Intersectionality

A Woman’s Rights Man

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“Right is of no sex — Truth is of no color.” It was on this bold motto that Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895) founded his antislavery newspaper, The North Star, in the mid-1800s. Commonly known as one of the leading Black abolitionists of the 19th century, Douglass also proved to be a staunch proponent of women’s rights. After escaping slavery in 1838, the Maryland-born activist quickly got to ...
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Audre Lorde

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Audre Lorde (1934-1992), self identified as a black feminist, lesbian, poet, mother, warrior; she was critical to shaping the intellectual landscape of  the women’s movement, black arts movement, black feminist, and gay liberation movements globally. Lorde herself was shaped by a larger sociocultural context of WWII, McCarthyism, and witnessing the unfolding of the Civil Rights Movement. Her wo...
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Undocumented Women

Photo:  Matti Keltanen
Approximately 5.2 million undocumented immigrant women live in the United States. Without legal status, most of these women do not have permission to work or get driver’s licenses, and do not qualify for many of the social services reserved for citizens. Many immigrant women face compounded intersectional hardships due to the interplay of their undocumented status with other facets of their lives,...
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The Lesbian Avengers

Carrie Moyer
“Lesbians! Dykes! Gay Women! We want revenge and we want it now.” If you had been a woman at the 1992 New York Gay Pride March, a flyer with those words might have been shoved into your sweaty hand. Keep reading: “We're wasting our lives being careful. Imagine what your life could be. Aren't you ready to make it happen?” That flyer was printed and distributed by the thousands by six lesbians, A...
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Female Justices on the Supreme Court

A detail of Artist Nelson Shanks’ painting, “The Four Justices”, a 9-foot 6-inch by 7-foot 9-inch oil on canvas portrait of the first four female justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, top row, from left, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, bottom row, from left, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is seen during a press preview at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Since its beginnings, only four women have served as Justices on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS):  Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Elena Kagan, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Sonia Sotomayor.  Justice O’Connor made history when she became the first woman to serve the Court in 1981. The Supreme Court is the highest Court in the United States, responsible for upholding the Constitution.  It has th...
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#InternationalWomensDay

International Women's Day
March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), a celebration of women that takes place in countries on every continent.  It has a deep socialist heritage, one connected to the cause for women’s suffrage, women’s right to vote, and importantly, for working women’s right to fair wages and safe working conditions.  Today, it is recognized by the United Nations as part of a global call to promote gender ...
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The Pill

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The oral contraceptive known as “The Pill” is one of the most influential drugs in the history of the United States.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the birth control pill in 1960, giving heterosexually active women control over preventing unwanted pregnancies.  Its appearance marked a turning point in the social and economic lives of women who could now claim sexual equality and ...
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Wonder Woman

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  Wonder Woman has been a feminist icon, taking political action on the 1972 cover of with Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine under the heading “Wonder Woman for President.” This wasn’t the first time she ran for president – the 1943 cover of the original Wonder Woman comic book featured the same scenario. Wonder Woman has also been a longstanding queer icon throughout her history, becoming the first s...
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Indigenous Feminism

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Native American women are the largest demographic of women likely to be killed by domestic violence. It is an epidemic with levels that almost exceed global rates: Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to be assaulted and more than 2 times more likely to be stalked than any other woman in the United States. And, even though Native societies were egalitarian more than 500 years ago, toda...
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Black Feminism(s)

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One could argue black feminism began in the nineteenth century with Sojourner Truth’s declarative question, “Ain’t I a Woman” since her words are an inaugural instance of intersectionality, the notion that race and class status are inseparable from the struggle for gender equality. But there were many black feminists in the 19th century like Anna Julia Cooper, Frances Harper, Harriet Tubman, Id...
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Latina Feminism(s)

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Latina feminism(s) describes a range of historical political collaborations among Latinas and culturally specific Latina-led political struggles for gender and social justice in the United States. “Latina” is an umbrella term for women living in the United States whose families have current or historical ties to Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Nort...
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Taking Health Into Their Own Hands

Boston Women's Health Collective
In 1969, a group of women who were disillusioned with the paternalism of the medical establishment came together as the Boston Women's Health Collective. They pooled their knowledge in small working groups and produced a series of pamphlets which became Women and Their Bodies in 1971 and then Our Bodies, Ourselves, published in 1973, to inform women about a variety of health-related topics includi...
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Feminist Manifestos

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The manifesto has been an important genre for feminist writers because the form enables women’s voices to be heard at their most provocative, independent, irreverent, and demanding. Feminist manifestos are often short and pointed declarations of identity and politics that use radical rhetoric to upend the status quo of gender and sex. Whether they take the form of letters, brochures, pamphlets, or...
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Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller
  Wilma Pearl Mankiller (1945-2010), was born in Okalhoma. She was a tireless advocate for the Cherokee people, and she became the first female principle chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985. With a focus on improved healthcare and education systems, Mankiller served two full terms as Cherokee chief. She also founded the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department, which helped to...
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Gloria Steinem

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Gloria Steinem (b. 1934) is a feminist organizer, activist, writer and teacher. In 1972 she founded Ms. magazine with Dorothy Pittman Hughes—the cover image was a drawing with the caption, “Wonder Woman for President.” In 1968, she helped establish New York magazine, which first published the Ms. as a special edition. She published the important essay, “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation...
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Consciousness Raising

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In the context of 1970s feminism, consciousness-raising (CR) refers to the practice of discussing the varied and everyday effects of sexism, racism, and classism in groups of similarly identified individuals. The practice was a key political strategy for second wave feminists, as well as an opportunity for personal transformation. The goal was to uncover the ways patriarchy distorted all levels of...
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Black Power Feminism

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As a political practice Black Power feminism bridges black feminist thought and black power politics simultaneously. As a theory it embraces the central tenants of the Black Power movement including self-definition, political participation, and self defense while also prioritizing gender justice. Black Power feminism situates race and gender as equal parts in eradicating various forms of oppres...
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Eco-Feminism

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Feminist thinkers, focused on moving toward sex equality, turned their attention to the root causes of sexism and the oppression of women. In the process, thinkers and authors such as Carol Adams, Josephine Donovan, Greta Gaard, Vandana Shiva, Val Plumwood, Susan A. Mann and Marti Kheel unearthed common ground between feminists, environmentalists, and animal activists, connecting with and advancin...
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Undocuqueer Movement

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The UndocuQueer movement is a powerful network of queer undocumented immigrant activists organizing for the rights of undocumented youth and their families. UndocuQueer activists came to the U.S. as infants or children. UndocuQueers struggle for the right to work, live, and love in the country in which they were raised and educated. Without documentation, even those who have earned college degrees...
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Gloria Anzaldúa: Light in the Dark

Gloria Anzaldua
Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) is one of the most influential Chicana feminist thinkers of the twentieth century. Her visionary writing is key to the development of lesbian/queer theory and for theorizing writing by women of color. Once a member of the Feminist Writers Guild, Anzaldúa’s groundbreaking book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, published in 1987, rocked Women & Gender S...
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Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015)

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Because she was so involved with civil and labor rights, the FBI assigned to follow her decided she was at least, partially, black. But Grace Lee Boggs—born Grace Chin Lee—was Chinese American. Her activism defies categorization. At college, and later in graduate school, Boggs studied Hegel and Marx—she earned her Ph.D at Bryn Mawr. And with her advanced degree, she had trouble finding empl...
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Sojourners for Truth and Justice

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Inspired by the intersectional activism of Sojourner Truth a century before, Sojourners for Truth and Justice was a radical black women’s human rights organization during the height of the cold war’s Age of McCarthy. The group included Alice Childress, Shirley DuBois, Esther Cooper Jackson, Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Louise Thompson Patterson, and Mary Church Terrell. They advocated a blac...
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Sojourner Truth

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Although she was born into slavery, Sojourner Truth is among the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time,” according to Smithsonian. In 1826, Truth escaped New York slavery with her infant daughter; she later went to court to sue for the recovery of her son. In 1828, she became the first black woman in U.S. history to win a legal case against a white man. Born Isabella Baumfree, she named h...
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Borderlands, A Feminist Concept

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Soon after Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza was published (1987), the notion of ‘borderlands’ began to gain currency as key feminist theoretical concept with import across disciplines in the U.S. and beyond. It has indeed been recognized as the most important concept that the field of Latina/o Studies has contributed to cultural studies in the United States, Europe, and ...
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Shirley Clarke

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Shirley Clarke (October 2, 1919 – September 23, 1997) was a pioneer avant-garde filmmaker and early proponent of video. In 1963, her documentary about the poet Robert Frost won an Academy Award, yet the sexism of Hollywood made a feature film career there impossible. Clarke then moved to The Chelsea Hotel in New York City, divorced her husband, and spent the nineteen sixties making four feature fi...
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The First Black Woman Presidential Candidate

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  Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (1924-2005) made history when she became the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1969; she served 7 terms, ending in 1983. And in 1972, she became The First Black Woman to Run for President on the Democratic Party ticket. She won 152 votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Chisholm’s parents were...
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#ImWithHer

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While Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman in the United States to win the presidential nomination for a major political party, Victoria Woodhull is the first woman to run for President of the United States (POTUS).  She ran for office in 1872, forty-eight years before the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. In her acceptance speech, Clinton reminded her supporters that their “...
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Women Who Rock

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  Women Who Rock brings together scholars, musicians, media-makers, performers, artists, and activists to explore the role of women and popular music in the creation of cultural scenes and social justice movements in the Americas and beyond. This multifaceted endeavor reshapes conventional understandings of music and cultural production by initiating collective methods of research, ...
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The Center

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Empowering LGBT people, building strong community. New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center empowers people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates our diversity and advocates for justice and opportunity.  It is open 365 days a year.  
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National Organization for Women Foundation

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The National Organization for Women Foundation (“NOW Foundation”) is a 501(c) (3) organization devoted to achieving full equality for women through education and litigation. The Foundation focuses on a broad range of women’s rights issues, including economic justice, pay equity, racial discrimination, women’s health and body image, women with disabilities, reproductive rights and justice, f...
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Madre

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MADRE is an international women's human rights organization. We partner with community-based women's groups worldwide facing war and disaster -- our sister organizations. Our mission is to advance women’s human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. Our history is rooted in progressive movements for peace, justice and women’...
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Roe v. Wade

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1970 was the dawn of a decade of radical and swift change for women in the U.S., none more profound than the right to control whether and when to become a mother. That year, a Texas woman named Norma McCorvey—a poor former carny with addiction problems and two previous pregnancies (one daughter forcibly taken from her by her mother, the other placed for adoption)—found herself pregnant a third tim...
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#NotYourSidekick

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In 2013 Suey Park raised the profile of Asian American feminism in the digital age with her Twitter campaign. In one tweet, she writes that she’s “tired of patriarchy in Asian American spaces and sick of the racism in white feminism.” In another, she writes, “I’d rather base build with other Asian Americans than rely on allies, who have a history of being absent.” Park’s description of racism a...
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Protesting Miss America

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In 1968, four hundred women gathered at Atlantic City’s Miss America Pageant to protest what they called “ludicrous beauty standards” perpetuated by American culture. In front of television cameras ready to film the pageant as a major media event, Miss America Protesters seized the opportunity to criticize the “Madonna-Whore” messaging symbolized by the beauty pageant. In “No More Miss Amer...
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Transgender

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Frank Benson’s 3-D printed sculpture, Juilanna (2015), is a twenty-first century response to the marble sculpture Sleeping Hermaphroditus (1620) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In Benson’s work the model’s gaze, breasts, penis, and futuristic sheen challenge the fixed idea of “female.” Rather than on an abstracted or mythical figure, Benson modeled his sculpture on a real person, Juliana Huxtable, an Ame...
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