This clip relates to Kimberle Crenshaw’s article on intersectionality in American culture. In this clip, Jess, the young Punjabi Sikh soccer aficionado gets a talking to from her parents for violating religious, cultural, and gender norms.
For this movie, a white feminist interpretation is not sufficient. While one might try to analyze Jess’s religiously and racially inflicted limitations separate from those imposed on her by sexism, it is not possible. Her cultural Punjabi Sikh identity polices her gender in a way that white women would not be familiar with, even if they recognized analogous experiences. Her mother criticizes her for being “half naked” in front of boys, referring to Jess’s soccer attire.
Though many young women of all races have been told to cover up by adults before, the context is entirely unique to Jess’s racial and religious identity. If one flattened the skin-covering pressures from Jess’s mom to simply normal slut shaming, they would lose sight of how Jess is dually pressured by her race/religion, and her gender, in a way white women are not. While white women can look to Jess’s story and read it specifically for relations to their gender, this does not work in the opposite direction.