Intersectionality Theory - Essay Example

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Wesleyan University
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Intersectionality theory is a sociological theory that was first used in 1989 by Kimberle Crenshaw (Walby, Armstrong & Strid, 2012). The theory studies the relationships that are displayed among multiple dimensions and modalities of social relations and the subject formations. Therefore, Intersectionality can be viewed from two ways. The first is in light to the peoples lives where analysis can be analysed regarding their different positions their hold regarding race, class and gender and other social categories. The second way is by examining how inequalities exist among various persons and also understand in-depth the different processes that are involved. Intersectionality theory has over time been used by many scholars to show the different issues that are in existence in the current society (Walby, Armstrong & Strid, 2012). The paper will in detail demonstrate how the community has discriminated the women through Intersectionality theory and this has further allowed inequality to be in existence. The current world setting is doing its ultimate best to ensure disparities is reduced among the opportunities that women are given, but it is challenging to assume the already troubles and wore the women have been forced to go through based on their gender. Additionally, Intersectionality theory in detail explains why there is a different social class in existence and how the women are differently affected and impacted.

Often in leadership, many of the company are structured in a way that stereotypes the men to be the ideal leaders. Studies have indicated the number of women in comparison to the number of male leaders in multinational companies is less than 30%. This has primarily been attributed to the fact that many of the women are noted not to be competent enough to hold such positions. However, activities have countered the argument regarding women not being qualified, but preferably there is biasness created when selecting the leaders of many companies. Intersectionality theory further explains that based on social relations, women have equal capabilities as men to offer the exact responsibilities (Davis, 2008). However, many of the women are not given a chance to showcase their talents and skills as there is already a prejudgement the women will not have the capability to display the needed skills. Intersectionality theory tries to solve the leadership nightmare presented to the boards when selecting the leaders for the company, and the Intersectionality theory stresses on the need for the people to learn to enjoy the diversity that is experienced by also having women as key decision makers and leaders. Women are noted to bring a form of fineness on the table, and it is up to the leaders to identify different talents and skills that various women leaders showcase for them to contribute to the company progress adequately. Moreover, an institution that can embrace both genders is likely to have a happier workforce given many employees feel the management does not discriminate.

Women in political participation are noted to be still lagging behind in political arena. Many women are pointed out to be kept off the political fields due to the many responsibilities they have at home (McCall, 2005). Therefore, the women are not given equal opportunity to the male regarding the exposure they need to acquire for them to make excellent leaders. Moreover, many women are noted not to obtain the necessary skills that are required by an individual to hold a political leadership. Therefore, this makes the women to feel inadequate in their representation constantly. Additionally, Intersectionality theory further notes the social dimensions often make the people not to entrust the women to make the adequate representation of their issues in the public arena. Intersectionality theory regarding social relationships explains how the women are not given an equal chance in their description of the community (McCall, 2005). .

Many of the western countries have been noted to fall behind in the percentage of women who are involved in the workforce (Ford & Airhihenbuwa, 2010). Thus, with fewer women working makes them by default to be pushed to a lower income group. Therefore, this results in the women having a more economical decision making power as they have a smaller income in comparison to their counterparts the men. Critics have raised critics and noted that the United States is observed out of 20 industrialized countries offers fewer opportunities for part-time jobs and does not have a paid parental leave policy that is mandated by the law. Also, the state does not pay maternity leave. Therefore, this forces the women to work non-stop as they have to ensure they cover the days they have to take leaves. In some industrialized countries especially the Scandinavian countries, the women are given fully paid maternity leaves (Ford & Airhihenbuwa, 2010). Additionally, when the women have to leave work, their counterparts the male are continuing to work, and this allows the men to keep being ahead of the women as it means they will have better paychecks by the end of the month. Intersectionality theory has in great detail explaining how the women are often discriminated when they earn less in comparison to their counterparts the men. Additionally, with lesser pay, the women are treated as a lesser equal by their counterparts the men which makes many women have lower self-esteem.

In modern times, the society has tried to equate the women with the men but has failed in many attempts. Intersectionality theory has indicated more significant evidence of gender inequality in the US. However, despite the progress that the government is trying to make there is still a lot of disparity witnessed in some of the critical sections of the country. Example, there is a wide gap that is realized between the girls and the boys, and between the women of colors and the whites. Many women of color are noted not just to equal education opportunities as compared to their counterparts the white women, but also they are not given equal opportunities (Davis, 2008). When the education is not equally distributed, it means that the affected people are trodden with inequality all their life. Primary school is fundamental for all, and it is only necessary and crucial where all people in the society can access it with freedom.

Transgender men have been noted to be worst affected by the discrimination in the society. Intersectionality theory indicates the community is very critical regarding the relationships that are formulated by the people (Ford & Airhihenbuwa, 2010). Therefore, in transgender cases where the women transform they find it very hard to be absorbed back into the society. The situation is made difficult when the transgender men get pregnant. Many of the transgender men are forced to deal with the shame that is attributed to them acquiring the pregnancy given that they have forfeited being women. Many of the community members who often treat these transgender men different often note they treat them so because the men are not true to their gender and hence needs to be addressed with no respect at all. Therefore, the transgender men are forced to fall into depression as the fellow community members alienate them. Intersectionality theory emphasizes the relationships that are forced among the community members can determine the comfort level of the members many of the times (Viruell-Fuentes, Mirand & Abdulrahim, 2012).

Moreover, Intersectionality theory discrimination of the women has been indicated over the years to incorporate in most of the womens lifestyle. Complain have been aired where the women pay are considerably less than the male counterparts in the same job levels. Research has not given, and concrete evidence why the women are given substantially low funds as opposed to the male (Ford & Airhihenbuwa, 2010). Intersectionality theory indicates that it is close to impossible for the society to function with equality in all spheres. Women inequality is noted as many issues in many sectors of the country economy. Therefore, there is the need for the leadership and also the community members to device ways whereby they can master on tricks and techniques to ensure they are capable of being given the same equal votes and right as the male counterparts.

In summary, Intersectionality theory is an interesting theory that has over the years been used to fully exploit the inequality that is affected by many women in the society. Women are noted to be the gender group that is affected negatively by different scenarios in the community. Example, women are noted not to be given equal job opportunities, equal payment, fair treatment for the transgender men and also equal pay. Therefore, the society has a task to ensure they develop ways to ensure the women in the society are not discriminated and can exercise equal rights and responsibilities as the male partners.



Davis, K. (2008). Intersectionality as buzzword: A sociology of science perspective on what makes a feminist theory successful. Feminist theory, 9(1), 67-85.

Ford, C. L., & Airhihenbuwa, C. O. (2010). Critical race theory, race equity, and public health: toward antiracism praxis. American journal of public health, 100(S1), S30-S35.

McCall, L. (2005). The complexity of intersectionality. Signs: Journal of women in culture and society, 30(3), 1771-1800.

Viruell-Fuentes, E. A., Miranda, P. Y., & Abdulrahim, S. (2012). More than culture: structural racism, intersectionality theory, and immigrant health. Social science & medicine, 75(12), 2099-2106.

Walby, S., Armstrong, J., & Strid, S. (2012). Intersectionality: Multiple inequalities in social theory. Sociology, 46(2), 224-240.


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