Written by: Lindsay Richardson, @Lindsay_Rich
The recent twitter uproar that featured popular artists Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj brought forth the disparities in new age or modern feminism. Often we see modern feminism rally around the ideas of equal wage, paid maternity leave, more female leadership or free nipples. While all important in their own right, we rarely get to see modern feminism come close to accepting the multiple oppressions that women of color face. Instead the intersectionality of a black woman, Hispanic woman, Asian woman, etc. is often denied or described as dividing the feminist movement. For instance, racially charged issues that affect women of color are often redirected by modern feminism to focus on patriarchy and the injustices of a phallocentric world.
This is dangerous because as a woman of color I cannot deny my multiple identities. I strongly identify as a woman, but I also strongly identify as black. There is no doubt that whenever I step into the public eye I am seen not just as woman, instead, I am seen as a black woman. With this I take on all the stereotypes, misconceptions, and prejudices that come with both my skin color and gender. I am labeled as a crazy, angry, and unruly black woman before many of the “standard” sexist labels apply. Forcing me to focus on only one part of my identity is asking me to forget the other which I cannot in a society that constantly reminds women of color that they are not women first.
Denying my intersectionality as a valid piece of the feminist movement is denying my personal right to be accepted by all my identities. As feminists we should embrace each other and all of our identities, and recognize that any type of oppression is something to rally against. After all, feminism was grounded on the principle belief of social, political, and economic equality for all.
Lindsay Nicole Richardson is a native of Lake Wylie, SC and recent graduate from the University of South Carolina with degrees in political science, marketing, and human resource management. She has served as the Student Body President, University Ambassador, member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Resident Mentor, and Diversity Peer Educator. Lindsay was recently awarded the university’s highest award for an undergraduate student, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. She has also been named to the Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, a finalist for Outstanding Woman of 2015, and to MSNBC’s Women of 2014 in Politics (College Edition). Lindsay is serving in the office of Representative James E. Clyburn (SC).