I was a thirteen-year-old lesbian. I was also a fourteen-year-old bisexual. Then a fifteen-year-old queer grrl, a sixteen-year-old genderqueer and, finally, a seventeen-year-old transboy. Luckily, the last one stuck and I won’t be doing any more tiresome coming out in the foreseeable future. But, having spent time in all those identities, I’ve also spent a lot of time in feminist spaces. Early on, feminism was shiny and attractive to me because Kathleen Hanna was shiny and attractive to me. Only after many long hours of really paying attention to the lyrics, zine-ing, researching, and workshopping, did it became a no-brainer. Women deserve fucking rights. Period.
Once I spent a little time in radical spaces, my views on this changed. Sure women deserved rights. But what defines a woman? Someone labeled a woman at birth? Only straight women? Only white women? Only women without disabilities? There are a lot of ways to be a woman and even more ways to be perceived as a woman. And what exactly does “rights” encompass? What good is closing the wage gap when women of color, trans women, women with disabilities, fat women, low-income women, and countless others can’t get jobs to begin with? What good is it when they have to worry about being attacked on their way to the interview? In the wise and feisty words of Emily over at Tiger Beatdown, my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.