Many of you will know these words:
My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.
~ Flavia Dzodan, on Tiger Beatdown 2011/10/10
Some of you may have already read about how those words were used in the concluding paragraph of an article at Vagenda Magazine on the New Statesman masthead by authors Rhiannon and Holly: In defence of Caitlin Moran and populist feminism.
It almost seems as though some educated women want to keep feminism for themselves, cloak it in esoteric theory and hide it under their mattresses, safe and warm beneath the duck down duvet. As long as that happens, though, the lives of many women and men in this country will remain the same. Feminism should not be a discipline far removed from the lives of ordinary people, but part of a larger social justice movement that strives to achieve a better life for everyone. Caitlin Moran may not be perfect, but she has come closest thus far. In the last few weeks some have been bandying about the oft-quoted phrase “my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” We would suggest that anyone with an interest in genuine equality for all adapt that phrase to “my feminism will be comprehensible or it will be bullshit.” Achieving “intersectionality” is impossible unless you can communicate clearly, with everyone. Moran at least speaks a language that we all understand. And how many other feminists can you credit with that?
Are you noting a distinct lack of attribution there, for an ‘oft-quoted phrase’ which is easily googled as to its source? A source in which the ‘oft-quoted phrase’ is actually the very title of the post?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, here’s what happened next:
As others have noted, just read Flavia’s post: the concept of ‘intersectionality’ is exceptionally well explained in it, and it’s not ivory-tower inaccessible language at all.
Kjerstin Johnson at Bitch Magazine had already decided not to run an interview with Caitlin Moran after an earlier ugly incident on twitter, and explains the full background in that post. Given what Moran’s defenders are coming up with, it seems like an even better decision in retrospect.
In conclusion I can only reiterate this tweet: