Intersectionality is a term which is quickly gathering interest. As a word which seeks to raise awareness of discrimination and the many forms it can take, it is seen as a sign of inclusivity and equality by many progressives. This should be a good thing, but often it is used by people who take its meaning to extremes. Intersectionality aims at identifying discrimination. It attempts to demonstrate how different circumstances and backgrounds, such as race, gender, sexuality, disability, combined lead to the discrimination faced by people. But while these issues should bring people together, in practice we see it work differently. Extremists on both sides of the political spectrum use intersectionality as a buzzword to strike fear and further their own agenda. On the extreme left, the term, which seeks to help us give voice to those who may not be heard is being used to silence those with different views. And on the extreme right, it is used to instil fear. People who might accept intersectionality’s true meaning become afraid of the extreme, and often louder, voices which seek to use change to further their own interests. Thus, a term which should serve to unite is being used to pull us apart.
Most theories have advocates who take extreme views. Lack of understanding about the true meaning of intersectionality and people seeking to follow their own agenda leads to twisted definitions. More awareness, and the promotion of more moderate views will lead to more open discourse to promote equality.
[P1] Intersectionality aims to increase equality by raising awareness of different forms of discrimination. [P2] People with more radial views warp the definition to suit their own interests. [P3] People misunderstand the true meaning of intersectionality.