CRT2 S1 Ep6: Intersectionality and Violence Against Women


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This episode of CRT2 spotlights the struggles and fights of marginalized women of color against the backdrop of political and social movements which have taken place in the U.S. and across the globe. The episode spotlights three different struggles that marginalized women of color have experienced and continue to experience.

First, we discuss recent actions taken by women in Mexico to push for protection against all kinds of violence. These actions were sparked by both the January 2020 murder of Isabel Cabanillas, a 26 year-old designer, artist and women’s rights activist in Ciudad Juarez, and President Andres Lopez Obrador’s defense of Félix Salgado Macedonio who had been accused by several women of rape and sexual assault in early 2021. In response, thousands of Mexican women took to the streets in protest, and over 2,500 women signed a letter demanding President Lopez Obrador to create a national plan of protection for Mexican women against violence.

Next, we discuss the long saga of R. Kelly’s sexual assault allegations from Black girls and women, and the radical actions Black women have taken to seek justice when the traditional legal system has failed to provide it. Lastly, this episode discusses the #SayHerName movement which was formed to address the lack of attention given to Black women victims of police violence. We touch on how this lack of attention is partly the result of the “adultification” of Black women that causes them to not be seen as victims when they are harmed.

We analyze these three stories using the Critical Race Theory concept of “intersectionality,” which was developed by Columbia and UCLA Law Professor Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989. The purpose of intersectionality is to capture and describe how race, class, gender and other individual characteristics “intersect” to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. The harms marginalized women of color experience are most poignantly analyzed with an intersectional lens that considers all of the intersecting identities that make them vulnerable to forms of oppression.

Trigger Warning – This episode and its description contain discussions of gender-based violence, including murder, rape, sexual assault and trauma.

Episode Details

Released: September 5, 2022

Length: 25:52


Written, edited and produced by Alice Chan, Marica Wright and Maria de la Cruz Rodriguez Martinez.


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Danielle McGuire, Opinion: Black Women Led the Charge Against R. Kelly. They’re Part of a Long Tradition, The Washington Post (Feb. 26, 2019).
dream hampton, Opinion: R. Kelly’s Been Convicted. Now It’s Time to Focus on the Safety and Future of Survivors, The Washington Post (Sept. 28, 2021).
Ed Vulliamy, Why Did She Have to Die? Mexico’s War on Women Claims Young Artist, The Guardian (Feb. 11, 2020).
Jane Coaston, The Intersectionality Wars, Vox (May 28, 2019).
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Marisa Iati, Jennifer Jenkins, & Sommer Brugal, Nearly 250 Women have been Fatally Shot by Police Since 2015, The Washington Post (Sept. 4, 2020).
Mónica Ortiz Uribe, Activist Decry Feminicides after Another Woman is Killed in Juarez, Mexico, NPR,(Jan. 26, 2020).
Paul Butler, Opinion: Why Didn’t Black Men Support Black Women Against R. Kelly the Way Black Women Support Us, The Washington Post (Oct. 6, 2021).
#SayHerName, African American Policy Forum.
Shearon Roberts, Black Women & The Labor of Racial Justice Movements, U. Southern Cal. Public Diplomacy Blog (Mar. 30, 2021).
Treva Lindsey, Black Women Have Consistently Been Trailblazers for Social Change. Why Are They So Often Relegated to the Margins?, Time (Jul. 22, 2020).


Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social Justice

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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CRT2 S1 Ep6: Intersectionality and Violence Against Women