Why we need intersectionality in Ghanaian feminist politics and discourses

Abstract: Several African scholars have theorized about the evolution of feminist movements on the continent but there has been little focus on the importance of employing an intersectional feminist framework to understanding and unpacking feminist discourses in Africa. Through an intersectionality framework, I map the evolution of feminist discourses in Ghana paying attention to the gaps in feminist theory and praxis. I review feminist discourses to discuss the relationship between earlier feminist movements and contemporary feminist movements highlighting the gaps in the work done by these movements. I argue that to truly embody a radical praxis in African feminist politics, it is imperative that we employ an intersectional lens and framework to ensure that feminist topics that have historically been pushed to the periphery are centered in our theory and praxis. I critically analyze the discourses in contemporary feminist movements that are especially visible on digital media and proffer recommendations on how their work can embody an intersectional praxis. While digital media provides a platform for voices that would ordinarily be excluded in discussions on feminist activism, it is imperative to pay attention to how these platforms are utilized by activists to (in)advertently exclude the most marginalized from their feminist politics and discourses. Ultimately, I demonstrate what an intersectional approach to feminist activism and praxis should look like. By applying an intersectionality framework to understanding African feminist discourses, we open ourselves up to driving feminism theory and praxis toward emancipatory interventions. This study draws attention to the importance of centering historically marginalized groups in mainstream Ghanaian feminist discourses.

This is What a Feminist (Game) Looks Like.

As video games become an increasingly mass medium — not intended for niche audiences but deployed with different genres, styles, and platforms — it is an apt time to rethink the role of feminism in gaming. Feminism, as it is deployed in this paper, considers feminism as discursive, exceeding “women” as its subject, per Judith Butler, and is instead about how systems facilitate emancipation (Butler, 1990). In this way, I consider three categories of how we can think about what a feminist game might look like: (1) technological deployment, (2) game mechanics, (3) game narratives. Using Kimberlé  Crenshaw’s (1989) designation of “intersectionality” (ie, the interdependence of systems of oppression), I break down the feminism inherent in games such as Stardew Valley, Life is Strange, and Monument Valley.  This approach of considering the feminism of games that already exist allows us to be forward-looking at the future of the medium as well as the future of the industry.