Stylist is running its first ever feminist advent calendar in 2018, with a remarkable woman revealing who her feminist icon is every day until 25 December. Here, Munroe Bergdorf reveals why Dr Kimberlé Crenshaw is her ultimate feminist icon.
My feminist hero is Dr Kimberlé Crenshaw. She came up with the term intersectional feminism more than two decades ago. It’s the term I find most inclusive and the one that I identify with, and one of my dreams is to one day meet Dr Crenshaw.
Intersectional feminism looks at the whole identity of a woman; her social and economic past, her gender identity, her sexuality - everything - and takes into account every single one of these facets to respect the need to look at the whole female experience as tool of liberation.
Different women will each experience a different narrative in their lives, and the more things you have stacked against you the more you have to face. For example, the life experience of a disabled trans queer woman of colour is going to be significantly different to a rich, well educated, white, straight, cis gender woman.
Until I found out about Dr Crenshaw, feminism didn’t really resonate with me, because I couldn’t see how it interacted with race or trans issues. A lot of feminism can be quite exclusive, especially if it prioritises reproductive rights, which excludes not only trans women but cis women who can’t have children. To centre feminism around producing children reduces the identity of women.
To have a feminism that is inclusive and supportive of every kind of woman - without prioritisation - is very important to me. We are capable of working with more than one issue at a time!
We live in turbulent times, and I think it’s in part thanks to Dr Crenshaw that more marginalised voices are now speaking up. Whether it’s about period poverty or black lives matter, people are refusing to be silent and are rising up for causes, no matter how they identify.
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