Intersectionality and Feminism

Intersectionality—the idea that class, race, gender and other aspects of identity are linked—is an issue addressed by the Feminism is Equality (F=E) movement at Andover.

“Intersectionality focuses more on the idea how, when we define women, we define women who have a really broad spectrum of experiences,” said Rani Iyer ’15.

Kayla Thompson ’15 said that, because of the concept of intersectionality, people can have better and more cohesive conversations about identity.

“I think too often in history people have not been able to sufficiently advocate for themselves because they’re so splintered between different minority groups, so they don’t collaborate with one another,” said Thompson.

For Iyer, intersectionality allows the feminist movement to reach all women, regardless of background or identity.

“[Without intersectionality], the movement is incomplete, and you’re not helping all women. [You’re] just helping one set of women, and that is not really helpful to our campus and to inclusivity,” said Iyer. Thompson believes having more programs like Afro-Latino-American Society (Af-Lat-Am), which is a support and mentoring program catered to helping African-American and Latino-American students, will help women of color, who are not only African-American or Latino-American, feel more comfortable at Andover.

“I think being a woman of color at Andover is a unique experience, because on one hand there is a feeling like the school wasn’t founded for you, like the school is founded for white, upper-middle class, protestant, heterosexual males. I guess that kind of isolation is hard to deal with… In the future, it would be awesome if there were more conversations and more mentorship between women of color,” said Thompson.