the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage: through an awareness of intersectionality, we can better acknowledge and ground the differences among us.
I was at the gym on the treadmill one morning reading Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown when the word intersectionality came to mind. I started playing with it in my mind, turning it over and over as I am known to do with ideas that are interesting to me. Intersectionality is one of the new buzz words we are hearing a lot these days. I first started to think about how limiting words are, how they can support and hinder our emergence. That brought me to the idea of intersectionality as archetype with a light and a shadow.
Tenneson Woolf and I often play this game of looking at things as archetypes. It helps us to not only see the light and shadow of the thing we are wondering and wandering about but it helps us to find ourselves in both sides of the archetype. It helps us to see the everything in the anything.
So let’s play!
Light side of Intersectionality:
Helps us to name that we aren’t ever just one thing
Helps us communicate some of the complexities that are us
It exists in all of us even if it’s not named, we are all made up of lots of intersections
Shadow side of Intersectionality:
No word can ever capture the complexity that is an individual
Knowledge is not embodiment, no matter how much I want to understand what it means to be you, no matter how much intellectually I understand, I will never be able to fully embody it through my brain.
It can allows us to see it as something outside of ourselves that others need to understand about us, moving us away from remembering, as Adrienne Maree Brown states, the connective tissue of all that exists.
My geeky play. Try your own.