By which I mean that it is not inherently or always feminist. Unlike other posts, I think I can keep this point short:
If intersectionality is an examination of how two experiences/identities interact, then when neither of those experiences/identities is woman and/or female, it is difficult to see how one might guarantee that the examination is feminist in any meaningful way. Remembering that intersectionality is not only the examination of marginalized experiences and identities, we could read a meaningful examination of any of the following without encountering feminism per se:
Black and Christian
Jewish and immigrant
Disabled and heterosexual
Asexual and queer
As I have explained elsewhere, intersectionality was born of Critical Legal Theory, which discipline has its origins in anti-racism, not feminism. Although the originator of the term, metaphor, and theory (Kimberlé Crenshaw) did so while examining legal cases of specific import to Black women and thus is as feminist in its birth as it is anti-racist, still intersectionality is something else. It could not be intersectionality if it was only about gender and sex, nor could it be intersectionality as we’ve come to understand that term if it was always inclusive of gender and sex.
The essence of intersectional thought is looking at how membership in one category affects one’s experience of belong to (or existing within) another category. It is liminal thought, as Gloria Anzaldúa might say. Too often we speak of intersectionality as a theory that “belongs” to feminism, but this notion both relies on a simplified, frequently erroneous history as well as a drastic limitation of intersectionality’s scope and potential.
Phrasing is important here, I think. You’re right, but “not feminist” and “not necessarily feminist” have very different connotations – and I think it is important to note that while a particular intersectional analysis does not necessarily encounter feminism, it is NEVER anti-feminist, i.e. is always compatible with sexism being one of the axes of oppression.
Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says
No, if it is intersectional in the sense meant my Crenshaw, it is never anti-feminist. That’s absolutely true.