Jan 9, 2020 in Informative

Intersectionality theory

Intersectionality theory suggests that connections exist between race, gender and class in real life. The intersectionality theory was first suggested by Kimberly when she discovered that very many differences exist between the black women segregation. Feminist scholars had set aside women of color to identify issues that they faced. The scholars discovered that very many differences still existed even between the black women. Being a black woman is limited to having a black completion. Many other factors like education, wealth status and cultural orientation play a part in shaping the image of the black woman. Kimberly underscored the fact that all issues that affect the black woman finally work to help define whom she is. The intersectionality theory underscored the fact that issues of race, gender, class and sexual orientation are all interconnected in determining the destiny of a person. The intersectionality theory has application in life issues that need more than one trait to offer a valid qualification. For example, companies use many qualification aspects to recruit a person. Education level, communication level, work experience and other managerial experiences are all interconnected in determining whether one gets a job or not. Other theorists like those from feminist background believe that just one trait is enough to determine the destiny of a person.


History of Intersectionality Theory

The intersectionality theory was first developed in the year 1960 by critical scholars who felt that a woman’s description should accommodate more features on top of gender.  The revisionist feminist theorists argued that gender alone is not enough to make a conclusion on whom a woman is. The disputed gender theory had been developed in the year 1960 under radical feminism. Women of color thought that women did not really share the same experiences in life. Scholars like Kimberly thought that the middle class woman of white origin did not have the same life experiences as a black woman who is poor. Many differences existed in the life of these women. The scholars however agree that all these experiences of women had a joint effect on whom the woman finally become. The life experiences of these women were indeed intersectionality connected towards making the woman. The issues like race, education level, class and sexuality are all connected in describing the black woman. The above issues are interconnected. The emotional behavior of a rich black woman is quite different from the approach of a poor black woman. Kimberly however notes that the dominator of being black has some significant contribution into her behavior.

The simultaneity concept helped further the intersectionality theory in the year 1970. Simultaneity scholars felt that race, gender, sexuality and class all worked towards shaping their resistance to oppression. As per the simultaneity classification, the women in Combahee River believed that race, gender and class all worked towards segregating them in the society. They decided to push for their liberation to have fair treatment. The effort to determine the destiny of a woman brought forward issues like disability, poverty, and class and education status in bid to understand who the female being was. Leslie brought an understanding that disability, age, race and class had an input in creating the image of a woman. These issues were connected and worked towards the intersectionality theory. 

Crenshaw believed that being a woman or being a black cannot independently define the black woman. According to Kimberly, being black and being a woman both worked collectively in defining who a black woman was. Being black and being a woman were both interrelated in defining the position of a person. The intersectionality theory term was further advanced in 1990 by Collins in his analysis of the black feminism. Collins asserted that cultural patterns that are evident in oppression were bound together and had interrelations with gender, class, ethnicity, sex and race. All these factors had an interlocking oppression. Marie later observed that feminisms and ethnicities had cooperation in affecting the destiny of the black woman. The interlocking matrix of oppression concluded that an interrelationship does exist between sexual orientation, age, race and class. A person would be handled in the society in regard to the sum total of their race, age, sexual orientation and class. Whether one gains respect, honor, fear or prejudice depends on the collective influence of gender, race, sexual orientation and class. 

Application of Intersectionality Theory

The intersectionality theory is has application in many spheres of life. Of interest in this paper is employment drives. Whenever an organization intends to employ a person, many qualification criteria are highlighted in applications to vet potential employees. The recruitment firm will desire to have some minimum academic qualification. intersectionality theory will also demand other vital aspects of a recruit that help provide quality and efficient work  output. intersectionality theory state that factors that are attached to an object or a person all work to determine the final position, train or ability of the subject. A recruitment firm will them seek to know where an applicant has worked before. Work experience plus academic qualification helps in knowing an applicant who can deliver efficiently. The recruitment firm will then seek to know whether an applicant has good communication and people skills. Leadership and management skills are also tested when seeking for an applicant in a job vacancy. A person will only be selected for a job if he has good performance in academics, work experience and personal skills. These aspects of qualification are all interrelated and connected in illustrating that a person is fit to work in a firm. 

Another application of intersectionality theory is in visa application. Embassies of many nations have various items of qualification that must be met by an applicant for a visa to be issued. An applicant must be medically fit for him to be considered for a visa. It means that getting a visa is interrelated to the medical status of an applicant. Financial status of the applicant equally comes into play during applications. A visa applicant also has to show the validity and viability of the activity they anticipate engaging in while visiting the host country.  A visa is only issued if an applicant proves that all aspects of qualification and met by the embassy. The intersectionality theory confirms that financial status, medical report and reason for visit are all interrelated in qualifying a person for a visa. A person who has excellent medical report but lacks enough financial report will definitely be denied a visa. All items of qualification are related one to another and one cannot coexist without the other. 

The intersectionality theory can also be applied in spouse selection by men and women. The theory helps provide a connection on qualities that provide for a good husband or wife. Having physical beauty alone is not enough qualification for a good wife. Good moral standing and respect are also related to what makes one be a good wife material. A good built body alone does not also make one a good husband material. Other issues of honesty, hard work and good morals are interconnected in making one a good husband material. The intersectionality theory has many applications in life. Just like Kimberly observed that gender, sex, class and age are interconnected in describing the black woman, many items in the examples above are interrelated one to another in determining the position of a person. 

Critique of Intersectionality Theory

The intersectionality theory asserts that the class, race, age, gender and other social features of a person are interconnected in describing the position of a person. Other scholars insist that just one feature like race has enough influence to determine the destiny of a person. Former feminists asserted that being a female person was enough to influence how one is treated in the society. The intersectionality theory however insisted that one feature along was not enough to determine who a person became. Some people have actually made decisions on the basis of just one feature or trait. It is however very true that one who makes a major decision on the basis of just one event risks making an error. Just a few people can make a decision based on one item and get it right. 


The intersectionality theory was brought forward in the 1980s by Kimberly. She thought that many features were interrelated in describing who a person became. The intersectionality theory observed that class, race, sexual orientations were interrelated in determining the nature of a person. All the traits of a person are connected in establishing the response received in the outside. The applications of intersectionality theory include wife and husband’s selection and visa application. The job recruitment drive example also shows how many traits of a person all worked towards determining whether someone got a job or not. Feminist believers however felt that just one feature a lot is enough to fix someone’s destiny. The feminists feel that people can be treated in a manner because they are ladies or men. The intersectionality theory however observed that many features were interconnected in determining the destiny of a person. 


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