On International Women’s Day (Thursday, March 8) I was lucky enough to attend Angela Davis’ keynote speech on feminism and the systems that resist it. I had heard Davis speak in such documentaries as The 13th, where I heard her speak about the industrial prison complex for the first time. During her speech, Angela touched on many key points the biggest for me being the idea of white feminism and our society’s attempt to input feminism into pre-existing structures. On white feminism, Davis touched on the idea of a glass ceiling which holds all women inside. If we allow only the most affluent women to succeed and break through that ceiling, that does nothing for the marginalized women at in the bottom of the box. When we, however, lift up all women we not only lift those at the bottom, but those at the top as well breaking that ceiling as a group rather than just for the elite. For feminist views to break into the mainstream however, we must taken a feminist approach to what we do, not meaning a women’s only approach but one that includes equality, and diversity and does not allow men to grant women rights, but for women to make our own. As mentioned in the textbook, asking men for the right to vote may be a victory, but only one that comes at the hands of men who hold our fate.
Lastly, Davis took questions many of which were in regards to intersectionality. Before this ECS 110 class I had not thought much about intersectionality and the way that multiple minority groups mixed into one person could result in more oppression. Looking at the whole person, and in this case the whole woman will help us better serve each other and free our women from the prison that tells us we do not hold the same power as men.