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Crenshaw’s Blending of Race and Gender

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.

Tradd Stover

Crenshaw and Intersectionality

Intersectionality is the main focal point of Mapping the Margins by Kimberle Crenshaw. Prior to being assigned this piece, I had never heard that term before. I learned the definition of intersectionality is essentially a combination of multiple types of discrimination at once. In Crenshaw’s example, she focuses on violence of women of color, a combination of race and gender oppression. When I came across this, I immediately though of To Kill a Mockingbird. The events that take place in this novel can relate back to Crenshaw’s discussion of race and gender oppression, because this also takes place in Tom’s Life. Crenshaw was discussing the discrimination of women of color, and in Tom’s life we take a look at discrimination of men of color. Not only is Tom wrongfully accused and sentenced to death for raping a white woman, but he is also discriminated because of his gender. The court decision that Tom was guilty mainly rested on the fact that he was black, but the court room also believed that black MEN were savage and sexual predators who were always on the lookout for white women to sexually assault. The discrimination of race and gender intersects – the prejudice that one race is superior to another, and the prejudice that every black man is looking to assault a woman.