Gender and... (a guide to intersectionality)


Intersectionality is the theory that people experience multidimensional aspects of their identities and discrimination. A term coined by critical race theorist and Feminist, Kimberlé Crenshaw, it encourages us to reflect on how violence, poverty, race and ethnicity, and sexuality are experienced differently by different people and in different situations.

 In Where is Your Body? And Other Essays on Race, Gender, & the Law, Mari Matsuda writes, "[R]acism is best understood and struggled against with knowledge gained through comparative study… it’s simply not possible to struggle against racism alone and ever hope to end racism.” This part of the project encourages us to take this stance, knowing we cannot holistically understand gender if we look at gender alone, which is how Christian communities look at it, in my experience.

I chose violence, poverty, race and ethnicity, and sexuality for this project because these topics are both far-reaching and personal, and not always actively connected in discussions about gender within Christian communities. However, they are, by far, not the only identities and experiences that effect people’s lives. Each of these four pages suggests quotes, ideas, and discussion questions that can be used as starting points in churches, community groups, families, and between individuals to discuss gender. The Having Your Own Conversation section offers constructive ways to do so.

icons by Megan Robinson, photos by Ashleigh Hill