Vitamin Stree hits out at oppression and intersectional feminism
In the latest episode of Scratching the Surface, Vitamin Stree tries to break down the concept of intersectional feminism.
In a country like India where people of different cultural, ethnic, social and sexual identities co-exist, there is an even greater need to understand intersectionality and how it is affecting the Indian landscape. Intersectionality talks about the crossroads at which two identities meet, for eg, a Dalit woman’s identity stands at the intersection of gender and caste. Intersectional feminism however, tries to identify the oppressions which a gender might face because of the different identities they live with; hence a dalit woman in India, faces more oppression than an average upper class, higher caste women. In fact, a 2018 UN report stated their life expectancy to be 14.6 years lesser than that of a higher caste woman. It’s not just caste, though- gender ends up intersecting with a lot of identities, for eg, sexuality, religion, ability etc, hence multiplying those oppressions with each other.
Vitamin Stree knows that they too come from a place of privilege and have done their best to keep it in check. So, rather than speaking about experiences they've not had personally, they turned the mic over to 4 amazing women - Tanzila Anis Khan, Prachi Sharda, Dharti Patel, Neenu Kewlani to voice their video
Pooja Das Sarkar, Director, remarked, "It's hard enough to talk about feminism without getting some kind of backlash from people. But it's harder to really look within and check your own privilege even when you are talking about equal rights for women because we form a blind spot about it. Here is where intersectionality comes in - how other parts of one's identity - religion, caste, sexuality or ability also add to the marginalisation that one faces along with one's identity as a woman. The challenge was to explain this in terms that are easy to understand and break down the complexity of the issue without losing the meaning. We hope the "What is Intersectionality" video starts more nuanced conversations around gender and feminism in the Indian context.”