Crenshaw’s article reflects on intersectionality by reflecting on the intersecting systems of oppressions that women’s lives are built on. The concept is based on the belief that oppression is composed of multiple systems. Intersectionality is viewed from a theoretical and political perspective to offer an understanding of the issues facing contemporary feminism. The concept explores the gender and race dimensions that influence violence against women of color. Additionally, it focuses on the patterns of sexism and racism and how these patterns are represented within discourses of anti-racism and feminism that leave women of color marginalized. The concept of intersetionality also reflects on violence of women by men and other women. Moreover, Crenshaw’s article reflects on intersetionality as a concept that links contemporary politics with postmodern theories by engaging assumptions that gender and race are separate categories (Crenshaw 205). Intersectionality based on the article also leads to the identification of factors that influence the discrimination and violence of women.
The concept of intersectionality relates to other course materials by reflecting on the issues of race and gender and how they are linked leading to the oppression of women’s lives. According to Dr. Andrea Levan, intersectionality of oppression requires the focus on their similarities to ensure that one issue is not focused on leaving the other unattended. It requires the analyization of some of the common patterns that occur in the various forms of oppression that women are subjected to on a daily basis. Levan states that the politics of domination play an essential role in ensuring that all forms of oppression are taken into consideration. According to the article, intersectionality patterns begin with basic thinking that lead to the creation of human differences. Basic thinking is viewed as the opinions of good/bad, superior/inferior, and dominant/subordinate that lead to the opposition of each other (Levan 158). In this case, intersectionality is influenced by basic thinking of race, color, sex, religion and age. As a result, individuals often find themselves as victims in complex intersection systems of domination. According to the author, the focus on intersectionality of oppression among women has led to the establishment of essential insights that are accepted among feminist theorists.
The concept has revealed the diversity and complexity as witnessed in women’s experience. In this case, women’s experiences are influenced by multi-dimensional factors such as their ethnicity, nationality, race, sexual orientation and other firms of identity. Such factors are interconnected in the realities of women. Women are the primary parties affected by the battle over cultural pluralism and dominance in the society. They are subject to stereotyping and gender norms as the main sources of controversy in their ethnic, racial, religious and cultural boundaries. Therefore, it is evident that the concept relates to the materials in the course since it reflects on the violence against women and the patters that occur leading to the violence by reflecting on their ethnic, racial, religious and cultural boundaries.
Isabelle R. Gunning makes valid points by acknowledging cultural relativism by reflecting on “seeing the other in her own context”. Additionally, she states that it is important for individuals to realize that female circumcision is a practice conducted to fulfill cultural purposes. She argues that applying such an approach is essential in enforcing the international human rights law in relation to female circumcision. “Seeing the other in her own context” is one of the approaches that she suggests the Westerners should adopt as a respectful approach to the eradication of female circumcision. She believes that creating an understanding of the cultural practice is an essential step that will ultimately lead to the establishment of measures to eradicate it from the society. Moreover, her approach is aimed at bringing an end to the arrogant perceptions that are held in the society in regards to women circumcision.
The notion of arrogant perceptions reflects on women oppression through circumcision practices. As a result, it is relevant to intersectionality since it reflects on the issues of gender and race and how they are linked leading to the oppression of women lives. The notion of arrogant perspective that is provided fails to take into consideration the recognition and criticism of the essential imperialistic approaches. Her suggestion is considered arrogant since it is a weak enforcement mechanism that creates a flexible platform in a cultural sensitive campaign. However, it is evident that her argument is effective in fostering communication and building consensus. Consequently, the extremes of her approach are bound to attribute to numerous dialogues that fail to reflect on any progress. Criticism and recognition are considered essential as imperialistic approaches in dealing with the issue of race and gender that reflect on intersectionality. Gunning’s solutions fails to provide a solution that acts as a cornerstone for change. On the other hand, her solution creates an understanding of the process leading to dialogues and debates. On the other hand, a suitable solution to bring an end to intersectionality in relation to women circumcision would entail enhanced communication and activism that is shaped by the African women. Gunning’s notion of arrogant perception is a relativist approach that emphasizes on the need for cultural sensitivity while ignoring other potential measures that may act as an instrument for social change.
Her notion of arrogant perception is relevant to intersectionality. Evidently, it shows that individuals are incapable of understanding and preventing human rights violations that occur in the form of women circumcision without a clear understanding of the interactions involved. In this case, the interactions that occur are in relation to cultural, gender, racial and economic discrimination. Gunning states that the cultural practice requires a vision of independence and connectedness. Her opinion is aimed at bridging the gap that is created by the arrogance of the Westerners. Therefore, she claims that it is important to build on interconnectedness in order to preserve independence. Evidently, arrogant perception hinders the establishment of intersecting systems of oppressions that women’s lives are built on. Moreover, the arrogant perceptions also limit the exploration of the gender and race dimensions that influence violence against women to create an understanding of the issues of women circumcision. In this case, her suggestion to ensure interconnectedness requires the Westerners to reflect on female circumcision from a historical concept and how it is rooted in societal attitudes. Additionally, it requires them to reflect on their image from the perspective of women in the Third world in relation to their history. Finally, it requires them to acknowledge female circumcision as a cultural practice. She states that the result of these measures will attribute to an understanding of the situation and establishment of effective solutions to eradicate it.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé. Intersectionality and Identity Politics: Learning from Violence Against Women of Color. Feminist Theory. McGraw Hill, 2010.
Gunning, Isabelle. “Arroogant Perception World Travelling and Multicultural Feminism: The Case of Female Genital Surgeries.” Critical Race Feminism, 1997, 352-360.
Levan, Andrea. “Violence against Women.” Women 2406: Unit 1 -9, n.d.