White stu­dents in 300-level gender stud­ies class lit­er­ally in­vent in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity

Lies, half-truths, and suck­ing my sec­ond dick.

The McGill Daily - - Compendium! -

Benev­o­lent White Woman 1 & Benev­o­lent White Woman 2

Ahand­ful of stu­dents in a 300- level Gender, Sex­u­al­ity, Fem­i­nist, and So­cial Jus­tice Stud­ies class went be­yond syl­labus re­quire­ments and coined the term “in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity” to rep­re­sent the di­ver­sity in their friend group.

“It’s re­ally quite sim­ple,” says Ma­rina, a U2 Cul­tural Stud­ies stu­dent. “You can be more than one thing. You can be lots of things. I’m a woman who’s white. Emma is a woman who’s bi­sex­ual and white. And Chris­tine is a woman who’s white but is also from Que­bec.”

The group is equally com­mit­ted to out­reach and shar­ing their cre­ation with the com­mu­nity. “It’s like, the per­fect party theme,” says one stu­dent ex­cit- edly. “It lit­er­ally works for any­thing. In­ter­sec­tional potlucks. In­ter­sec­tional cloth­ing swap. We’re ac­tu­ally head­ing to in­ter­sec­tional brunch right af­ter this. It’s pay-what-you- can.” (Ex­cept the mi­mosas. They’re $ 12.09)

Emma, also a stu­dent in Gender, Sex­u­al­ity and Fem­i­nist Stud­ies GSFS 376: Spe­cial Top­ics, ex­pressed her ex­cite­ment at this novel in­ter­ven­tion into fem­i­nist the­ory. “It’s re­ally ground­break­ing,” she en­thused, as she up­dated her In­sta­gram bio to in­clude the la­bel “in­ter­sec­tional fem­i­nist”.

She also out­lined some po­ten­tial ap­pli­ca­tions of this term. “I took a class on racial in­equal­ity this term, and my dad is a cop who says re­ally racist shit at Thanks­giv­ing din­ner some­times. That’s ex­actly what in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity is about. I think he’ll be re­ally on board with the con­cept be­cause it speaks to the ways in which our fam­ily ex­em­pli­fies mul­ti­ple lived ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Ma­rina em­pha­sized the con­cept’s broad reach: “We think this will have last­ing ef­fects for peo­ple of colour. We want them to feel in­cluded in th­ese dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions. In fact, I can’t be­lieve they couldn’t come up with some­thing like this ear­lier. But any­way, we’re just re­ally hon­oured to be here to speak for them.

Chris­tine ea­gerly con­trib­uted to the dis­course around race as well. “Thanks to in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity, those peo­ple — like, any­one who isn’t white — can do all kinds of things they couldn’t do be­fore. Like for ex­am­ple, they can come to queer dance par­ties now. It’s re­ally rev­o­lu­tion­ary.” The group pauses to col­lec­tively break into a “yaaas, queen!”

Zainab, who is one of three ra­cial­ized stu­dents in the class, was less con­vinced. “I know that th­ese girls are su­per ex­cited right now, but I think they’re miss­ing the fact that this con­cept… ex­ists. Kim­berle Cren­shaw was--”

Chris­tine in­ter­jected at this point. “Yeah, she was great! I read her book in In­tro to Fem­i­nist Stud­ies. But we re­ally think that this con­cept is big­ger than that. Thank you so much for do­ing the emo­tional labour in­volved in rais­ing that point, Za­hara.”

Zainab was not avail­able for fur­ther com­ment.

At the time of pub­li­ca­tion, the group of stu­dents were brain­storm­ing ideas for mer­chan­dise to sell on their in­ter­sec­tional fem­i­nist on­line store. Emma proudly dis­played her “In­ter­sec­tional” Rosie the Riveter cross- stitch and “Nasty Woman” lap­top de­cal for our writ­ers at The Mc­gall Weekly.

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