[A version of this content was originally presented at a Roots of Justice workshop at the Wild Goose Festival, June 2014.]
Human identities are multifaceted and complex.
We each have multiple aspects to our social locations, and each of these aspects can empower or disempower us.
Power is complex and shifting, personal and structural.
Holding multiple disempowered social location categories multiplies and reinforces the disempowerment.
Identity descriptors can be imposed, in ways persons would not claim as their true identities, and those false identities can disempower.
The experience of oppression is visited upon particular bodies in particular ways.
Societal oppressions cause emotional, physical and spiritual harm, that is reinforced over generations. (E.g.: Black women have lower quality outcomes with breast cancer. Epigenetics illustrates damage to DNA inherited from people experiencing oppression. Gender variant and trans* people experience physical violence in disproportionate numbers.)
Societal oppressions limit access to the goods of society, including housing, work, health care, community, lowering quality of life and life expectancy.
Oppressions can intersect and solidify in social structures, becoming reinforced and exacerbated as they multiply. Harm accumulates with multiplication of disempowered social location characteristics.
Liberation movements can and do perpetuate oppression and injustice (i.e. racist anti-sexism, heterosexist anti-racism, etc.)
Single-axis analyses do not represent and cannot transform the lived reality of people who are multiply oppressed