Intersectionality is the root cause of social issues

Cindy Cuadra/Staff Writer

Intersectionality, a term receiving more attention in today’s society, is at the root of many important issues. All of us have experienced intersectionality in our lives and may not have even known it. Many don’t even know what it means to be intersectional – and I was one of them.

After hearing about intersectionality for the first time in a sociology class and doing some research, I realized that intersectionality is very much to blame for so many of the issues we have today.

According to an article published in 2012 by the University of California, intersectionality can be defined as the concept of interconnected nature of social aspects such as race, gender and class as they apply to an individual or group and how those aspects can put an individual or group at an advantage or disadvantage.

The intersectionality I experience growing up in Miami as a Hispanic female will be different from a white female living in Miami. For example, I can apply for the same job as a white female and have the same qualifications, but because I’m a hispanic female who speaks Spanish applying for a job in Miami, I may be deemed more qualified than the white female, even though the job may not require a Spanish-speaking person.

Intersectionality is possibly the reason why schools in low-funded areas have low graduation and high dropout rates as well. Children who live and grow up in low-income neighborhoods experience intersectionality constantly because of the environment they were raised in. Their education comes from low-graded schools and begin a continued trajectory of poor education and opportunities.

Yet for more fortunate children, the opportunities are endless. It’s not fair that just because a child was born into an impoverished neighborhood, they are not offered the same opportunities as one from more prosperous surroundings.

It’s not fair that some opportunities choose people, not for what they can do, but for where they came from and what they are.

Intersectionality should not define what kind of life and opportunities we are given. It’s not fair that because someone is white, people automatically assume “white privilege” or that a male does not have to worry as much walking around alone at night just because he is a man.

We can’t help what we were born into or the things that make us the people we are, but accepting people as they are and learning to adapt to the diversity that every type of person offers, is one way to eliminate intersectionality.

If everyone in the world were given an equal chance to be themselves without the repercussions of judgement, there would be more advantages than disadvantages, whether it is in the workforce, in school or even at home. Intersectionality only shies away from eliminating social stigma and re-enforces the stereotypes still present today.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

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