When you think of intersectional feminism, what do you think of when it comes to marginalized populations?
Most people automatically go to race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and class. In my experience (and I hope it’s just me), disabled people are rarely given the platform they deserve. It’s time we acknowledge this gap.
I’ll admit, sometimes, I too automatically went to race, sex, etc. Maybe it’s because I identify with race and sex being a double minority. Don’t get me wrong, these marginalized groups are just as important, but be real: When’s the last time someone with a disability had the same platform as someone who used their platform to talk about race?
When I went to a retreat recently, I was put in a group with the sweetest human being on this planet who we’ll call Lisa. Lisa is a triple minority: Asian, a woman, and disabled. Since my group made the rule of confidentiality, I won’t go deep into what happened, but Lisa taught me so much about how to be an ally and how to use my platform to give disabled people the spotlight.
Here are a few things that you can do:
- When you hear someone of disability being overtalked or not included in the conversation, pull them in and make sure they’re heard.
- Share posts created by people with disabilities on your socials.
- Join groups to learn more about it. There’s one at UNCC called Indivisible
- Be mindful of your space. If you’re able bodied, don’t hog up the conversation about disability. Give the mic to someone who does.
- Call out people who use slurs and educate them. If you hear someone spreading misinformation, educate them.
We talked about how we often don’t talk about disability when it comes to intersectionality, and that’s just not right. I urge you today to begin practicing intersectionality for ALL populations. If you are part of a marginalized group that gets some more spotlight time than other groups, use your platform to raise others up, especially the disabled population (although, being in a marginalized group means you barely have a platform to begin with). Being oppressed in whatever way, whether it’s class, gender, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, etc., we all need to stick together to raise each other up.
At the end of the day, we’re truly all in this together.