What is Intersectionality?

What exactly does intersectionality mean? How does this impact people, and what does this have to do with disabilities? In this quick run-down, we’ll cover this and share why this is crucial to know and understand.

This podcast is available on: iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Soundcloud

Welcome to the new Blind in Philadelphia podcast, website, and blog! I’m glad you can join us as we’re just now getting started on publishing some insightful content that I hope you will enjoy and share!

[podcast transcript: This podcast episode will be one of many that will double as also being the accessible audio for a blog post we’ve shared with you on blindinphiladephia.com, so let’s jump right in!]

[reading of photo caption below]

It took me some time to decide on how I wanted to introduce the different ways that people experience disability within different marginalized groups of people. I figured the best way to start is to simply acknowledge there’s no set place to begin.

For example, how I experience low vision blindness can be vastly different than how someone else experiences their blindness. We’ll be featuring guest contributors so you can take it from them, giving you a chance to learn from their perspectives and amplify their truths.

Quite often, the first thing abled people tend think of is that our experiences primarily differ because others have vastly different misconceptions about blindness, and what it means to be disabled in the first place. While this is certainly something all disabled people deal with, it’s not entirely the first thing that affects us as a person. How people treat us based upon our race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, social status, and other differences have a greater impact as to what creates our identities as disabled people as well as how other people treat us.

These crossroads of different aspects of identities create intersectionality, which “identify how interlocking systems of power impact those who are most marginalized in society.”[1]

What exactly does that mean? How does this impact people, and what does this have to do with disabilities? Intersectionality, while beautiful, creates a complex form of “the haves vs the have-nots” within larger demographics of marginalized people. For example, it’s fairly common knowledge that people of colour are marginalized far more than white people. Transgender people are marginalized far more than cisgender people. Disabled people are marginalized far more than abled people, and so on.

Arguably, the more marginalized groups someone may be in, the more they will experience systemic discrimination. This results in being denied access to rights and resources more often than other people who are within a shared base demographic such as race, gender, and social status. For example, if someone is a white abled cisgender wealthy person, it is safe to say they won’t experience marginalization that’s anywhere close to a black disabled transgender person experiencing homelessness.

But before we get carried away in assuming that the quantity of overlapping marginalized groups is an absolute scale of how much someone is is likely to be discriminated against, it’s not nearly as important as understanding how people are affected and under what circumstances. Being able to recognise a ballpark idea of where your own privilege and fragility begins and ends is crucial to not only understanding yourself, but also being able to understand other people.

This is the purpose of our website, podcast, and blog. We hope to help you gain a better knowledge of how different groups of people experience disabilities and why. In upcoming episodes and blog posts, we will cover topics of intersectionality and feature some really awesome perspectives you’d likely not consider before.

Don’t forget to subscribe, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter so you’ll be able to catch the latest articles and updates.

Do you have a question for us at Blind in Philadelphia? Send us a message and we will answer in an upcoming post!

[podcast transcript:  And that concludes the third episode of the Blind in Philadelphia Podcast. Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast. As of right now, we are on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Soundcloud. To learn more, visit us at blindinphiladelphia.com. Please consider becoming a Patron on patreon.com/blindinphiladelphia.

Thanks again for listening. I’m Japheth Grimm. I hope your day is kind to you. Don’t forget, you are beautiful.]

Quoted content:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality, Retrieved 11 Nov 2018

Author: Blind in Philadelphia

Join us as we're covering topics of blindness, disability, and intersectionality. We're glad to have your support. Don't forget to like, comment, and share!

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