Column: End Oppression & Injustice Everywhere

March 10, 2023

Taj Donville-Outerbridge Bermuda June 21 2022[Opinion column written by Taj Donville-Outerbridge]

The past few years have been an especially trying time for marginalized groups everywhere. We have seen the rights of women being attacked, the rights of LGBTQ+ people being recalled, and the rights of immigrants being restricted amongst many others. The re-emergence of radical social conservatism and fascism in mainstream politics, largely starting with the election, and its lead up, of President Donald J Trump, has been rather astonishing to witness, but in the same breath, unsurprising. Unprecedented and largely unchecked ‘progress’ towards a more liberal future, will always be met with aggressive and obtuse opposition, often radicalizing and unifying those who do not by-in into this idea of what the future could, and arguably should, look like.

In response, those of us who believe in this more equitable and inclusive future must do the same. We must radically unify on all fronts to end oppression and injustice everywhere. It can no longer be acceptable for us to fight for the rights of some but not all. We can no longer just be women’s rights activists or LGBTQ+ rights activists, or even civil rights activists, we must all be human rights activists, unconditionally.

It is no secret that women’s rights movements have not been the most welcoming spaces and they have long been criticised for being very exclusive, only allowing certain voices to be heard. For example, the feminist movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was notoriously exclusive of women of colour, especially Black women, only using them when convenient but often refusing to take up issues related to race. While this movement did largely see success in achieving its aims, one cannot help but point out the hypocrisy that lies at its core.

To any reasonable person, it must surely seem absurd that in this century you can still fight for the rights of one group while simultaneously, ignoring, and in some cases championing against, the rights of another. Well, I have news for you, history is repeating itself as it does, with modern feminists questioning the womanhood of transgender women, often excluding their voices and needs from mainstream feminist activism. [To be clear and to put at ease any doubt…TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN! And that is wholeheartedly not up for debate.]

I would like to note that this phenomenon is not exclusive to women’s rights movements, almost all human rights movements have a long and well-documented history of being incredibly exclusive spaces. The fight for racial equity often excludes the unique needs of Black women and LGBTQ+ persons while the mainstream LGBTQ+ movement often excludes the needs of Black and transgender persons. But I wanted to highlight this pattern of exclusion to serve as foundation for my argument on dire need for us to embrace solidarity.

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Solidarity is a both key concept of activism and one of the greatest tools we can use to advocate for positive change. Solidarity is largely defined as a deep, holistic, and consistent commitment to a collective based on an active respect for difference. In laymen’s terms, solidarity refers to the practice of supporting movements with whom you may have no personal connection, based on the shared understanding that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” [- Martin Luther King Jr.].

We as human beings, always expect solidarity, but struggle to give it. This is understandable as we all think that the oppression and injustice that affects us directly is the most horrific. And thus, we tell ourselves that we cannot spare any resources to fight a war that’s not ours. While I’m certainly not going to argue about who’s oppression is worse, what I can say is that this is a majorly flawed philosophy for many reasons but especially because it completely ignores intersectionality.

Intersectionality, coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, refers to the idea that we all have various overlapping and inseparable identities that affect the way in which we experience and understand the world around us. If we understand that there are members of our community that share identities with various other communities, ensuring that our activism fundamentally includes them means also fighting for the rights of all other said communities. To put this into context, you cannot claim to fight for the rights of all women without also fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community or the Muslim community or the Black community as there are women who possess one or more of these identities. Hence, solidarity relies heavily on one’s understanding and appreciation of intersectionality.

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Intersectionality and solidarity are not only vital to the success of any individual movement, but they are the only tools through which we can end all oppression and injustice.

My call to action in this article is specifically directed at the government. You are hypocrites if you think it is okay to endorse, host, and participate in events for International Woman’s Day while you go completely silent during Pride Weekend. This is a huge disservice to the entire LGBTQ+ community but especially the women in the community as you are telling them that you only value and celebrate part of their being. They deserve better. We all deserve better. We all deserve a government that sees and values our entire person.
With that in mind, I’ll end with this…

  • If your anti-racism is not also feminist/womanist, anti-transphobic, and anti-homophobic, then we don’t want it.
  • If your feminism/womanism is not also anti-racist, anti-transphobic, and anti-homophobic, then we don’t want it.
  • If your LGBTQ+ activism, is not also feminist/womanist and anti-racist than we don’t want it.

We must all remember that while using the master’s tools of individualism, oppression, and separation may get you in the door, in great words of Audre Lorde, they will never dismantle the master’s house.

I call on everyone to utilize this opportunity to ‘willingly and enthusiastically accept, adopt, and espouse’ solidarity. #EmbraceEquity fundamentally means understanding intersectionality and utilizing solidarity.

- Taj Donville-Outerbridge is a Bermudian human rights activist and student studying at Kings College London. Most importantly, however, he is human. He can be reached via Instagram @_king.taj_ or via email @

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Comments (16)

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  1. Double s says:

    TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN! And that is wholeheartedly not up for debate

    Wrong. They are not women if they were you wouldn’t need to use the prefix trans before women.

    How arrogant to say that your opinion is not up for debate. Biggest flaw and turnoff of such activism.

    • S says:

      Before I could finish reading I copied that very phrase u started ur comment with. This person is exactly the problem. They care not for science but feelings and emotions.

      • .am says:

        ‘Woman’ is a social construct, not ‘science’. You’re conflating sex and gender.

        • Question says:

          The whole concept of gender is a scam. There are two sexes, and that’s it.

  2. question says:

    The fascism you’re talking about was seen earlier this week by Hayward, which was then defended by Burt. The last thing they want diversity. They actively hate a whole section of society.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “They actively hate a whole section of society.”

      Which section of society would that be? People like me or LGBTQ+ people or others?

      • iyiyi says:

        ” They actively hate whole sections of society ” may be more appropriate .

  3. LGBTQmember says:

    There is only 2 genders. MALE AND FEMALE. Everything else is your personality NOT your gender.

    • Nok says:

      I like that

    • RAINBOWDASH says:

      Agreed! And some of my LGBTQ friends get upset! Where the heck did these other genders come from all of a sudden? Why?? At the end of the day, if you have a V, you are a female and if you have a P, you are a male! Point blank PERIOD!!

    • S says:

      If u are an LGBTQ member I applaud u.

    • .am says:

      “There are only two genders!”
      *lists sexes*

  4. saud says:

    If you’re an LGBTQ Bermudian, best thing to do is leave. Bermudians hate differences, they hate ‘others’. This attitude is reinforced every day by your elected officials.
    Let Bermuda wallow in its bigotry and debt. LMFAO

    • s says:

      As a Bermudians I don’t hate others or differences but I do hate how certain groups are trying to project their personal opinions and beliefs on others as absolute truth or fact but its not. When a human being is born, the hospital has 2 gender choices. Male and female. ITS SIMPLE. Their belief or want to be’s or their ideology is something they want the majority to believe but it’ll never happen. Just because they feel like a woman and u want to have the body of one they never will. U can be gay but don’t tell me that flawed belief transgenders are who they say they are… not up for debate.

      • .am says:

        Male and female are sexes, not genders. You’re looking for boy/girl – and you’ll only see those on the little novelty cards, not in any official documentation.

        Think about it like race. You can ‘be’ 3/4 white and 1/4 black, but unless you look and pass as white, your lived experience won’t *be* white.