Before this week I was not aware of intersectionality and had never heard of the term being used with social movements. The reading this week on intersectionality highlighted to me where people may be going wrong when forming social justice movements. My definition of intersectionality is that everyone in a group needs to be treated equally and aware of the factors that can marginalise people such as gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. No privilege factor must be involved to combat discrimination. I feel that this is key to remember when talking about racism and other oppressions such as gender, identity, and sexuality.
Everyone is unique and has their own form of identity. Our gender, class, race and sexuality make us who we are as a person and influence our experiences and interactions daily. When demanding change through social justice movements we need to make an example of equality and unity. This means looking at the needs of both privileged and underprivileged people, which will make sure no one is being left behind or discriminated against.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the GimpGirl reading as it made me happy to hear how women with disabilities have redefined and created their own sense of identity. Social media has been a massive benefit in creating a safe environment for these women and it highlights how online platforms can be revolutionary. The GimpGirl Community, which is also known as GGC, was founded in 1998 as a place for women with disabilities to share ideas and experiences, discuss issues, and to provide information and support. With the use of online technology, GGC has been able to reach a wider community and maintain connections between members.
GGC uses an interactive online platform called Second Life, which allows members to create their own avatar and interact with them and connect with other people. The use of avatars has created many options for members to explore their identity and create a visible representation of how they see themselves and how they want to be portrayed to others. I see this as a huge positive for women with disabilities to feel more comfortable in their skin and encourage them to live a normal life.
GGC is a prime example of recognising intersectionality and coming up with a solution to combat discrimination. One of the main aims of developing the GimpGirl Community was to help disabled women who were vulnerable to physical, sexual and psychological abuse. GGC has recognised that this is a problem and helped build a safe environment for these women to create their own identity.
Cole, J., Nolan, J., Seko, Y., Mancuso, K., & Ospina, A. Gender, Race, and Class in Media (4th ed., pp. 958-969). California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Oluo, Ijemoa. “five: What is intersectionality and why do I need it?.” So You Want to Talk About Race, Basic Books, 16 January 2018, pp. 70 – 82