WLS Presents Intersectionality Week

Laura Lively
Class of 2017

Welcome to the annual WLS-sponsored edition of The Voice!

I am going to give you a little bit of background on Intersectionality Week and why WLS decided to do things a little bit differently this year. The WLS Executive Board, along with the Vagina Monologues Board, has been working on Intersectionality Week since the beginning of the school year, and we have really enjoyed watching this week come together successfully.

In years past, WLS has sponsored programming during what has been called Vagina Week (connected to our yearly production of The Vagina Monologues) that is centered on a particular issue faced by women. Additionally, all proceeds from the production of the Vagina Monologues have gone toward supporting an organization that benefits that issue. Past examples include Laura’s House, which benefits domestic violence survivors, and Planned Parenthood of SB and OC, which helps the women of Orange County and San Bernardino obtain affordable reproductive healthcare.

This year, the WLS Board wanted to expand the focus of the discussion beyond a single issue. Instead, WLS aspired to a week of programming focusing on the nuances of feminism and activism, a week that acknowledges the intricacies and fluidity of identity, and programming that emphasizes the layering and intersections of forms of oppression. In another respect, WLS wanted to re-frame the discussion inward. We wanted a week of programming that would allow for self-reflection, even reflection on our own student organization’s effectiveness at meeting the needs of our membership. Finally, WLS and the Vagina Monologues Board wanted a week of programming and a show that would benefit our school for years to come. That is why this year the proceeds of the production of The Vagina Monologues will go to the UCI Law Reproductive Justice Clinic.

Our goal for this week’s programming has been two-fold: (1) We want to foster a tradition of collaboration between UCI Law student organizations that reflects the reality of how often our goals, experiences, and priorities intersect and (2) we want to create spaces for UCI Law students to learn from one another and have meaningful conversations about the issues that are important to each of our student organizations.

I hope you have learned something and enjoyed yourself at Intersectionality Week events this week. In the future, I hope that WLS will continue the acknowledgment of each woman’s unique life experiences. I hope that WLS will always aspire to a nuanced feminism and will pursue an agenda focused on collaboration with other student organizations. Finally, I hope WLS will remain committed to meeting the intellectual and social needs of the WLS membership. Thank you for a great week!