Intersectional feminism’s dictionary definition is ‘is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination or discrimination.’
Some feminists feel like they must include the word intersectional when they discuss their feminism, otherwise they are excluding all oppressed groups with the exception of white women.
Others argue that the term ‘intersectional feminism’ shouldn’t be used because if one’s feminism isn’t intersectional, then it just isn’t feminism.
Anika Latortue, a 19-year-old UF accounting sophomore, agrees with the latter argument.
“There’s only one kind of feminism, that’s just feminism,” she said. “That is fighting for women’s rights, all kinds of women.”
However, Latortue will use the term ‘white feminism‘ when feminists only focus on white women’s issues.
She said some people tend to skim over the problems minorities face instead of recognizing the differences between white and minority women.
“Obviously, America is still very racist,” she said. “I think the differences are subtle.”
An example of this subtle racism, she said, is when she’ll have to change her hairstyle for a job interview because her natural black hair is seen as ‘unprofessional.’
Latortue said she sees how she is expected to act a certain level of white in order to be taken seriously. She must talk, act and have a name like someone who is white, and this is an issue.
Growing up, her mother always told her she must work four times as hard as everyone else because she is a black women, and Latortue said that’s still true today.
But some still argue with her that her success is only due to her diversity and things like Affirmative Action.
“I know I’m doing everything I can in the best of my abilities,” she said.
Latortue came to UF because of its well ranked accounting program, but she almost decided to go different school because of it’s low diversity.
Since moving to Gainesville, she said she noticed the city itself is majority white, which makes it’s harder to find her niche here.
But despite the struggles, she has made the city her temporary home.
“No matter what anyone wants to say, I know that I belong here.”