I am beginning to find that I reason with pieces such as this more now than I did before or at the start of the semester. The issue brought about in this piece is a conjunction of race and gender (or other identities) that cause one to be even more succeptable to discrimination, or any other misfortune, than any classification would alone. This intersectionality is one that Crenshaw argues has never never been effectively negotiated or understood, even by members of one of the groups.
Crenshaw writes about the ways by which black woman are affected politically, socially, and economically. The idea of a country built and structured around patriarchal ideals coincides here, and bonds with modern racism. Each, of course, are difficult to overcome and require resistance and fight. However, when non-white and womanhood are linked, a new, less identifiable struggle comes to the forefront.
When it comes to the law and how to go about addressing issues such as this one, Crenshaw writes about the importance of establishing group politics, rather than merely identity politics. It seems that she believes that the first step to understanding one’s particular position is to understand and put together each aspect of the individual that yields intersectionality.
Absolutely, this piece speaks to the issues that are represented in TKAM. The idea of intersectionality is important to the law in general due to a justice system that relies heavily upon prejudice to obtain ‘justice’. Crenshaw’s piece was an in-depth description of the way that Tom was treated, and an indicator of the some of the issues that the US still faces currently.
This piece is interesting but is certainly not what I am the best at reading and thoroughly understanding. I do think that Crenshaw makes some excellent points that I never necessarily thought about putting together. For that, I enjoyed the piece and look forward to learning more.
One thought on “Crenshaw’s Blending of Race and Gender”
As always, Tradd, I love the candor and openness with which you approach new and difficult readings! It feels like for you doing so is the first step toward checking your comprehension: you’ve got that “This was all new to me” paragraph and then you go on to crystallize one of Crenshaw’s most important points – this distinction between “identity politics” (as that term was being used in legal circles in the 1990s) and group politics – demonstrating that you have done the work to take something super important away from the article even as you’re still mulling it over. Love it.