersectional lens: