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Ch. 6 IDENTITY. A. Differences Among Women (& Men) & the Problem of Intersectionality Devon Carbado, UCLA.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch. 6 IDENTITY. A. Differences Among Women (& Men) & the Problem of Intersectionality Devon Carbado, UCLA."— Presentation transcript:


2 A. Differences Among Women (& Men) & the Problem of Intersectionality Devon Carbado, UCLA

3 A. Differences Among Women (& Men) & the Problem of Intersectionality Mitu Gulati, Duke

4 A. Differences Among Women (& Men) & the Problem of Intersectionality The Fifth Black Woman 80 person firm, 20 partners (2 black men, 3 white women); 60 associates (15 women: 2 black, 2 Asian American, 1 Latina, 10 white);(45 men: 2 black, 2 Latino, 3 Asian American, 38 white) 6 recommended for partner, 4 voted to accept (3 men {W, Asian, black}; 1 white woman)

5 The Fifth Black Woman Mary, black woman, sues under Title VII Disparate treatment, race, sex, race + sex (combined, “compound”); no direct evidence of prohibited animus, only circumstantial Tr. Ct grants firm’s summary jdgmt motion – 2 black partners participated in vote, neither of whom suggested discriminatory motive; likewise women partners participated & none suggested bad motive Compound claim not cognizable, per T7 legis. history. Rogers v. American Airlines, (‘81). See Caldwell, A Hair Piece, p. 575 (Duke ‘91)

6 The Fifth Black Woman – Problem of essentialism; Mary’s sex can’t be isolated from her race & vice versa. Change hypo; predominately white elite corporate firm (5 black women up for partnership, only Mary rejected) See pp. 572-73 – Was she similarly situated to those who made partner, so no discrimination? – Discrimination based on identity performance? (hair, dress, internal behavior re firm culture, social identity, education, marital status, residence, personal & professional affiliations

7 The Fifth Black Woman Q: What is relationship between identity performance & workplace discrimination? Actionable under Title VII? Working Identity: employee who’s aware that employer’s identity-based assumptions about her at odds w/ institutional norms & criteria incentivized to develop strategy to comfort supervisors/colleagues about negative workplace standing. “Comfort Strategies” Carbado & Gulati “Covering to downplay identity” Kenji Yoshino, n. 10 Examples of such strategies? Costs to employee? Impact on Workplace?

8 N. 2 The Intersectionality Critique Rogers v. American Airlines, (S.D.N.Y.‘81)(desk agent fired for violating race-neutral policy policy prohibiting braided hair, “corn rows”. Paulette Caldwell, A Hair Piece, (Duke L. Rev. ‘91) excerpt p. 575: worldwide, black women braid their hair; as black American as sweet potato pie. Cicely Tyson wore as political act to Academy Awards.

9 Alex Halley, Roots Miniseries Cisely Tyson & Maya Angelou

10 Richard Ford’s response Part of race & cultural politics in mid-to-late ‘70s – Era when Richmond & Chicago had 1 st black mayors, gave rise to Croson v. Richmond, Adarand Quake v. American Airlines (Ill. S.Ct. stated c/a for pre- contractual promissory estoppel liability. Backstory Minority Business Enterprise set-aside for O’hare expansion; J. Jackson & Operation Push brokered deal) Reiterate: strange politics within affiliation-based communities; see throughout Ch. 6 readings and texts’ authors choices of who to cite (& not cite)

11 3. Intersectionality & Problem of Categorization Concept of intersectionality (or multidimensionality) widely accepted among “outsider” communities; impossible to slice & dice oneself into different component of identity. Francisco Valdes, noted queer theorist, fn. 8. That said, Linda Krieger: creates unmanageable complexity for law to not use some categories, everything sui generis. Chaos.

12 B. What is a Woman (or a Man)? Special Case of Transgender Long history: scientific, medical, psychiatric development. Gender Identity Disorder (GID):DSM- IV Disorder. Testimony admissible under Daubert standard. Schroer v. Billington (D. D.C. 2008), pp. 583-87 David hired as terrorism specialist for CRS, extraordinary credentials, contacts & security clearance. Pre-lunch, disclosed transitioning to Diane. Offer rescinded. Battle of experts on “sex” v. “sexuality”

13 Schroer v. Billington (D. D.C. 2008), pp. 583-87 Judge James Robertson: Title VII violation; all asserted concerns pretextual. ­*Hopkins v. Price Waterhouse on stereotype discrimination; supercedes cases find transexuality unprotected (?). *Act violated b/c Diane’s appearance & background inconsistent w/ D’s stereotypes about how men & women should act & appear, & in response to her decision to transition legally, culturally and physically from male to female. NOW MAJORITY VIEW.

14 2. Intersex Children pp. 590-91

15 Through Sickness, Health & Sex Change Fran and Donald, now Denise, before their 1980 marriage. Fran and Denise Brunner had children when Denise, center left, was Donald. By Tina Kelley, New York Times, April 27, 2008.

16 C. Differences Among Men What are distinctive burdens faced by men in a gendered society? How do burdens differ – By race, ethnicity? (African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian) – Within those groups by sexuality? – Within those groups by socio-economic status? Kimmel: masculinity as social construct, varies by class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, region of country …. And changes over course of life. Hmmm...

17 Blair Underwood playing Stanley, Broadway revival of Streetcar Named Desire

18 Michael Kimmel, Integrating Men into the Curriculum (1997) pp. 595-97 Issues of masculinity invisible in traditional educational curriculum … as contrasted with lives of women authors, scientists. – Clicker: Is that still true? 1 yes, 2 no, 3 depends on course, 4 depends on professor Centrality of gender in men’s lives perpetuates gender inequalities. Agree? Criticism?

19 Robert Bly & Michael Meade 4&feature=related Bly, Iron Man (1990): men should retreat from world of women to temporary male sanctuaries, recapture “deep” or “wild” masculinity that modern society renders dormant. n. 1 p. 601 ¶2

20 Susan Faludi, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man n. 1 p. 601 ¶3 Hyper-masculine behavior: response to men’s feeling of being downsized economically & emotionally, by rise in women’s rights & erosion of traditional male jobs. – Clicker: agree, disagree? – If so, what can counter that sense of vulnerability? Men’s movement, per Bly? Create safe space at home, communities that care.

21 N. 2 Intersection of Gender, Race, Class Ethnicity & Sexual Orientation 601-02 Floyd Weatherspoon: African-American men suffer from combination of race & gender discrimination in both employment & criminal justice system. Agree? Devon Carbado “Heterosexual Black men occupy a privileged victim status in antiracist discourse.” b/c not similar focus on Black women, when alleged violence v. her, community subordinates concern for her b/c criminal justice system suspect. Agree?

22 E. The Category “Feminist” Clicker questions 1. At the time you enrolled in this class, did you consider yourself a “feminist” 1) y, 2) n, 3) ambivalent, 4) didn’t know what it entailed. 2. Do you now consider yourself a feminist? 1) y, 2) n, 3) still ambivalent

23 E. The Category “Feminist” 3. If yes to Q. 2, to which theory are most drawn? 1) formal equality, 2d wave (RB Ginsburg, etc.) 2) dominance/antisubordination (MacKinnon) 3) cultural, including difference, relational, ethic of care (West, Becker, Abrams, Williams, Schultz) 4) intersectional/multicultural (Caldwell, Crenshaw, Matsuda/Lawrence, Grillo) 5) queer theory or “sex positive” (Franke, Carbado, Case, Halley)

24 “Third Wave Feminism” Multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-issue foundation; ‘03 – present focus on reproductive rights. Anna: need open to 1 st page, show timeline at bottom.

25 Third Wave Feminism Focus on empowerment (economic, political, social & personal) Many from Generation X demographic (born roughly between 1966 – 1976) or Generation Y (born roughly between 1977-1997). Some are the children of Baby Boomers who participated in the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

26 Third Wave Feminism (one person’s view) Characteristics: – individualistic – celebrates women’s multiple & sometimes contradictory identities – encouraged to build their own identities from the available buffet, don’t worry if the items on their plate are not served together traditionally.

27 Naomi Wolf ougLsg ougLsg

28 Janet Halley (2003) pp. 616-22 Essential elements of any feminist theory – Distinguish between M/F – Posit some subordination in which M>F. “carries a brief for F” Many other options to pick from for focus When some may want to “Take a Break from Feminism” Women don’t own gender. Kendell Thomas. Bad faith (~ PA. RR) In areas feminism rules & wants to do so.

29 Janet Halley (2003) pp. 616-22 Power masquerading as servitude … feminism imposes costs on itself in attacking other feminists Moral perfectionism & magic realism. Strictness of effort to be morally immaculate; totalaritarian. Constituting women, heterosexuality & women’s suffering. Harm done tying feminism to M/F … and to heterosexual. May help produce subordination as social & psychic event.

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