Cressida and SisX, have you read at all about "white feminism" -- i.e. the tendency of white feminists to think about the issues that impact *us* without considering issues that impact black women, disabled women, etc?
Like, when people say "women got the right to vote in 1920," well, nope, that's not even remotely true. White women were able to vote starting in 1920. Black women in Southern states didn't get to exercise that right until the Civil Rights movement. In this way, the experiences of black women have been erased from the feminist movement for a long time.
I see where you are coming from, but do you really think that intersectionality is about women deferring to other groups? I guess it's possible to read it that way, but I don't think that's what is intended or even really what is happening. I see it more as an understanding that all women are impacted by many issues, and the oppression that women suffer based on their gender is often multiplied by race, disability, poverty, etc. If any march for women didn't consider those issues, then there would be a lot of women who'd be left out.
It kind of reminds me of, just after the election, when a bunch of (mostly white dude) liberals were calling for an end to "identity politics" because they are "divisive." But if you look at the liberal platform, and you start taking out planks that apply to the various groups in our culture -- take out disability rights, take out reproductive health, take out Black Lives Matter, etc etc -- then you end up with a platform that is made up exclusively of things that
everyone white dudes care about.
It's an example of the centering of white dude perspective that takes place every moment of every day in our culture. The white male perspective is the "default" one, it's the one that is meant when people say "issues that everybody cares about," and the rest of us are just "special interest groups."
My guess is that the organizers of this march are trying to avoid that happening to their platform. They don't want to center on only the issues that impact middle class white women. They want to include the concerns of *all* women, which means explicitly including disabled women, women of color, poor women, etc.
I think this is well said. I would guess that most women of color wouldn't think that intersectionality is about women deferring to other groups.
This is true, and an excellent point. I think my irritation is about the fact that "women's issues" doesn't already
cover the issues for women of color and transgender women, etc. Those are women's issues, whether or not it's explicitly stated! Annoying that the blanket term is considered either too broad, too exclusive, or whatever. And yes, annoying as hell that the needs, opinions, and experiences of certain groups of women are regularly shunted aside. I just don't feel like a march about women's issues should have to explicitly state that it's about all women's issues, that should be a given.
Of course, this is also my opinion as a straight white middle-class woman.
The wording made it sound like this policy of inclusivity is about more than just non-white, not-straight women's issues but basically all issues that would be affected by Trump's presidency. That's great, and those issues really, really need attention. But I sort of feel like we're going to get into the problem of trying to cover too much and covering none of it really well. Civil rights marches worked in part because there was one big overarching issue which was being brought to the country's attention. They didn't focus on each individual right, but all of them together. I feel like when we break stuff down to the smallest possible section then it's much easier to dismiss.
I understand the need and desire to make all women feel included, but again that should be a given
. The fact that it's not because of historical trends infuriates me. Of course these women are included because they are women, and their problems are a problem for all of us. Non-straight, white, CIS women, or poor women, don't, in my understanding, necessarily have specialized problems, it's more that the problems all women have are amplified. All women face workplace discrimination, but some more than others. All women fear rape, but some are more likely to experience it than others, etc. Feel free to tell me how I'm wrong about this, though, because it might just be me missing something and I'm open to that possibility.
I definitely don't want to be one of those idiots who's trying to patronizingly tell BLM protestors that "all
lives matter", but in this case I feel like we have more in common than we have to specialize ourselves about. And having a rally of millions of women who are described merely as women rather than white women and women of color and Muslim women and trans-women is so much more powerful. We are an awesome group, and our diversity should be celebrated and the issues that that diversity faces should be considered thoughtfully and always. But, I also feel like we should focus on our similarities rather than our differences. We are all women, and what happens to other women affects us all no matter what sub-group of womanhood we claim. We need to raise each other up, not compartmentalize ourselves further. That just creates divides where I don't think there need to be any.