Intersectionality of Inclusivity


Inclusive design means being mindful of all of these spaces that fall under this giant umbrella. Each of these "bubbles" hold its own set of challenges and is home to many unresolved problems. Instead of focusing on each individual sector, I think it is best to see how they relate to each other and find the points of intersectionality.

For example, there are very different stereotypes applied to an African-American woman or an Asian woman. The stereotype for an attractive African-American woman is usually some sort of hyper-sexuality and this is known as Jezebel which arose during times of slavery. The logic here is because African-American women always craved sex, they could not be raped and this defense was often used by slave masters to defend their actions.

On the other hand, Asian women are seen as exotic and submissive women, which seems like the better end of the deal right? Unfortunately, being submissive means that the stereotype imagines Asian women as naturally deferential to a "higher" authority--even when consent is not given. Combine that with the imagined fantasies of the exotic East and a dash of alluring aesthetics--you have a sexually violent depiction of Asian women bodies as “less than” human curiosities. They are exotic--therefore other. They are submissive--therefore good for sexual purposes.

I have barely scratched the surface of these two stereotypes and I can't possibly do it justice with these few sentences but you can start to imagine the complexities and how different each experience is for each group. Now add another layer of minority and you will have very real human beings who deals with these issues on a daily basis. For example, as an African-American lesbian would have a very different experience than a Asian transgender woman. They are both in minority groups but the challenges that is presented to their respective groups are very different. 

Irene Ti