NEW YORK CITY, New York — Starting as a hashtag six years ago in the booming metropolis of Buenos Aires, #NiUnaMenos, or “Not One Less,” has fought for the rights of women of all identities. The movement describes itself as fighting femicide, or the brutality, violence and oppression that women face around the world. The Guardian reported, “Latin America remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for women.” #NiUnaMenos adopts an intersectional approach to fighting gender-based violence and oppression.
Intersectionality: More Than A BuzzWord
In recent years, “intersectionality” has become a popular buzzword when referring to social justice issues. Intersectionality is also one of the most important frameworks for understanding the many layers of oppression that marginalized people face. The term was originally coined by critical race theory scholar and Columbia Law School Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Crenshaw combined the ideas of feminists before her into one word for easier understanding.
Moreover, Crenshaw defined intersectionality in 2017 as “a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things.” Crenshaw is highlighting how some people face multiple oppressions for their identities, while some face singular oppression, and some face no oppression. Recognizing issues as multi-layered is an important part of any movement.
#NiUnaMenos’s intersectional approach recognizes the diversity of female identities and their subsequent oppression. This is what makes it such a powerful movement against femicide. With this understanding of intersectionality, it is now easy to see the ways in which the movement embodies this word. Although the term has become a buzzword, it represents more than that. Intersectionality runs deep in its representation of women’s struggles around the world.
The Fight For Impoverished Women
As #NiUnaMenos began as a hashtag, it has partnered its action and protest with newer hashtags. One of them stated “#LibresYDesendeudadasNosQueremos,” meaning “We Want Us Free and Without Debt.” This shows how the movement fights against the poverty that women face, and ultimately reveals how poverty is an issue in the fight for gender equality.
Additionally, Argentina has faced historically high debt in recent years, which #NiUnaMenos finds to be a feminist issue. Cecelia Palmeiro, the woman behind #NiUnaMenos, told Al Jazeera that “since the government of Macri produced this debt, the largest debt in the history of Argentina, one of our principal areas of interest is the relationship between state debt, private debt and machista violence.” Palmeiro’s belief in the connection between debt and gender-based violence demonstrates how the movement is dedicated to the intersectional relationship between gender and class that Crenshaw has referred to.
A Nod To Pride Month
Annually, June is known in the United States as “Pride Month.” This is a month where people who are part of the LGBTQI+ community rally celebrate and commemorate their identities. Global Voices reported that #NiUnaMenos is “now encompassing an LGBTI+ perspective” in its movement. This is yet another example of #NiUnaMenos’s commitment to all marginalized women, including those in the LGBTQI+ community.
#NiUnaMenos is an important movement doing work to eradicate gender-based violence and oppression. The movement’s commitment to understanding the intersections of female oppression reveals the desire to free all women. Ultimately, #NiUnaMenos incorporates an important understanding of female realities into action and empowering others to do so too.
– Sebastian Fell