BIPOC Explored Week I

As a placement student at the Durham Rape Crisis Centre; I am afforded certain opportunities that I genuinely want to take advantage of. Our world houses a myriad of subjects with relation to women that I would relish a poetic study of; BIPOC women more specifically, and enough content for a layer cake extended latter to the moon. As with everything in my life, it always comes back to poetry for me. I find the language to allow for more lush imagery that regular articles do not tend to support. This initial 52-week study began on March 11, 2021 and was to last only a year however, as I feel exploring BIPOC issues are not only essential to diversity and also require the acknowledgement.

“Intersectionality is the concept that all oppression is linked. More explicitly, the Oxford Dictionary defines intersectionality as “the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage”. Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression, and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc. First coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw back in 1989, intersectionality was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2015 with its importance increasingly being recognised in the world of women’s rights (Taylor, 2019).”

For the first week, I have selected the Theory of Intersectionality Founder; Kimberlé Crenshaw who also happens to be an: American Lawyer, Civil Rights Advocate, prominent Philosopher of critical race theory, and a full-time professor at UCLA Law School. Kindly note my preceding list of all the various facets of Kimberlé’s life, how they all tie in so nicely with the theory she tenderly cultivated. Theory of Intersectionality allows us to view humans from more than one lens, no cookie cutter components all organic fabrications of our makeup. Perspective makes this theory important; this knowledge allows us as human beings to understand that we are truly multilayered beings; which is equally true in a clinical environment with clients. As a Social Service Worker and future Behavioural Scientists; I appreciate this theory on a myriad of levels. Not only does it focus on the individual traits that create a human; also their mannerisms and habits. Think about this way, start with a macro point, there are many humans on this earth, each being has characteristics that overlap on top of themselves individually, and tie that into the micro dissection of a human’s essence.

As a woman, I am a: wife, mother, Lebanese born Palestinian, student, poet/writer, first language as French with a bit of Arabic; all of these individually are plain Jane. However, if we bring them together not only do you have a complete human; moreover, there are various perspectives of thought according to those roles. Each one requires study; as a multidimensional being. There are of course other things that require consideration: age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion/faith or spirituality/philosophy, physical appearance, height, weight, disorders, addictions, and caste. Crenshaw’s Theory of Intersectionality puts a name to something so simple; that houses the potential to make a huge difference in someone’s post-trauma recovery life. To be considered a full human being by workers in all Medical and Mental Health fields allows for a genuine study; in order to gain a better understanding with regard to potential courses of treatments and post-trauma-safety-plans. How well would we be able to empower our clients; a one-dimensional linear view does not condone a course of action that is authentically conducive to a better life.

It’s brilliant really; a big picture down to the small micro detail that could make the big difference between truly helping another human being and possibly re-victimising them. The Theory of Intersectionality should be studied by all students in all caregiver roles as this knowledge is incredibly important. For more information on BIPOC explored check out the project here!

Pinwheel Sunburst

Is saying I am worthless?
    various factors identify
          the tattered edges that bind
              our intimate tapestries
   
  a cross on a page
          two simple lines
               intersect
    now for the whimsy
        another cross placed
             on the previous
                  and shifted 45 degrees
            multiply by a Googleplex

  it’s there look
          can you see it?
     a pinwheel, magnificent
         windmill that cycles
               with each of Luna’s phases
            now, imagine all the arms
                  out stretched

     each extended appendage
        into the abyss of
           sky
             ocean
               or earth

    roots have the capacity
       to house wings – individually
              all feather points
     around the circumference
         not only a different hue
             also characteristic
 
    millions
           and millions
       of traits
            await
                any terrain   
References
Taylor, B. (2020, October 15). Intersectionality 101: what is it and why is it important? Womankind Worldwide. https://www.womankind.org.uk/intersectionality-101-what-is-it-and-why-is-it-important/

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