8 Bernie Sanders Quotes That Prove Intersectional Feminism Has Always Been His Thing

Feminism isn't just about women's rights anymore. It's developed into an approach of identifying, analyzing, and seeking to dissolve various forms of oppression. This is what we mean by intersectional feminism, and it incorporates not only the struggles and needs of women, but people of color, people in poverty, and the LGBT community as well. This approach enables us to see how different forms of oppression can overlap, and how people who have a certain amount of privilege in one respect may also be subjected to harm in another. Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gets today's feminism.

Sanders has been in political office since 1981; he served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont until 1989, won Vermont's at-large seat the House of Representatives in 1990, and was then elected the Senate in 2006. His political career, as with his current presidential campaign, is best known for its message of economic justice, involving wealth redistribution and a host of policies to lift the lower and middle classes (on the dime of the richest, of course).

Throughout his career, and his time as an activist beforehand, Sanders has done more than just focus on class. His record also features strong showings of support for minorities, LGBT individuals, and women.

Sanders on Racial Justice

Sanders released a statement in December following the Texas grand jury's ruling of no felony charges for those who were working when Sandra Bland died in custody:

Sanders had a rocky start with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement early on in his campaign in 2015. Many BLM activists felt that Sanders was reducing racial injustice to economic injustice, failing to see the unique role race plays in the criminal justice system. But he's come around.

Sanders continues to discuss the fact that blacks and Latinos are disproportionately affected by unemployment, but he has incorporated more discussion of racism into his speeches. Another quote, from a speaking event at the University of Houston:

His racial justice platform reflects his expanded understanding of the issue.

Sanders on LGBT Rights

Sanders marched in the gay pride parade as Mayor of Burlington in the '80s. He caught a lot of flak from angry community members in local papers, according to Seven Days VT, but his support for the gay community was unwavering. In 1985, he wrote:

Sanders has more recently been part of efforts in the Senate to include both sexual orientation and gender identity as federally protected categories against housing, employment, and credit discrimination. He tweeted in September 2015:

Also, check out Sanders wiling out on a fellow representative in 1995 for using the phrase "homos in the military":

TheBuzzardAndTheWorm on YouTube


Sanders on Women's Rights

After fellow Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy led the effort to renew the Violence Against Women Act in 2012, Sanders released the following statement, saying that he wants efforts to go further:

And Sanders has been a staunch supporter of reproductive rights. He tweeted in August 2015:

He has also highlighted how his economic proposals will help women be more economically self-sufficient and balance the responsibilities of work and family:

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In both policy and word, Sanders has shown support for those subjected to various forms of oppression throughout his political career. The term "intersectional feminism" may be fairly new, but its spirit has shown through Sanders' politics for decades.

Image: Tina Gong/Bustle