Shaping our commitment to inclusivity, feminism, positivity, recognition, inclusivity and activism, WOCDC operates under an intersectional feminist framework. It is important to know that intersectionalism is both a framework and action.
As a framework, intersectionality is particularly attentive to the ways that gender, race and class intersect to shape the experiences of Black womxn in particular, and more recently womxn of colour in general. Importantly, this focus on Black womxn is not to exclude non-Black womxn of colour or minimize their importance; instead, it is to acknowledge Black womxn’s unique position within the community, due to the pervasiveness of anti-Blackness both outside and inside POC communities.
Accordingly, intersectionality is rooted in the acknowledgement of Black feminist thought’s ability to see distinct forms of oppression (i.e. racism, agism and islamaphobia) as part of an overarching structure of domination, in which gender, race and class (among others) “interlock” to create complex and simultaneous forms of inequality. Rather than accepting mainstream conversations that can erase WOC experiences by often coding womxn’s issues as inherently white (and also cis-gendered, for example) and racial issues as inherently male (and also straight, for example), intersectional theory provides language and frameworks for activism that recognizes how multiple systems of oppression look in the lives of womxn of colour and how to approach systemic oppression from this place of knowledge and recognition.
In other words, we know that you are not “just” a person of colour or “just” a womxn – as a womxn of colour, and in all the other ways you self-identify, you are a whole being, who sees, experiences and knows the ways multiple systems of oppression interact, and you have the knowledge to survive, recognize and dismantle them.
As for action, when we say “inclusion” at WOCDC, we are not looking to just add womxn of colour to already established conversations – we are starting new conversations, from the ground up, from these very spaces of knowledge and recognition in each of us.