In this essay I will be defining what the concept
intersectionality is. Intersectionality brings two most important aspects of
feminist thinking. It brings the impact of race, gender and class on some
women’s lives as well as the relations of power that is produced and
transformed through women’s experience. Secondly, it propositions the support
of the undoing of binaries, normalising theories and homogenizing categories
while offering a platform which allows to address the concerns of all women
This essay will possibly examine the use of
narratives to explore the issues of gender, social justice, race and an insight
into ‘undoing gender’.
I will be drawing on ethnographic data that I
conducted. The participant shared stories of lived experience regarding issues
around gender, race and ‘undoing gender’. This paper will critically analyse
the discourse black women will fall into and the potential of intersectionality
and narrative in relation to undoing gender.
In this essay I will define the concept of intersectionality.
I will be exploring the importance of intersectionality in feminist
In this paragraph I will be examining the ways in which black women’s
experiences are excluded in feminist theory. The author’s perspective I will be
using in this paragraph is (Crenshaw, 1989)
Stated by Crenshaw (1989) the value of feminist theory to black women
is made less because it comes from white racial context, which is acknowledged.
Women of colour are mostly overlooked, but when white women speak for and as
women, women of colour are often excluded.
When feminist theory often describes women’s experiences it often
overlooks the role of race.
Crenshaw (1989) stated that some feminists ignore how their own race
makes something bad less severe in some aspects of sexism and it often
privileges them over the domination of other women.
Feminist theory remains white and the likelihood of broadening and
deepening the analysis of non-privileged women remains unachieved.
One example of how feminist theory is constructed around white women’s
experiences is found in many literatures about separate sphere ideology.
The one many thought often criticised by feminists is the way a woman’s
life is shaped around the home and public life. They often expose, identify and
criticise the stereotypes that are traditionally assigned to men and women. How
men are seen as capable and independent and women are seen as less capable,
dependent, passive and limited in abilities (Crenshaw, 1989). All of this is
common in literatures. However this observations and literature completely
overlooks race and sexism in women of colour.
I will be going into details about the experiences of black women being
In this paragraph I will be critically analysing the interview I
conducted from a female participant who faced inequality in her workplace.
The analysis of the interview will tell us about my participant’s
experiences of gender, and being a woman in that particular environment.
Lavia, (2007) and Alur, (2007) examined gender inequity in Caribbean
and India, they illustrate a very different perspective on gender
discrimination and inequity and what that can mean for million of women. With
my analysis I will like to examine how black Somali girls are affected by this
discrimination and gender inequality.
Stated by Cole, (2009) legislation alone cannot tackle gender
Peterson, (2006) argues, “There is a serious need to examine the
experiences of individuals within intersecting oppressions…doing so will allow
a critical examination of how our thoughts and actions may uphold another’s
subordination. From this perspective the potential for social change lies in
understanding the multidimensional nature of oppression” (2006:721).
What does narratives have to offer feminist researchers?
I will be examining how ‘Undoing gender’ using narratives can possible
change the outcome of gender inequality
Narratives have something to offer to feminist researchers.
Cole (2009) stated the use of narrative research is on the rise and it
has the power to influence and change policy.
This essay will consider whether narratives have anything to offer
regarding ‘undoing gender’.
I will be also seeking to understand if intersectionality will be
possible use as a theoretical base to explore ‘undoing gender’.
According to Cole (2009) many literature have seen growing number of
challenges to categorisation by gender, race and sexuality from critical
feminists. However, intersectionality brings together, critical feminist theory
about the impact of sexism, gender and race, seeking to destroy these
categories and providing a platform where different feminist researchers and
theorists come together and make a difference (Davis, 2008).