Intersectionality Week: Summary

Posted 24 January 2021
Cas, Social Mobility and Class Rep, summarises what we've learnt from Intersectionality Week.
Cas, Social Mobility and Class Rep, summarises what we've learnt from Intersectionality Week.

 

As the week draws to a close, I hope that students and staff have found the information useful and that the awareness around these intersectional issues has aided in furthering understanding. These blogs are statements to not only past issues but ongoing issues that people of these communities STILL face to this day on the regular. You may get ‘tired’ of hearing people complaining about their treatment and rights, well imagine how tired we as an intersected community are of dealing with discrimination!

The right to equal rights shouldn’t be a privilege. 

 

Throughout this week in summary, we have covered:

 

  • Social mobility and class in terms of gentrification, demonization of the working class, class privilege, social mobility realities and key historical timelines. 

  • LGBT+ issues in relation to historical timelines, forced intersex operations, Brexit’s impact on trans access to treatment/clinics and the importance of intersectional solidarity.

  • Disabled students' struggles with poverty and disability; higher cost of living, employment rates and the correlation between wealth and standard of life. 

  • BAME experiences within the differing education systems, accessibility to the workplace, intersectionality of being BAME and female as well as LGBT+.

  • Working women’s experience through COVID-19, the gender wage gap as well as period poverty.

  • The importance of foundation year as a gateway to education to increase social mobility and stigma around the year

  • The realities of the care system and impact on life of being offered little to no support from such background despite its enormous impact
     

We must remain educated as a community on the issues our fellow students are going through. The difference between equality and equity is a vital distinction which we must preserve in order to give fair opportunities and support. It is not simply enough to give all students a one fits all support; all needs are individual and must be met as such. Not with hostility to improvements of our support but compassion. We are all humans simply trying to succeed and survive in life. 

There has been a recent example of such within the week. Following the key issues, I spoke about on Monday’s blog around the issues of the working class and demonisation of such we have been provided by a living, fresh example. Following COVID-19, furlough and closure of schools, many parents have been issued with lunch supply boxes containing £30 worth of food for the whole week. These are meal boxes which are for children of less fortunate families to ensure they do not starve. Unfortunately, these meal boxes as I’m certain many have seen on social media and news are extremely malnourished in terms of vitamins necessary, as well as ridiculously sized for £30. When criticism arose around why these meal packs are liked this, simply putting it, pathetic comments came back from upper middle-class people in media. These comments being blatant further demonisation of the working class, even in 2021, even in a literal pandemic and even in such a depressing time where those of such standing should be sympathising with our starving future generation and NOT ridiculing their class. Comments pertaining to such of if meal boxes were switched for vouchers the parents would simply spend it on “cigarettes and scratch cards". A disgusting stereotype of criticising the working-class as being “scummy” and only being there as their wealth is spent on such items. Despite these disgusting comments and the absolute absurdity of these boxes, many stood in solidarity to show what shopping on such a budget could actually get you for such amount. The communities stood together and incited public outrage against these lunches and grotesque comments. It is with this solidarity that the people’s voices were finally listened to.

Concluding on this week: we must remain in solidarity with our communities and stand together if we wish for true equity. Despite your background, despite your social class and despite whatever category you fall into we are all part of the same race- the human race. Though our struggles make us differentiate and some privilege may make you feel too detached; use your privilege to help those less privileged. Stand by your peers, fight social injustices and do not let equity be silenced. It is in these times the aid of our allies are essential to progression and it is as a community we can truly progress to a better future. 

I employ you to take part in the survey being released soon to share what you’ve learnt from this week and give general feedback. 

Thank you for engaging in our week, I truly hope it was an educational week which can help better understanding of intersectionality. Remember what you learnt this week and make sure to use it to be a better ally.

Article Categories