Intersectionality

Reading part of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s article made me realize that there’s a word for all the stories that happen too often, and for the stories that she referred to in her text; that word being intersectionality. (My computer here has decided to underline it in red for some reason).

Anyway, according to my understanding of the article; intersectionality happens when a person belongs to more than one minority group, and when these minority groups have unrelated interests and agendas, leaving the person in a state where they are further marginalized in their community.

On a funny note, I’ve been tagged in this a tonne of times:

e65215e8-f970-4b9c-8be2-6127f174aaa9

Meaning that having these 2 affiliations makes you a suffering person. Haha.

On a more serious note, I once got robbed on the street and went to escalate my issue to the police. On that day, I was wearing a skirt and clothes that generally gave a conservative impression. The policeman refused to take me seriously and one of the reasons for that was because to him I was alone and for some reason he kept denying what I was saying and didn’t allow me to make a case. I was very angry. I felt like if I were someone else, I would be better heard. Even though I’m not exactly a minority in Egypt, that situation made me feel like one. Being a young woman, coming in alone, wearing loose fitting clothes,  and telling a story that didn’t exactly have an evidence, made the whole situation against me.

Since I was very angry, I left and decided to contact a relative who worked in the police to come and help me make a case for my stolen bag. I chose my clothing differently when I went in for the second time, and the policeman recognized me when I came in with my relative.  My relative spoke on my behalf for the most part, except when I was describing the incident, where the same officer who was denying my words, asked me to clarify and was keenly interested in my story’s details. It was immediately recorded and filed. I know that having someone from within the police was added benefit for me, but what made me realize that they heard men better was that my relative didn’t actually come wearing any uniform and didn’t disclose his affiliation to the police till the very end. So it was a matter of having a man with me, and dressing differently too just to be heard out.

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2 thoughts on “Intersectionality”

  1. Hi Ayah:)

    I hope that police story was a long time ago and ur okay now. eb2ee tell me more about it isa (if u want to).
    Also did u mean by clothes as in religious w keda and the state dislikes them?
    And how did u dress the other time, pants?

    also i wanna add part of why people want to promote intersectionality (still red here as well) is that oppressive structures oppress all in the same manner and idea … using the same techniques just the content different … so it is for the benefit of all oppressed groups to come to understand that oppression is mostly the same and fight it together

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  2. Thanks for sharing this awful story ya Ayah! In contrast to the other comment, I think intersectionality highlights how different identities and oppressions are different from one another and how combinations of them look different. Being poor and female gives a different set of oppressions than being poor and male for example. I am wondering if the loose-fitting clothes gave an impression of religious affiliation or social class? Occasionally in Egypt, conservative clothing is seen to signify social class…

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