A new comic on Tumblr highlights how modern feminism benefits all types of women and helps those who might be afraid to identify as feminists.
The comic was created by an artist named Talhi. It was translated from French by Alice Avistew Teague and posted on the Tumblr page WheelOfFortune-Design in response to a recent comment from Lise Thériault, the Quebec minister responsible for the status of women who rejected the label of feminist in March. The illustration shows the various challenges women of different backgrounds face. As noted in the comic, white feminists have inherent privileges that feminists who are minorities do not have, and this can discourage women of color from wanting to identify as feminists.
This is where intersectionality comes into play. In 1989, UCLA professor Kimberlé Crenshaw defined intersectionality as the "view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society.”
The comic illustrates that it's important to create a society that gives all types of women a fair chance to succeed.
Noted feminists have spoken out about the importance of intersectionality.
Last summer, "Girl Meets World" actress Rowan Blanchard penned a Tumblr essay on white feminism and intersectionality after a fan asked her to talk about "how common feminism might exclude women of color and non cis/queer women." The teenager brought up the gender pay gap and described how it is often worse for women of color than white women.
"The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality," Blanchard wrote. "Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women. While white women are making 78 cents to the dollar, Native American women are making 65 cents, Black women are making 64 cents, and Hispanic women are making 54 cents."
Feminist actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, who praised Blanchard's essay on Twitter, also talked about the need for intersectionality after a fan asked whether she considers herself a "white feminist" last year.
"[The term white feminism] implies that I am not aware of my own privilege but I mention my own good luck/fortune/privilege something like 5 times in my [UN gender equality] speech and my wish to make sure other women have access to the same opportunities that I have," Watson wrote. "It implies a willful ignorance or neglect of the issues surrounding intersectionality."
She added that she "can’t speak on behalf of intersectional feminists specifically" but use her platform to "give those that do have personal experience a spotlight."