Lopez: CSU shows its support for intersectional feminism on campus

Lopez%3A+CSU+shows+its+support+for+intersectional+feminism+on+campus

Collegian | Chloe Leline

Dominique Lopez, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

I have spent years considering myself a feminist and thinking it’s a movement that includes everyone and every aspect of my identity because that is what I had grown up seeing.

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However, after I began studying the different aspects of feminism at Colorado State University, I realized how frequently feminism only includes white women’s issues. That means these issues are frequently inclusive to only those of privilege.

The issue with modern feminism is one that specifically caters to white women. Women of color should be the people who are showcased in these issues, as they are frequently pushed to the back burner.

In a book I am currently reading in one of my classes, “Hood Feminism” by Mikki Kendall, I first heard of the issue of modern feminism including only white women. Before, it wasn’t necessarily something that was applicable to my experience with feminism.

As I began to examine this idea of white women being the face of feministic ideals, I realized this is not only something that is deeply rooted in history, but it is something that still exists today in the 21st century.

Reproductive issues, being paid a lower wage than men and even being considered less than someone simply because of being woman are all aspects that are well known to feminists as well as others who have just taken the time to look into feminism. That’s the case because they are the main topics covered in the news.

However, if readers of these news articles actually took the time to examine what these fights were being made against, the realization would be that these are fights very much tied to the idea of having money or some sort of privilege. These fights aren’t for those who have intersectional identities.

“These issues feminists are fighting for need to include every aspect of life — if you’re a person of color, in the LGBTQ+ community or a non-U.S. citizen — the study of feminism needs to make sure the access it is fighting for also includes people who are advocating for themselves but might not have a prominent voice yet.”

Yet this isn’t something I learned or had paid much attention to, even when it came to studying feminist issues at CSU. The program and the classes I’ve taken show all sides of the story and show the intersectionality that comes with being not only a woman but a woman of color.

CSU’s Center for Women’s Studies & Gender Research, according to their website, is “committed to investigating the intersections of class, race, ethnicity, sexual identities, queer identities, nonheteronormative identities, age, ability, citizenship, empire, nation and national origin along the social structures and power continuums of difference, power and privilege.”

This program takes the time to look at every aspect of what makes a feminist and what intersectionalities these women possess as they begin to make their stamp on the world. CSU also does a great job of providing these ideas and widening its abilities to attract others through many organizations on campus as well.

This is what makes CSU’s program so important: Without the adaptation and understanding of what feminism truly is and how limited the issues are in addressing problems that women of color face, there would not be the necessary education to make sure students in their major and minor are being educated in the truth about feminist topics.

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These issues feminists are fighting for need to include every aspect of life — if you’re a person of color, in the LGBTQ+ community or a non-U.S. citizen — the study of feminism needs to make sure the access it is fighting for also includes people who are advocating for themselves but might not have a prominent voice yet.

That is what the goal of feminism should be. It shouldn’t focus on one group because they are the most privileged; instead, it should include everyone so access for those who don’t have privilege isn’t a burden but a privilege they have earned for themselves.

Reach Dominique Lopez at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @caffeinateddee6.