Behind the blue shutters
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Throughout western history, people feared what they did not know; anything considered different made society feel uncomfortable. Humans have been conditioned to dislike differences and stay away from them. Because of this, western culture tends to ostracize people different from them and focus on similarities among themselves. Even though several social movements surrounded around equality molds American history, the tendency to think in binaries prevails. Humans see oppositional categorizing as essential; a person is boy or girl, black or white, straight or gay; the amounts of binaries are endless. Not only does society place individuals into opposing groups, they also exclude each other within those groups. Intragroup differences go unaddressed, especially in social movements. However, the study of intersectionality emphasizes the importance of accepting differences as differences and forming genuine empathetic relationships with people of different identities. According to popular belief, third wave feminism gave birth to intersectionality, but with close examination of the waves of western feminism, one sees how the ideas associated with intersectionality date back to the abolitionist movement.
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