Part of the Process: Moving Past Feminism
The importance of intersectionality means going beyond feminism.
"Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or have been off the grid for the past week, you’ve seen Nike’s new ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the controversial NFL player who took a knee for something he believed in–or how we like to call it, the Ad That Shook The World.
Nike's ad with Colin Kaepernick that shook the world.
We love seeing big companies like Nike creating ad campaigns whose goals aren't merely profit-seeking, but to inspire generations, incite change, and spark conversation. Now, we don’t want to say that Nike took a page out of our book, but maybe, just maybe, a Nike executive happened to stumble across our Call for Models campaign, or our Women’s Development Sponsorship and took notes... I guess we’ll never know.
All kidding aside, Nike’s latest ad has created an exciting buzz all over the world, and will undoubtedly lead to more meaningful campaigns that help promote equity.
Our Women’s Development Sponsorship is something that we at VC wholeheartedly believe in and we’ve taken great pride in offering the sponsorship. Providing equitable support to women's teams is a necessity for our sport and we’re glad we can help.
But how can we be better? After the WFDF Women in Sport Commission workshops at WUCC, Adriana started thinking more about our sponsorship activities and our overall values at VC. Leading up to this point, our focus has been on feminism and growing women’s ultimate around the world, but the workshops made us think more about our own privilege and how deep it really goes. After much inner reflection, we’ve decided it’s time to transition from feminism to intersectionality.
Simply put, intersectionality is a concept used to describe ways in which oppressive institutions are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. In other words, intersectionality considers that various forms of social labeling, such as class, race, sexual orientation, age, disability and gender, do not exist separately from each other but are interwoven together. (This is a VERY watered definition, but we encourage everyone to read more about intersectionality.)
Our first step to focusing on intersectionality is this: we are evolving the Women’s Development Sponsorship. In its new form, we’d like to introduce the Equity and Development Sponsorship. This sponsorship will mirror the Women’s Development Sponsorship, but the key difference is this: any marginalized group can apply and will be accepted.
We are still learning. This step towards intersectionality has led us down a road less travelled and we are unsure what we’ll come across on our journey, but we know that it’s the right choice.
It’s like the ad says: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” While we don’t think that our focus on equitable action is a sacrifice, we do know that our focus on promoting women’s teams and development has lead to interesting imbalances in our customer profiles. There’s always a risk when you take a stand (like the mom who said she’d get her school team to switch providers when we move to non-binary sizing), but that risk is worth it to us.
This is just the first step towards equity–stay tuned for more information on how we will push for intersectionality.