Lately I’ve been reading about “Intersectional Feminism.” And, while it’s a lot more detailed than what I’ll get into here, I love how it approaches things. The basic concept is that it is necessary to look at people/life/situations from a multitude of perspectives in order to understand and address a problem. It fits in well, in my mind, to the holistic approach I learned in graduate school through the diversity classes which were part of my Clinical Psychology training. None of us are “one” thing or identity. Within each of us are representations of an assortment of “identities” including gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, cultural identity (which may not match our ethnic heritage), age, etc. Any time we face a form of privilege or discrimination, it could be a response to any one or combination of these.
It is in the huge diversity within humanity and the world that I find beauty. I find joy and inspiration in the “intersectional.” As messy as it can feel to try to understand people and situations through this lens, I love the ways in which it stretches me as a person. It makes me grow into a better human being, even as I struggle against our societal pressure to be “one” thing (a task at which I will- always- fail joyously).
In this “Intersectional Cuff” jewelry piece I wanted to create a beautiful artistic representation to remind me of the beauty of intersectional identities and the infinite possibilities they can embody- even within a single person (or piece). I also wanted to capture the rainbow of diversity which intersectional identities create, and so added a rainbow heat patina to the design.
In my case, I hold many identities within myself. I am woman, victim, survivor, disabled, multi-racial… and my list goes on. I have been discriminated against during my life for any number of these things in isolation or combination. I have been told to pretend that some of these identities, part of who I am, do not exist…. and yet they all exist, in me, and I would not be the person I am without them or the experiences I have had because of them.
If you’re interested in learning more about intersectional feminism, here’s an article from Everyday Feminism to get you started!