Professor Kimberly Polonsky
Experience in Diversity
May 15, 2014
Final Paper Intersectionality itself can be defined as the study or concept of discriminative or harsh institutions on disenfranchised groups or minorities, and the way these groups are organized This theory was based on the concept that oppressive institutions within a society , such as racism, ageism, sexism, and homophobia do not act independently, but are instead unified and continuously shaped by women who may experience racism specifically because of their gender, such as sexual violence against women members of particular racial or ethnic groups during armed conflict in which rape is used as a weapon or even an instrument of genocide, such as within the context of ethnic-based conflicts within Bosnia and Rwanda. Page 2
In the story of the Richard Wright period, “race is defined and contested though society, in both collective action and personal practice”. While reading this story I realized that even though race was an issue back then, it is still an issue now. The only thing is that any issue that people have as far as race is concerned is kept at a low tone. People are not as open to admit that they are racist or that they have a problem working next to someone of a different race. I always go off the actions that are put in front of me when I am dealing with people on an individual basis. Even though you are not informed by that person that they may have some issues being around people of a different race, you can always tell by the actions that they have while interacting with you. This issue also goes for women alone. While we as women have come a long way with even being view as an equal there is still some fight in us that gives us as women to prove ourselves as an important role in life. The fact that we are able to vote says a lot about how times have changed. When I read stories about how women were not even counted in as an important vote, I appreciate the fact that I am able to put my say in. This to me means that I can complain, and I will be heard.
There was a story by Suzanne Pharr “Homophobia as a weapon of sexism”, which explained how women and people of color are put at the bottom of the economic system pyramid. It also talks about how income is unequally distributed in the United States. This story can be perceived in many ways by people from different backgrounds and different cultures. What this tells me is we are what we appear to be. It’s like you are put in a certain class based on your upbringing first, then you work, race and gender second. I am saying this because there was a reason why this story was put in the book. There are some people that look at women still as not being important. There are some that look at women as being weak. While you have some women that are strong individuals, who take care of home, bills, the children, go to work, and some still in school by their selves. There are also women who run their own company, manage more than one building, or help start new business for others that are in need. There are also issues with not just being a woman, but for some being a woman from the African American background. There are some women that are from that background that are looked at as non educated, poor, and lazy. While the same person that is labeled with that issue is the same women with a degree, knows
Page 4 how to finance money, and have more business under their belt than the average man. I think sometimes it is not how the person carries themselves, because you can be a woman with high standards and still have someone to bring you down. This can be the person that wants what you have, but can’t have because they do not want to work as hard as the person that they are looking down on to do so. In the story “Invention of Heterosexuality” which talks about how heterosexuality was viewed as being used to build new lives. When we read this story we have to realize