My daughter is seven years old. She can read, and she’s at that age where she asks questions about ingredients that she reads about on food packaging. She asks about adverts she sees. She asks about what we’re reading.
This is how our conversation developed:
Dort: “What’s that book about?”
Me: “What do you think it’s about?”
Dort: “Is is about someone who is our Sister?”
Me: “Yes, it’s writing that a woman called “Audre Lorde” did, she explains that although she is our Sister, she feels like an Outsider.”
Dort; “Why does she feel like an Outsider?”
Me: “Because she was a Black woman. Because she was Black, she got treated worse than people like us, who are White. This made her feel like an Outsider”
Dort: “That’s sad. She is my Sister. Can I read it?”
Me: “Yes, when you’re a bit bigger, you can read it.”
Simples. Intersectionality for seven year olds. It’s not hard to understand.
Yesterday, I saw this awful comment, left on a description of Mikki Kendall, the Black woman who coined the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag. This was left by someone claiming to be a White Feminist, using language relating to Radical Feminist theory, on a blog creating space for Women of Colour to talk about issues related to their experiences.
Today, I see an article in the mainstream press by a self-confessed “half-arsed feminist” claiming Intersectionality is too hard for poor, working class people.
Why is something that is an easy idea for my seven-year old daughter to comprehend so difficult for adult women, in the second case, a woman who is actually employed to comment on feminism for young women?
May I recommend that White Feminists who claim Intersectionality is a hard concept might like to follow Mikki Kendall and other Black women on Twitter? Who knows, maybe they will even invest some time and £10 (or a Library visit) and read Sister Outsider?
Wikipedia information about Audre Lorde: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audre_Lorde
Mikki Kendall, one of the editors of Hood Feminism, and the originator of the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag is on Twitter, you can follow her here: https://twitter.com/Karnythia
Mikki Kendall’s Guardian article about #solidarityisforwhitewomen: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/14/solidarityisforwhitewomen-hashtag-feminism
Hood Feminism is a new community blog for WoC: http://hoodfeminism.com
Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s Guardian CiF Profile: http://www.theguardian.com/profile/rhiannon-lucy-cosslett
Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s article in Comment is Free today, 25th November 2013: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/25/feminism-make-space-for-half-arsed