Women hardship

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  • In longer versions of The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf references “The Iron Maiden”, which was a medieval torture device designed to trap people inside a (usually female). Why does she refer to it as a metaphor? How does it relate to her larger point about beauty in our culture? Do you think this metaphor is still useful today?
  • How are our ideas influenced by race and class privilege? Focusing on one text as evidence, explain the relationship between racism and/or classism and the particular beauty standard (ie hair?) in question. What does the author say about how this works? What do you think? What else might support your answer?

1 page, single space, both in text and citation page, and add at least one additional source outside from the readings.

all the readings are attached.

Stanford Law Review Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color Author(s): Kimberle Crenshaw Source: Stanford Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 6 (Jul., 1991), pp. 1241-1299 Published by: Stanford Law Review Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229039 Accessed: 01-06-2018 20:06 UTC REFERENCES Linked references are available on JSTOR for this article: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229039?seq=1&cid=pdf-reference#references_tab_contents You may need to log in to JSTOR to access the linked references. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at http://about.jstor.org/terms Stanford Law Review is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Stanford Law Review This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color Kimberle Crenshaw* INTRODUCTION Over the last two decades, women have organized against the almost routine violence that shapes their lives.1 Drawing from the strength of shared experience, women have recognized that the political demands of millions speak more powerfully than the pleas of a few isolated voices. This politicization in turn has transformed the way we understand violence against women. For example, battering and rape, once seen as private (family matters) and aberrational (errant sexual aggression), are now largely recognized as part of a broad-scale system of domination that affects women as a class.2 This process of recognizing as social and systemic what was for- * ? 1993 by Kimberle Crenshaw. Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles. B.A. Cornell University, 1981; J.D. Harvard Law School, 1984; LL.M. University of Wisconsin, 1985. I am indebted to a great many people who have pushed this project along. For their kind assistance in facilitating my field research for this article, I wish to thank Maria Blanco, Margaret Cambrick, Joan Creer, Estelle Cheung, Nilda Rimonte and Fred Smith. I benefitted from the comments of Taunya Banks, Mark Barenberg, Darcy Calkins, Adrienne Davis, Gina Dent, Brent Edwards, Paul Gewirtz, Lani Guinier, Neil Gotanda, Joel Handler, Duncan Kennedy, Henry Monaghan, Elizabeth Schneider and Kendall Thomas. A very special thanks goes to Gary Peller and Richard Yar- borough. Jayne Lee, Paula Puryear, Yancy Garrido, Eugenia Gifford and Leti Volpp provided valuable research assistance. I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Academic Senate of UCLA, Center for Afro-American Studies at UCLA, the Reed Foundation and Columbia Law School. Earlier versions of this article were presented to the Critical Race Theory Workshop and the Yale Legal Theory Workshop. This article is dedicated to the memory of Denise Carty-Bennia and Mary Joe Frug. 1. Feminist academics and activists have played a central role in forwarding an ideological and institutional challenge to the practices that condone and perpetuate violence against women. See generally SUSAN BROWNMILLER, AGAINST OUR WILL: MEN, WOMEN AND RAPE (1975); LORENNE M.G. CLARK & DEBRA J. LEWIS, RAPE: THE PRICE OF COERCIVE SEXUALITY (1977); R. EMERSON DOBASH & RUSSELL DOBASH, VIOLENCE AGAINST WIVES: A CASE AGAINST THE PATRIARCHY (1979); NANCY GAGER & CATHLEEN SCHURR, SEXUAL ASSAULT: CONFRONTING RAPE IN AMERICA (1976); DIANA E.H. RUSSELL, THE POLITICS OF RAPE: THE VICTIM'S PERSPECTIVE (1974); ELIZABETH ANNE STANKO, INTIMATE INTRUSIONS: WOMEN'S EXPERIENCE OF MALE VIOLENCE (1985); LENORE E. WALKER, TERRIFYING LOVE: WHY BATTERED WOMEN KILL AND HOW SOCIETY RESPONDS (1989); LENORE E. WALKER, THE BATTERED WOMAN SYNDROME (1984); LENORE E. WALKER, THE BATTERED WOMAN (1979). 2. See, e.g., SUSAN SCHECHTER, WOMEN AND MALE VIOLENCE: THE VISIONS AND STRUGGLES OF THE BATTERED WOMEN'S MOVEMENT (1982) (arguing that battering is a means of maintaining women's subordinate position); S. BROWNMILLER, supra note 1 (arguing that rape is a 1241 This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1242 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 merly perceived as isolated and individual has also characterized th politics of African Americans, other people of color, and gays and among others. For all these groups, identity-based politics has been of strength, community, and intellectual development. The embrace of identity politics, however, has been in tension w nant conceptions of social justice. Race, gender, and other identit ries are most often treated in mainstream liberal discourse as vestig or domination-that is, as intrinsically negative frameworks in wh power works to exclude or marginalize those who are different. to this understanding, our liberatory objective should be to empty gories of any social significance. Yet implicit in certain strands of and racial liberation movements, for example is the view that th power in delineating difference need not be the power of dominati instead be the source of social empowerment and reconstruction. The problem with identity politics is not that it fails to transcend d ence, as some critics charge, but rather the opposite-that it freque flates or ignores intragroup differences. In the context of violenc women, this elision of difference in identity politics is problemat mentally because the violence that many women experience is ofte by other dimensions of their identities, such as race and class. M ignoring difference within groups contributes to tension among gr other problem of identity politics that bears on efforts to politiciz against women. Feminist efforts to politicize experiences of wome tiracist efforts to politicize experiences of people of color have f proceeded as though the issues and experiences they each detail o mutually exclusive terrains. Although racism and sexism readily int the lives of real people, they seldom do in feminist and antiracist And so, when the practices expound identity as woman or person o an either/or proposition, they relegate the identity of women of location that resists telling. My objective in this article is to advance the telling of that loca exploring the race and gender dimensions of violence against w color.3 Contemporary feminist and antiracist discourses have faile patriarchal practice that subordinates women to men); Elizabeth Schneider, The Violence 23 CONN. L. REV. 973, 974 (1991) (discussing how "concepts of privacy permit, en reinforce violence against women"); Susan Estrich, Rape, 95 YALE L.J. 1087 (1986) (ana law as one illustration of sexism in criminal law); see also CATHARINE A. MACKINNON HARASSMENT OF WORKING WOMEN: A CASE OF SEX DISCRIMINATION 143-213 (19 that sexual harassment should be redefined as sexual discrimination actionable und rather than viewed as misplaced sexuality in the workplace). 3. This article arises out of and is inspired by two emerging scholarly discourses. critical race theory. For a cross-section of what is now a substantial body of literature, see J. WILLIAMS, THE ALCHEMY OF RACE AND RIGHTS (1991); Robin D. Barnes, Race Con The Thematic Content of Racial Distinctiveness in Critical Race Scholarship, 103 HA 1864 (1990); John 0. Calmore, Critical Race Theory, Archie Shepp, and Fire Music. Authentic Intellectual Life in a Multicultural World, 65 S. CAL. L. REV. 2129 (1992); Cook, Beyond Critical Legal Studies: The Reconstructive Theology of Dr. Martin Luthe HARV. L. REV. 985 (1990); Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, Race, Reform and Retrenchm formation and Legitimation in Antidiscrimination Law, 101 HARV. L. REV. 1331 (19 This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1243 sider intersectional identities such as women of color.4 Foc dimensions of male violence against women-battering and rap how the experiences of women of color are frequently the pro secting patterns of racism and sexism,5 and how these experie Delgado, When a Story is Just a Story: Does Voice Really Matter?, 76 VA. L. R Gotanda, A Critique of "Our Constitution is Colorblind," 44 STAN. L. REV. 1 (1 suda, Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim's Story, 87 MI (1989); Charles R. Lawrence III, The Id, the Ego, and Equal Protection: Reckoning Racism, 39 STAN. L. REV. 317 (1987); Gerald Torres, Critical Race Theory: Th Universalist Ideal and the Hope of Plural Justice-Some Observations and Question Phenomenon, 75 MINN. L. REV. 993 (1991). For a useful overview of critical Calmore, supra, at 2160-2168. A second, less formally linked body of legal scholarship investigates the conn race and gender. See, e.g., Regina Austin, Sapphire Bound!, 1989 WIS. L. REV supra; Angela P. Harris, Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory, 42 ST (1990); Marlee Kline, Race, Racism and Feminist Legal Theory, 12 HARV. W (1989); Dorothy E. Roberts, Punishing Drug Addicts Who Have Babies: Women and the Right of Privacy, 104 HARV. L. REV. 1419 (1991); Cathy Scarborough, Black Women's Employment Experiences, 98 YALE L.J. 1457 (1989) (student a Smith, Separate Identities: Black Women, Work and Title VII, 14 HARV. WOMEN Judy Scales-Trent, Black Women and the Constitution: Finding Our Place, Asserti HARV. C.R-C.L. L. REV. 9 (1989); Judith A. Winston, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: 1981, and the Intersection of Race and Gendet 'n the Civil Rights Act of 1990, 79 (1991). This work in turn has been informed oy a broader literature examining t race and gender in other contexts. See, e.g., PATRICIA HILL COLLINS, BLACK FEM KNOWLEDGE, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND THE POLITICS OF EMPOWERMENT (1990) WOMEN, RACE AND CLASS (1981); BELL HOOKS, AIN'T I A WOMAN? BLACK WO NISM (1981); ELIZABETH V. SPELMAN, INESSENTIAL WOMAN: PROBLEMS OF EXC NIST THOUGHT (1988); Frances Beale, Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Femal WOMAN 90 (Toni Cade ed. 1970); Kink-Kok Cheung, The Woman Warrior vers Pacific: Must a Chinese American Critic Choose between Feminism and Heroism?, FEMINISM 234 (Marianne Hirsch & Evelyn Fox Keller eds. 1990); Deborah H. King, ardy, Multiple Consciousness: The Context of a Black Feminist Ideology, 14 SIGN K. Lewis, A Response to Inequality: Black Women, Racism and Sexism, 3 S Deborah E. McDowell, New Directions for Black Feminist Criticism, in THE NEW CISM: ESSAYS ON WOMEN, LITERATURE AND THEORY 186 (Elaine Showalter e Smith, Black Feminist Theory and the Representation of the "Other" in CHAN WORDS: ESSAYS ON CRITICISM, THEORY AND WRITING BY BLACK WOMEN 38 (C 1989). 4. Although the objective of this article is to describe the intersectional location of women of color and their marginalization within dominant resistance discourses, I do not mean to imply that the disempowerment of women of color is singularly or even primarily caused by feminist and antiracist theorists or activists. Indeed, I hope to dispell any such simplistic interpretations by capturing, at least in part, the way that prevailing structures of domination shape various discourses of resistance. As I have noted elsewhere, "People can only demand change in ways that reflect the logic of the institutions they are challenging. Demands for change that do not reflect . . . dominant ideology . . . will probably be ineffective." Crenshaw, supra note 3, at 1367. Although there are significant political and conceptual obstacles to moving against structures of domination with an intersectional sensibility, my point is that the effort to do so should be a central theoretical and political objective of both antiracism and feminism. 5. Although this article deals with violent assault perpetrated by men against women, women are also subject to violent assault by women. Violence among lesbians is a hidden but significant problem. One expert reported that in a study of 90 lesbian couples, roughly 46% of lesbians have been physically abused by their partners. Jane Garcia, The Cost of Escaping Domestic Violence: Fear of Treatment in a Largely Homophobic Society May Keep Lesbian Abuse Victims from Calling for Help, L.A. Times, May 6, 1991, at 2; see also NAMING THE VIOLENCE: SPEAKING OUT ABOUT LESIBIAN BATTERING (Kerry Lobel ed. 1986); Ruthann Robson, Lavender Bruises. Intralesbian Vio- lence, Law and Lesbian Legal Theory, 20 GOLDEN GATE U.L. REV. 567 (1990). There are clear parallels between violence against women in the lesbian community and violence against women in This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1244 [Vol. 43:1241 to be represented within the discourses of either feminism or antir cause of their intersectional identity as both women and of color w courses that are shaped to respond to one or the other, women of marginalized within both. In an earlier article, I used the concept of intersectionality to de various ways in which race and gender interact to shape the multip sions of Black6 women's employment experiences.7 My objective t to illustrate that many of the experiences Black women face are sumed within the traditional boundaries of race or gender discrim these boundaries are currently understood, and that the intersecti cism and sexism factors into Black women's lives in ways that can captured wholly by looking at the race or gender dimensions of tho iences separately. I build on those observations here by exploring ous ways in which race and gender intersect in shaping structural, and representational aspects of violence against women of color.8 I should say at the outset that intersectionality is not being offe as some new, totalizing theory of identity. Nor do I mean to sugg violence against women of color can be explained only through the frameworks of race and gender considered here.9 Indeed, factors communities of color. Lesbian violence is often shrouded in secrecy for similar reason suppressed the exposure of heterosexual violence in communities of color-fear of embar members of the community, which is already stereotyped as deviant, and fear of being from the community. Despite these similarities, there are nonetheless distinctions bet abuse of women and female abuse of women that in the context of patriarchy, homophobia, warrants more focused analysis than is possible here. 6. I use "Black" and "African American" interchangeably throughout this article. I "Black" because "Blacks, like Asians, Latinos, and other 'minorities,' constitute a specif group and, as such, require denotation as a proper noun." Crenshaw, supra note 3, (citing Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agendafo SIGNS 515, 516 (1982)). By the same token, I do not capitalize "white," which is not a p since whites do not constitute a specific cultural group. For the same reason I do n "women of color." 7. Kimberle Crenshaw, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex, 1989 U. CH LEGAL F. 139. 8. I explicitly adopt a Black feminist stance in this survey of violence against women of I do this cognizant of several tensions that such a position entails. The most significant one from the criticism that while feminism purports to speakfor women of color through its invoc of the term "woman," the feminist perspective excludes women of color because it is based up experiences and interests of a certain subset of women. On the other hand, when white fem attempt to include other women, they often add our experiences into an otherwise unaltered work. It is important to name the perspective from which one constructs her analysis; and f that is as a Black feminist. Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that the materials incorporate in my analysis are drawn heavily from research on Black women. On the other h see my own work as part of a broader collective effort among feminists of color to expand fem to include analyses of race and other factors such as class, sexuality, and age. I have atte therefore to offer my sense of the tentative connections between my analysis of the interse experiences of Black women and the intersectional experiences of other women of color. I stre this analysis is not intended to include falsely nor to exclude unnecessarily other women of 9. I consider intersectionality a provisional concept linking contemporary politics w postmodern theory. In mapping the intersections of race and gender, the concept does engage nant assumptions that race and gender are essentially separate categories. By tracing the cate to their intersections, I hope to suggest a methodology that will ultimately disrupt the tendenci see race and gender as exclusive or separable. While the primary intersections that I explore h This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1245 only in part or not at all, such as class or sexuality, are often as shaping the experiences of women of color. My focus on the inter race and gender only highlights the need to account for multiple identity when considering how the social world is constructed.'0 I have divided the issues presented in this article into three cat Part I, I discuss structural intersectionality, the ways in which th of women of color at the intersection of race and gender makes experience of domestic violence, rape, and remedial reform qualita ferent than that of white women. I shift the focus in Part II to intersectionality, where I analyze how both feminist and antiraci have, paradoxically, often helped to marginalize the issue of viole women of color. Then in Part III, I discuss representational inter ity, by which I mean the cultural construction of women of color how controversies over the representation of women of color in p ture can also elide the particular location of women of color, an come yet another source of intersectional disempowerment. address the implications of the intersectional approach within th scope of contemporary identity politics. I. STRUCTURAL INTERSECTIONALITY A. Structural Intersectionality and Battering I observed the dynamics of structural intersectionality during a brief fie study of battered women's shelters located in minority communities in Angeles." In most cases, the physical assault that leads women to th shelters is merely the most immediate manifestation of the subordina they experience. Many women who seek protection are unemployed or deremployed, and a good number of them are poor. Shelters serving t women cannot afford to address only the violence inflicted by the batt they must also confront the other multilayered and routinized forms of dom ination that often converge in these women's lives, hindering their abilit create alternatives to the abusive relationships that brought them to she in the first place. Many women of color, for example, are burdened by p erty, child care responsibilities, and the lack of job skills.'2 These burde between race and gender, the concept can and should be expanded by factoring in issues such class, sexual orientation, age, and color. 10. Professor Mari Matsuda calls this inquiry "asking the other question." Mari J. Mat Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory Out of Coalition, 43 STAN. L. REV. 1183 (1 For example, we should look at an issue or condition traditionally regarded as a gender issue ask, "Where's the racism in this?" 11. During my research in Los Angeles, California, I visited Jenessee Battered Women's S ter, the only shelter in the Western states primarily serving Black women, and Everywoman's ter, which primarily serves Asian women. I also visited Estelle Chueng at the Asian Pacifi Foundation, and I spoke with a representative of La Casa, a shelter in the predominantly L community of East L.A. 12. One researcher has noted, in reference to a survey taken of battered women's shelters, "many Caucasian women were probably excluded from the sample, since they are more likely have available resources that enable them to avoid going to a shelter. Many shelters admit women with few or no resources or alternatives." MILDRED DALEY PAGELOW, WOMAN-B This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1246 [Vol. 43:1241 largely the consequence of gender and class oppression, are th pounded by the racially discriminatory employment and housing women of color often face,13 as well as by the disproportionately high ployment among people of color that makes battered women of c able to depend on the support of friends and relatives for te shelter. 14 Where systems of race, gender, and class domination converge, as they do in the experiences of battered women of color, intervention strategies based solely on the experiences of women who do not share the same class or race backgrounds will be of limited help to women who because of race and class face different obstacles.15 Such was the case in 1990 when Congress amended the marriage fraud provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act to protect immigrant women who were battered or exposed to extreme cruelty by the United States citizens or permanent residents these women TERING: VICTIMS AND THEIR EXPERIENCES 97 (1981). On the other hand, many middle- and upper-class women are financially dependent upon their husbands and thus experience a diminution in their standard of living when they leave their husbands. 13. Together they make securing even the most basic necessities beyond the reach of many. Indeed one shelter provider reported that nearly 85 percent of her clients returned to the battering relationships, largely because of difficulties in finding employment and housing. African Americans are more segregated than any other racial group, and this segregation exists across class lines. Recent studies in Washington, D.C., and its suburbs show that 64% of Blacks trying to rent apartments in white neighborhoods encountered discrimination. Tracy Thompson, Study Finds 'Persistent' Ra- cial Bias in Area's Rental Housing, Wash. Post, Jan. 31, 1991, at D1. Had these studies factored gender and family status into the equation, the statistics might have been worse. 14. More specifically, African Americans suffer from high unemployment rates, low incomes, and high poverty rates. According to Dr. David Swinton, Dean of the School of Business at Jackson State University in Mississippi, African Americans "receive three-fifths as much income per person as whites and are three times as likely to have annual incomes below the Federally defined poverty level of $12,675 for a family of four." Urban League Urges Action, N.Y. Times, Jan. 9, 1991, at A14. In fact, recent statistics indicate that racial economic inequality is "higher as we begin the 1990s than at any other time in the last 20 years." David Swinton, The Economic Status of African Americans: "Permanent" Poverty and Inequality, in THE STATE OF BLACK AMERICA 1991, at 25 (1991). The economic situation of minority women is, expectedly, worse than that of their male counterparts. Black women, who earn a median of $7,875 a year, make considerably less than Black men, who earn a median income of $12,609 a year, and white women, who earn a median income of $9,812 a year. Id. at 32 (Table 3). Additionally, the percentage of Black female-headed families living in poverty (46.5%) is almost twice that of white female-headed families (25.4%). Id. at 43 (Table 8). Latino households also earn considerably less than white households. In 1988, the median income of Latino households was $20,359 and for white households, $28,340-a difference of almost $8,000. HISPANIC AMERICANS: A STATISTICAL SOURCEBOOK 149 (1991). Analyzing by origin, in 1988, Puerto Rican households were the worst off, with 34.1% earning below $10,000 a year and a median income for all Puerto Rican households of $15,447 per year. Id. at 155. 1989 statistics for Latino men and women show that women earned an average of $7,000 less than men. Id. at 169. 15. See text accompanying notes 61-66 (discussing shelter's refusal to house a Spanish-speaking woman in crisis even though her son could interpret for her because it would contribute to her disempowerment). Racial differences marked an interesting contrast between Jenesee's policies and those of other shelters situated outside the Black community. Unlike some other shelters in Los Angeles, Jenessee welcomed the assistance of men. According to the Director, the shelter's policy was premised on a belief that given African American's need to maintain healthy relations to pursue a common struggle against racism, anti-violence programs within the African American community cannot afford to be antagonistic to men. For a discussion of the different needs of Black women who are battered, see Beth Richie, Battered Black Women: A Challenge for the Black Community, BLACK SCHOLAR, Mar./Apr. 1985, at 40. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1247 immigrated to the United States to marry. Under the marriage f sions of the Act, a person who immigrated to the United States United States citizen or permanent resident had to remain "prop ried for two years before even applying for permanent resident which time applications for the immigrant's permanent status we of both spouses.17 Predictably, under these circumstances, many women were reluctant to leave even the most abusive of partners being deported.18 When faced with the choice between protection batterers and protection against deportation, many immigrant w the latter.19 Reports of the tragic consequences of this double su put pressure on Congress to include in the Immigration Act of 19 sion amending the marriage fraud rules to allow for an explicit hardship caused by domestic violence.20 Yet many immigrant wo 16. 8 U.S.C. ? 1186a (1988). The Marriage Fraud Amendments provide that an "shall be considered, at the time of obtaining the status of an alien lawfully admitted fo residence, to have obtained such status on a conditional basis subject to the provisio tion." ? 1186a(a)(1). An alien spouse with permanent resident status under this co may have her status terminated if the Attorney General finds that the marriage w ? 1186a(b)(l), or if she fails to file a petition or fails to appear at the person ? 1186a(c)(2)(A). 17. The Marriage Fraud Amendments provided that for the conditional resident removed, "the alien spouse and the petitioning spouse (if not deceased) jointly must Attorney General . . . a petition which requests the removal of such conditional bas states, under penalty of perjury, the facts and information." ? 1186a(b)(l)(A) (em The Amendments provided for a waiver, at the Attorney General's discretion, if the able to demonstrate that deportation would result in extreme hardship, or that the q riage was terminated for good cause. ? 1186a(c)(4). However, the terms of this h have not adequately protected battered spouses. For example, the requirement that t terminated for good cause may be difficult to satisfy in states with no-fault divorces. E sky, Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986: Till Congress Do Us Part, 4 REV. 1087, 1095 n.47 (1987) (student author) (citing Jerome B. Ingber & R. Leo Marriage Fraud Amendments, in THE NEW SIMPSON-RODINO IMMIGRATION LAW OF 65 (Stanley Mailman ed. 1986)). 18. Immigration activists have pointed out that "[t]he 1986 Immigration Reform Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendment have combined to give the spouse applying residence a powerful tool to control his partner." Jorge Banales, Abuse Among Immig Numbers Grow So Does the Need for Services, Wash. Post, Oct. 16, 1990, at E5. D executive director of Nihonmachi Legal Outreach in San Francisco, explained that Fraud Amendments "bound these immigrant women to their abusers." Deanna Order' Brides Marry Pain to Get Green Cards, Wash. Times, Apr. 16, 1991, at El. In instance described by Beckie Masaki, executive director of the Asian Women's Shelte cisco, the closer the Chinese bride came to getting her permanent residency in the Unit more harshly her Asian-American husband beat her. Her husband, kicking her in the warned her that she needed him, and if she did not do as he told her, he would cal officials. Id. 19. As Alice Fernandez, head of the Victim Services Agency at the Bronx Criminal Court, explained, "'Women are being held hostage by their landlords, their boyfriends, their bosses, their husbands.... The message is: If you tell anybody what I'm doing to you, they are going to ship your ass back home. And for these women, there is nothing more terrible than that .... Sometimes their response is: I would rather be dead in this country than go back home.'" Vivienne Walt, Immigrant Abuse: Nowhere to Hide; Women Fear Deportation, Experts Say, Newsday, Dec. 2, 1990, at 8. 20. Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978. The Act, introduced by Representative Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), provides that a battered spouse who has conditional permanent resident status can be granted a waiver for failure to meet the requirements if she can show that "the marriage was entered into in good faith and that after the marriage the alien spouse was This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1248 [Vol. 43:1241 ticularly immigrant women of color, have remained vulnerable to because they are unable to meet the conditions established for a w evidence required to support a waiver "can include, but is not lim reports and affidavits from police, medical personnel, psychologis officials, and social service agencies."21 For many immigrant wom ited access to these resources can make it difficult for them to obtain the evidence needed for a waiver. And cultural barriers often further discourage immigrant women from reporting or escaping battering situations. Tina Shum, a family counselor at a social service agency, points out that "[t]his law sounds so easy to apply, but there are cultural complications in the Asian community that make even these requirements difficult.... Just to find the opportunity and courage to call us is an accomplishment for many."22 The typical immigrant spouse, she suggests, may live "[i]n an extended family where several generations live together, there may be no pri- vacy on the telephone, no opportunity to leave the house and no understanding of public phones."23 As a consequence, many immigrant wo- men are wholly dependent on their husbands as their link to the world outside their homes.24 Immigrant women are also vulnerable to spousal violence because so many of them depend on their husbands for information regarding their legal status.25 Many women who are now permanent residents continue to suffer abuse under threats of deportation by their husbands. Even if the threats are unfounded, women who have no independent access to information will still be intimidated by such threats.26 And even though the domesbattered by or was subjected to extreme mental cruelty by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse." H.R. REP. No. 723(I), 101st Cong., 2d Sess. 78 (1990), reprinted in 1990 U.S.C.C.A.N. 6710, 6758; see also 8 C.F.R. ? 216.5(3) (1992) (regulations for application for waiver based on claim of having been battered or subjected to extreme mental cruelty). 21. H.R. REP. No. 723(I), supra note 20, at 79, reprinted in 1990 U.S.C.C.A.N. 6710, 6759. 22. Hodgin, supra note 18. 23. Id. 24. One survey conducted of battered women "hypothesized that if a person is a member discriminated minority group, the fewer the opportunities for socioeconomic status above th erty level and the weaker the English language skills, the greater the disadvantage." M. PAGE supra note 12, at 96. The 70 minority women in the study "had a double disadvantage in this s that serves to tie them more strongly to their spouses." Id. 25. A citizen or permanent resident spouse can exercise power over an alien spouse by th ening not to file a petition for permanent residency. If he fails to file a petition for perma residency, the alien spouse continues to be undocumented and is considered to be in the coun illegally. These constraints often restrict an alien spouse from leaving. Dean Ito Taylor tel story of "one client who has been hospitalized-she's had him arrested for beating her-bu keeps coming back to him because he promises he will file for her .... He holds that green card her head." Hodgin, supra note 18. Other stories of domestic abuse abound. Maria, a 50-ye Dominican woman, explains that " 'One time I had eight stitches in my head and a gash on the side of my head, and he broke my ribs .... He would bash my head against the wall while we sex. He kept threatening to kill me if I told the doctor what happened.' " Maria had a "power reason for staying with Juan through years of abuse: a ticket to permanent residence in the U States." Walt, supra note 19. 26. One reporter explained that "Third-world women must deal with additional fears, ho ever. In many cases, they are afraid of authority, government institutions and their abusers' of being turned over to immigration officials to be deported." Banales, supra note 18. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1249 tic violence waiver focuses on immigrant women whose husbands States citizens or permanent residents, there are countless women undocumented workers (or who are themselves undocumented) in silence for fear that the security of their entire families will be je should they seek help or otherwise call attention to themselves.2 Language barriers present another structural problem that oft opportunities of non-English-speaking women to take advantage support services.28 Such barriers not only limit access to inform shelters, but also limit access to the security shelters provide. So turn non-English-speaking women away for lack of bilingual per resources.29 These examples illustrate how patterns of subordination intersect in women's experience of domestic violence. Intersectional subordination need not be intentionally produced; in fact, it is frequently the consequence of the imposition of one burden that interacts with preexisting vulnerabilities to create yet another dimension of disempowerment. In the case of the marriage fraud provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the imposition of a policy specifically designed to burden one class-immigrant spouses seeking permanent resident status-exacerbated the disempowerment of those already subordinated by other structures of domination. By failing to take into account the vulnerability of immigrant spouses to domestic vio27. Incidents of sexual abuse of undocumented women abound. Marta Rivera, director of the Hostos College Center for Women's and Immigrant's Rights, tells of how a 19-year-old Dominican woman had "arrived shaken . . . after her boss raped her in the women's restroom at work." The woman told Rivera that "70 to 80 percent of the workers [in a Brooklyn garment factory] were undocumented, and they all accepted sex as part of the job .... She said a 13-year-old girl had been raped there a short while before her, and the family sent her back to the Dominican Republic." Walt, supra note 19. In another example, a "Latin American woman, whose husband's latest attack left her with two broken fingers, a swollen face and bruises on her neck and chest, refused to report the beating to police." She returned to her home after a short stay in a shelter. She did not leave the abusive situation because she was "an undocumented, illiterate laborer whose children, passport and money are tightly controlled by her husband." Although she was informed of her rights, she was not able to hurdle the structural obstacles in her path. Banales, supra note 18. 28. For example, in a region with a large number of Third-World immigrants, "the first hurdle these [battered women's shelters] must overcome is the language barrier." Banales, supra note 18. 29. There can be little question that women unable to communicate in English are severely handicapped in seeking independence. Some women thus excluded were even further disadvantaged because they were not U.S. citizens and some were in this country illegally. For a few of these, the only assistance shelter staff could render was to help reunite them with their families of origin. M. PAGELOW, supra note 12, at 96-97. Non-English speaking women are often excluded even from studies of battered women because of their language and other difficulties. A researcher qualified the statistics of one survey by pointing out that "an unknown number of minority group women were excluded from this survey sample because of language difficulties." Id. at 96. To combat this lack of appropriate services for women of color at many shelters, special programs have been created specifically for women from particular communities. A few examples of such programs include the Victim Intervention Project in East Harlem for Latina women, Jenesee Shelter for African American women in Los Angeles, Apna Gar in Chicago for South Asian women, and, for Asian women generally, the Asian Women's Shelter in San Francisco, the New York Asian Women's Center, and the Center for the Pacific Asian Family in Los Angeles. Programs with hotlines include Sakhi for South Asian Women in New York, and Manavi in Jersey City, also for South Asian women, as well as programs for Korean women in Philadelphia and Chicago. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1250 [Vol. 43:1241 lence, Congress positioned these women to absorb the simultaneou of its anti-immigration policy and their spouses' abuse. The enactment of the domestic violence waiver of the marriag provisions similarly illustrates how modest attempts to respond t problems can be ineffective when the intersectional location of w color is not considered in fashioning the remedy. Cultural identity affect the likelihood that a battered spouse could take advanta waiver. Although the waiver is formally available to all women, the the waiver make it inaccessible to some. Immigrant women wh cially, culturally, or economically privileged are more likely to b marshall the resources needed to satisfy the waiver requirements. T migrant women least able to take advantage of the waiver-women socially or economically the most marginal-are the ones most like women of color. B. Structural Intersectionality and Rape Women of color are differently situated in the economic, social, and political worlds. When reform efforts undertaken on behalf of women neglect this fact, women of color are less likely to have their needs met than women who are racially privileged. For example, counselors who provide rape crisis services to women of color report that a significant proportion of the resources allocated to them must be spent handling problems other than rape itself. Meeting these needs often places these counselors at odds with their funding agencies, which allocate funds according to standards of need that are largely white and middle-class.30 These uniform standards of need ignore the fact that different needs often demand different priorities in terms of resource allocation, and consequently, these standards hinder the ability of counselors to address the needs of nonwhite and poor women.31 A case in point: women of color occupy positions both physically and culturally marginalized within dominant society, and so information must be targeted directly to them in order to reach them.32 Accordingly, rape crisis centers 30. For example, the Rosa Parks Shelter and the Compton Rape Crisis Hotline, two shelters that serve the African-American community, are in constant conflict with funding sources over the ratio of dollars and hours to women served. Interview with Joan Greer, Executive Director of Rosa Parks Shelter, in Los Angeles, California (April 1990). 31. One worker explained: For example, a woman may come in or call in for various reasons. She has no place to go, she has no job, she has no support, she has no money, she has no food, she's been beaten, and after you finish meeting all those needs, or try to meet all those needs, then she may say, by the way, during all this, I was being raped. So that makes our community different than other communities. A person wants their basic needs first. It's a lot easier to discuss things when you are full. Nancy Anne Matthews, Stopping Rape or Managing its Consequences? State Intervention and Feminist Resistance in the Los Angeles Anti-Rape Movement, 1972-1987, at 287 (1989) (Ph.D dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles) (chronicling the history of the rape crisis movement, and highlighting the different histories and dilemmas of rape crisis hotlines run by white feminists and those situated in the minority communities). 32. Typically, more time must be spent with a survivor who has fewer personal resources. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1251 must earmark more resources for basic information dissemination in communities of color than in white ones. Increased costs are but one consequence of serving people who cannot be reached by mainstream channels of information. As noted earlier, counselors in minority communities report spending hours locating resources and contacts to meet the housing and other immediate needs of women who have been assualted. Yet this work is only considered "information and referral" by funding agencies and as such, is typically underfunded, notwithstanding the magnitude of need for these services in minority communities.33 The problem is compounded by expectations that rape crisis centers will use a significant portion of resources allocated to them on counselors to accompany victims to court,34 even though women of color are less likely to have their cases pursued in the criminal justice system.35 The resources expected to be set aside for court services are misdirected in these communities. The fact that minority women suffer from the effects of multiple subordi- nation, coupled with institutional expectations based on inappropriate nonintersectional contexts, shapes and ultimately limits the opportunities for meaningful intervention on their behalf. Recognizing the failure to consider intersectional dynamics may go far toward explaining the high levels of failure, frustration, and burn-out experienced by counselors who attempt to meet the needs of minority women victims. II. POLITICAL INTERSECTIONALITY The concept of political intersectionality highlights the fact that w These survivors tend to be ethnic minority women. Often, a non-assimilated ethnic min ity survivor requires translating and interpreting, transportation, overnight shelter for h self and possibly children, and counseling to significant others in addition to the usu counseling and advocacy services. So, if a rape crisis center serves a predominantly eth minority population, the "average" number of hours of service provided to each survivor i much higher than for a center that serves a predominantly white population. Id. at 275 (quoting position paper of the Southern California Rape Hotline Alliance). 33. Id. at 287-88. 34. The Director of Rosa Parks reported that she often runs into trouble with her f sources over the Center's lower than average number of counselors accompanying victims Interview with Joan Greer, supra note 30. 35. Even though current statistics indicate that Black women are more likely to be victimized than white women, Black women are less likely to report their rapes, less likely to have their cases come to trial, less likely to have their trials result in convictions, and, most disturbing, less likely to seek counseling and other support services. PATRICIA HILL COLLINS, BLACK FEMINIST THOUGHT: KNOWLEDGE, CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE POLITICS OF EMPOWERMENT 178-79 (1990); accord HUBERT S. FEILD & LEIGH B. BIENEN, JURORS AND RAPE: A STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY AND LAW 141 (1980) (data obtained from 1,056 citizens serving as jurors in simulated legal rape cases generally showed that "the assailant of the black woman was given a more lenient sentence than the white woman's assailant"). According to Fern Ferguson, an Illinois sex abuse worker, speaking at a Women of Color Institute conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, 10% of rapes involving white victims end in conviction, compared with 4.2% for rapes involving non-white victims (and 2.3% for the less-inclusive group of Black rape victims). UPI, July 30, 1985. Ferguson argues that myths about women of color being promiscuous and wanting to be raped encourage the criminal justice system and medical professionals as well to treat women of color differently than they treat white women after a rape has occurred. Id. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1252 [Vol. 43:1241 of color are situated within at least two subordinated groups that f pursue conflicting political agendas. The need to split one's politica between two sometimes opposing groups is a dimension of intersect empowerment that men of color and white women seldom confron their specific raced and gendered experiences, although intersectio define as well as confine the interests of the entire group. For exa cism as experienced by people of color who are of a particular male-tends to determine the parameters of antiracist strategies, ju ism as experienced by women who are of a particular race-whiteground the women's movement. The problem is not simply that courses fail women of color by not acknowledging the "additiona race or of patriarchy but that the discourses are often inadequate e discrete tasks of articulating the full dimensions of racism and sex cause women of color experience racism in ways not always th those experienced by men of color and sexism in ways not always experiences of white women, antiracism and feminism are limited their own terms. Among the most troubling political consequences of the failure of antiracist and feminist discourses to address the intersections of race and gender is the fact that, to the extent they can forward the interest of "people of color" and "women," respectively, one analysis often implicitly denies the validity of the other. The failure of feminism to interrogate race means that the resistance strategies of feminism will often replicate and reinforce the subordination of people of color, and the failure of antiracism to interrogate patriarchy means that antiracism will frequently reproduce the subordination of women. These mutual elisions present a particularly difficult political dilemma for women of color. Adopting either analysis constitutes a denial of a fundamental dimension of our subordination and precludes the development of a political discourse that more fully empowers women of color. A. The Politicization of Domestic Violence That the political interests of women of color are obscured and sometimes jeopardized by political strategies that ignore or suppress intersectional issues is illustrated by my experiences in gathering information for this arti- cle. I attempted to review Los Angeles Police Department statistics reflecting the rate of domestic violence interventions by precinct because such statistics can provide a rough picture of arrests by racial group, given the degree of racial segregation in Los Angeles.36 L.A.P.D., however, would not release the statistics. A representative explained that one reason the statis- tics were not released was that domestic violence activists both within and 36. Most crime statistics are classified by sex or race but none are classified by sex and race Because we know that most rape victims are women, the racial breakdown reveals, at best, rape ra for Black women. Yet, even given this head start, rates for other non-white women are difficult collect. While there are some statistics for Latinas, statistics for Asian and Native American wome are virtually non-existent. Cf G. Chezia Carraway, Violence Against Women of Color, 43 STAN. REV. 1301 (1993). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1253 outside the Department feared that statistics reflecting the exten tic violence in minority communities might be selectively inter publicized so as to undermine long-term efforts to force the Dep address domestic violence as a serious problem. I was told th were worried that the statistics might permit opponents to dismi violence as a minoirty problem and, therefore, not deserving of action. The informant also claimed that representatives from various communities opposed the release of these statistics. They were c apparently, that the data would unfairly represent Black and Bro nities as unusually violent, potentially reinforcing stereotypes th used in attempts to justify oppressive police tactics and other disc practices. These misgivings are based on the familiar and not un premise that certain minority groups-especially Black men-have been stereotyped as uncontrollably violent. Some worry that at make domestic violence an object of political action may only ser firm such stereotypes and undermine efforts to combat negative beli the Black community. This account sharply illustrates how women of color can be era strategic silences of antiracism and feminism. The political priori were defined in ways that suppressed information that could hav attempts to confront the problem of domestic violence in comm color. 1. Domestic violence and antiracist politics. Within communities of color, efforts to stem the politicization of domestic violence are often grounded in attempts to maintain the integrity of the community. The articulation of this perspective takes different forms. Some critics allege that feminism has no place within communities of color, that the issues are internally divisive, and that they represent the migration of white women's concerns into a context in which they are not only irrelevant but also harmful. At its most extreme, this rhetoric denies that gender violence is a problem in the community and characterizes any effort to politi- cize gender subordination as itself a community problem. This is the position taken by Shahrazad Ali in her controversial book, The Blackman's Guide to Understanding the Blackwoman.37 In this stridently antifeminist tract, Ali draws a positive correlation between domestic violence and the 37. SHAHRAZAD ALI, THE BLACKMAN'S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE BLACKWOMAN (1989). Ali's book sold quite well for an independently published title, an accomplishment no doubt due in part to her appearances on the Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, and Sally Jesse Raphael televi- sion talk shows. For public and press reaction, see Dorothy Gilliam, Sick, Distorted Thinking, Wash. Post, Oct. 11, 1990, at D3; Lena Williams, Black Woman's Book Starts a Predictable Storm, N.Y. Times, Oct. 2, 1990, at C11; see also PEARL CLEAGUE, MAD AT MILES: A BLACK WOMAN'S GUIDE TO TRUTH (1990). The title clearly styled after Ali's, Mad at Miles responds not only to issues raised by Ali's book, but also to Miles Davis's admission in his autobiography, Miles: The Autobiography (1989), that he had physically abused, among other women, his former wife, actress Cicely Tyson. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1254 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 liberation of African Americans. Ali blames the deteriorating con within the Black community on the insubordination of Black wom the failure of Black men to control them.38 Ali goes so far as to ad men to physically chastise Black women when they are "disrespec While she cautions that Black men must use moderation in dis "their" women, she argues that Black men must sometimes resort cal force to reestablish the authority over Black women that raci disrupted.40 Ali's premise is that patriarchy is beneficial for the Black community,41 and that it must be strengthened through coercive means if necessary.42 Yet 38. Shahrazad Ali suggests that the "[Blackwoman] certainly does not believe that her disrepect for the Blackman is destructive, nor that her opposition to him has deteriorated the Black nation." S. ALI, supra note 37, at viii. Blaming the problems of the community on the failure of the Black woman to accept her "real definition," Ali explains that "[n]o nation can rise when the natural order of the behavior of the male and the female have been altered against their wishes by force. No species can survive if the female of the genus disturbs the balance of her nature by acting other than herself." Id. at 76. 39. Ali advises the Blackman to hit the Blackwoman in the mouth, "[b]ecause it is from that hole, in the lower part of her face, that all her rebellion culminates into words. Her unbridled tongue is a main reason she cannot get along with the Blackman. She often needs a reminder." Id. at 169. Ali warns that "if [the Blackwoman] ignores the authority and superiority of the Blackman, there is a penalty. When she crosses this line and becomes viciously insulting it is time for the Blackman to soundly slap her in the mouth." Id. 40. Ali explains that, "[r]egretfully some Blackwomen want to be physically controlled by the Blackman." Id. at 174. "The Blackwoman, deep inside her heart," Ali reveals, "wants to surrender but she wants to be coerced." Id. at 72. "[The Blackwoman] wants [the Blackman] to stand up and defend himself even if it means he has to knock her out of the way to do so. This is necessary whenever the Blackwoman steps out of the protection of womanly behavior and enters the dangerous domain of masculine challenge." Id. at 174. 41. Ali points out that "[t]he Blackman being number 1 and the Blackwoman being number 2 is another absolute law of nature. The Blackman was created first, he has seniority. And the Blackwoman was created 2nd. He is first. She is second. The Blackman is the beginning and all others come from him. Everyone on earth knows this except the Blackwoman." Id. at 67. 42. In this regard, Ali's arguments bear much in common with those of neoconservatives who attribute many of the social ills plaguing Black America to the breakdown of patriarchal family values. See, e.g., William Raspberry, If We Are to Rescue American Families, We Have to Save the Boys, Chicago Trib., July 19, 1989, at C15; George F. Will, Voting Rights Won't Fix It, Wash. Post, Jan. 23, 1986, at A23; George F. Will, "White Racism" Doesn't Make Blacks Mere Victims of Fate, Milwaukee J., Feb. 21, 1986, at 9. Ali's argument shares remarkable similarities to the controversial "Moynihan Report" on the Black family, so called because its principal author was now-Senator Daniel P. Moynihan (D-N.Y.). In the infamous chapter entitled "The Tangle of Pathology," Moynihan argued that the Negro community has been forced into a matriarchal structure which, because it is so out of line with the rest of American society, seriously retards the progress of the group as a whole, and imposes a crushing burden on the Negro male and, in consequence, on a great many Negro women as well. OFFICE OF POLICY PLANNING AND RESEARCH, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, THE NEGRO FAMILY: THE CASE FOR NATIONAL ACTION 29 (1965), reprinted in LEE RAINWATER & WILLIAM L. YANCEY, THE MOYNIHAN REPORT AND THE POLITICS OF CONTROVERSY 75 (1967). A storm of controversy developed over the book, although few commentators challenged the patriarchy embedded in the analysis. Bill Moyers, then a young minister and speechwriter for President Johnson, firmly believed that the criticism directed at Moynihan was unfair. Some 20 years later, Moyers resurrected the Moynihan thesis in a special television program, The Vanishing Family: Crisis in Black America (CBS television broadcast, Jan. 25, 1986). The show first aired in January 1986 and featured several African-American men and women who had become parents but were unwilling to marry. Arthur Unger, Hardhitting Special About Black Families, Christian Sci. Mon., Jan. 23, 1986, This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1255 the violence that accompanies this will to control is devastating, the Black women who are victimized, but also for the entire Bla nity.43 The recourse to violence to resolve conflicts establishes a pattern for children raised in such environments and contribut other pressing problems.44 It has been estimated that nearly fort all homeless women and children have fled violence in the hom estimated sixty-three percent of young men between the ages o twenty who are imprisoned for homicide have killed their moth ers.46 And yet, while gang violence, homicide, and other forms Black crime have increasingly been discussed within African-Am tics, patriarchal ideas about gender and power preclude the rec domestic violence as yet another compelling incidence of Black crime. Efforts such as Ali's to justify violence against women in th Black liberation are indeed extreme.47 The more common prob at 23. Many saw the Moyers show as a vindication of Moynihan. President Reagan t tunity to introduce an initiative to revamp the welfare system a week after the p Michael Barone, Poor Children and Politics, Wash. Post, Feb. 10, 1986, at Al. Said on Moyers has made it safe for people to talk about this issue, the disintegrating blac ture." Robert Pear, President Reported Ready to Propose Overhaul of Social Welfar Times, Feb. 1, 1986, at A12. Critics of the Moynihan/Moyers thesis have argued th the Black family generally and Black women in particular. For a series of responses ing the Black Family, NATION, July 24, 1989 (special issue, edited by Jewell Handy Margaret B. Wilkerson, with contributions from Margaret Burnham, Constance Cl Height, Faye Wattleton, and Marian Wright Edelman). For an analysis of the media of the Moynihan/Moyers thesis, see CARL GINSBURG, RACE AND MEDIA: THE ENDU THE MOYNIHAN REPORT (1989). 43. Domestic violence relates directly to issues that even those who subscribe to must also be concerned about. The socioeconomic condition of Black males has been one such central concern. Recent statistics estimate that 25% of Black males in their twenties are involved in the criminal justice systems. See David G. Savage, Young Black Males in Jail or in Court Control Study Says, L.A. Times, Feb. 27, 1990, at Al; Newsday, Feb. 27, 1990, at 15; Study Shows Racial Imbalance in Penal System, N.Y. Times, Feb. 27, 1990, at A 18. One would think that the linkages between violence in the home and the violence on the streets would alone persuade those like Ali to conclude that the African-American community cannot afford domestic violence and the patriarchal values that support it. 44. A pressing problem is the way domestic violence reproduces itself in subsequent generations. It is estimated that boys who witness violence against women are ten times more likely to batter female partners as adults. Women and Violence: Hearings Before the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary on Legislation to Reduce the Growing Problem of Violent Crime Against Women, 101st Cong., 2d Sess., pt. 2, at 89 (1991) [hereinafter Hearings on Violent Crime Against Women] (testimony of Charlotte Fedders). Other associated problems for boys who witness violence against women include higher rates of suicide, violent assault, sexual assault, and alcohol and drug use. Id., pt. 2, at 131 (statement of Sarah M. Buel, Assistant District Attorney, Massachusetts, and Supervisor, Harvard Law School Battered Women's Advocacy Project). 45. Id. at 142 (statement of Susan Kelly-Dreiss) (discussing several studies in Pennsylvania linking homelessness to domestic violence). 46. Id. at 143 (statement of Susan Kelly-Dreiss). 47. Another historical example includes Eldridge Cleaver, who argued that he raped white women as an assault upon the white community. Cleaver "practiced" on Black women first. ELDRIDGE CLEAVER, SOUL ON ICE 14-15 (1968). Despite the appearance of misogyny in both works, each professes to worship Black women as "queens" of the Black community. This "queenly subservience" parallels closely the image of the "woman on a pedestal" against which white feminists have railed. Because Black women have been denied pedestal status within dominant society, the image of the African queen has some appeal to many African-American women. Although it is not a This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1256 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 the political or cultural interests of the community are interpre that precludes full public recognition of the problem of domest While it would be misleading to suggest that white Americans h terms with the degree of violence in their own homes, it is non case that race adds yet another dimension to why the problem o violence is suppressed within nonwhite communities. People of must weigh their interests in avoiding issues that might reinfor public perceptions against the need to acknowledge and address munity problems. Yet the cost of suppression is seldom recogn because the failure to discuss the issue shapes perceptions of how problem is in the first place. The controversy over Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple derstood as an intracommunity debate about the political costs gender violence within the Black community.48 Some criti Walker for portraying Black men as violent brutes.49 One critic Walker's portrayal of Celie, the emotionally and physically abus nist who finally triumphs in the end. Walker, the critic contend ated in Celie a Black woman whom she couldn't imagine exis Black community she knew or could conceive of.50 The claim that Celie was somehow an unauthentic character read as a consequence of silencing discussion of intracommunit Celie may be unlike any Black woman we know because the rea perienced daily by minority women is routinely concealed in a (though perhaps understandable) attempt to forestall racial stere course, it is true that representations of Black violence-whethe or fictional-are often written into a larger script that consistent Black and other minority communities as pathologically violen lem, however, is not so much the portrayal of violence itself as sence of other narratives and images portraying a fuller range experience. Suppression of some of these issues in the name of imposes real costs. Where information about violence in minority feminist position, there are significant ways in which the promulgation of the image d the intersectional effects of racism and sexism that have denied African-American wom the "gilded cage." 48. ALICE WALKER, THE COLOR PURPLE (1982). The most severe criticism of W oped after the book was filmed as a movie. Donald Bogle, a film historian, argued th criticism of the movie stemmed from the one-dimensional portrayal of Mister, the Jacqueline Trescott, Passions Over Purple; Anger and Unease Over Film's Depiction Wash. Post, Feb. 5, 1986, at C1. Bogle argues that in the novel, Walker linked M conduct to his oppression in the white world-since Mister "can't be himself, he has t with the black woman." The movie failed to make any connection between Mister's ment of Black women and racism, and thereby presented Mister only as an "ins man." Id. 49. See, e.g., Gerald Early, Her Picture in the Papers: Remembering Some Black Women TAEUS, Spring 1988, at 9; Daryl Pinckney, Black Victims, Black Villains, N.Y. REVIEW OF B Jan. 29, 1987, at 17; Trescott, supra note 48. 50. Trudier Harris, On the Color Purple, Stereotypes, and Silence, 18 BLACK AM. LIT. F 155 (1984). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1257 ties is not available, domestic violence is unlikely to be addressed issue. The political imperatives of a narrowly focused antiracist str port other practices that isolate women of color. For example, a have attempted to provide support services to Asian- and Africa women report intense resistance from those communities.51 At cultural and social factors contribute to suppression. Nilda Rim tor of Everywoman's Shelter in Los Angeles, points out that in community, saving the honor of the family from shame is a pri fortunately, this priority tends to be interpreted as obliging w scream rather than obliging men not to hit. Race and culture contribute to the suppression of domestic other ways as well. Women of color are often reluctant to call t hesitancy likely due to a general unwillingness among people o subject their private lives to the scrutiny and control of a police frequently hostile. There is also a more generalized community public intervention, the product of a desire to create a private from the diverse assaults on the public lives of racially subordin The home is not simply a man's castle in the patriarchal sense, b function as a safe haven from the indignities of life in a racist s ever, but for this "safe haven" in many cases, women of color vi violence might otherwise seek help. There is also a general tendency within antiracist discourse to problem of violence against women of color as just another man racism. In this sense, the relevance of gender domination with munity is reconfigured as a consequence of discrimination agai 51. The source of the resistance reveals an interesting difference between the A and African-American communities. In the African-American community, the resis grounded in efforts to avoid confirming negative stereotypes of African-American concern of members in some Asian-American communities is to avoid tarnishing the myth. Interview with Nilda Rimonte, Director of the Everywoman Shelter, in Los A nia (April 19, 1991). 52. Nilda Rimonte, A Question of Culture: Cultural Approval of Violence Agains the Pacific-Asian Community and the Cultural Defense, 43 STAN. L. REV. 1311 (1991 Rimonte, Domestic Violence Against Pacific Asians, in MAKING WAVES: AN ANTHO INGS BY AND ABOUT ASIAN AMERICAN WOMEN 327, 328 (Asian Women United o 1989) ("Traditionally Pacific Asians conceal and deny problems that threaten group bring on shame. Because of the strong emphasis on obligations to the family, a Pacif will often remain silent rather than admit to a problem that might disgrace her famil ally, the possibility of ending the marriage may inhibit an immigrant woman fro Tina Shum, a family counselor, explains that a "'divorce is a shame on the whol Asian woman who divorces feels tremendous guilt.'" Of course, one could, in an sensitive to cultural difference, stereotype a culture or defer to it in ways that aba abuse. When-or, more importantly, how-to take culture into account when addres of women of color is a complicated issue. Testimony as to the particularities of Asia increasingly been used in trials to determine the culpability of both Asian immigr men who are charged with crimes of interpersonal violence. A position on the use defense" in these instances depends on how "culture" is being defined as well as on what extent the "cultural defense" has been used differently for Asian men and A Leti Volpp, (Mis)Identifying Culture: Asian Women and the "Cultural Defense," (un uscript) (on file with the Stanford Law Review). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1258 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 course, it is probably true that racism contributes to the cycle of given the stress that men of color experience in dominant society. It is fore more than reasonable to explore the links between racism and violence. But the chain of violence is more complex and extends be single link. Racism is linked to patriarchy to the extent that racis men of color the power and privilege that dominant men enjoy. W lence is understood as an acting-out of being denied male power i spheres, it seems counterproductive to embrace constructs that i link the solution to domestic violence to the acquisition of gre power. The more promising political imperative is to challenge th macy of such power expectations by exposing their dysfunct debilitating effect on families and communities of color. Moreov understanding links between racism and domestic violence is an i component of any effective intervention strategy, it is also clear th of color need not await the ultimate triumph over racism before expect to live violence-free lives. 2. Race and the domestic violence lobby. Not only do race-based priorities function to obscure the problem lence suffered by women of color; feminist concerns often suppress m experiences as well. Strategies for increasing awareness of domestic within the white community tend to begin by citing the common assumption that battering is a minority problem. The strategy the on demolishing this strawman, stressing that spousal abuse also occu white community. Countless first-person stories begin with a statem "I was not supposed to be a battered wife." That battering occurs in of all races and all classes seems to be an ever-present theme of a campaigns.53 First-person anecdotes and studies, for example, con assert that battering cuts across racial, ethnic, economic, educatio religious lines.54 Such disclaimers seem relevant only in the presen 53. See, e.g., Hearings on Violent Crime Against Women, supra note 44, pt. 1, at 101 of Roni Young, Director of Domestic Violence Unit, Office of the State's Attorney for City, Baltimore, Maryland) ("The victims do not fit a mold by any means."); Id. pt. 2, mony of Charlotte Fedders) ("Domestic violence occurs in all economic, cultural, racial gious groups. There is not a typical woman to be abused."); Id. pt. 2 at 139 (stateme Kelly-Dreiss, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violenc come from a wide spectrum of life experiences and backgrounds. Women can be be neighborhood and in any town."). 54. See, e.g., LENORE F. WALKER, TERRIFYING LOVE: WHY BATTERED WOMEN How SOCIETY RESPONDS 101-02 (1989) ("Battered women come from all types of eco tural, religious, and racial backgrounds.... They are women like you. Like me. Like t you know and love."); MURRAY A. STRAUS, RICHARD J. GELLES, SUZANNE K. STEI HIND CLOSED DOORS: VIOLENCE IN THE AMERICAN FAMILY 31 (1980) ("Wife-beating every class, at every income level."); Natalie Loder Clark, Crime Begins At Home: Let's S ing Victims and Perpetuating Violence, 28 WM. & MARY L. REV. 263, 282 n.74 (1987) (" lem of domestic violence cuts across all social lines and affects 'families regardless of th class, race, national origin, or educational background.' Commentators have indicated th violence is prevalent among upper middle-class families.") (citations omitted); Kathleen Criminal Justice System's Response to Battering. Understanding the Problem, Forging th 60 WASH. L. REV. 267, 276 (1985) ("It is important to emphasize that wife abuse is This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1259 initial, widely held belief that domestic violence occurs primarily or poor families. Indeed some authorities explicitly renounce th otypical myths" about battered women.55 A few commentators transformed the message that battering is not exclusively a prob poor or minority communities into a claim that it equally affe and classes.56 Yet these comments seem less concerned with exp mestic abuse within "stereotyped" communities than with removi eotype as an obstacle to exposing battering within white middle- class communities.57 Efforts to politicize the issue of violence against women challenge beliefs that violence occurs only in homes of "others." While it is unlikely that advocates and others who adopt this rhetorical strategy intend to exclude or ignore the needs of poor and colored women, the underlying premise of this seemingly univeralistic appeal is to keep the sensibilities of dominant social throughout our society. Recently collected data merely confirm what people working with victims have long known: battering occurs in all social and economic groups.") (citations omitted); Liza G. Lerman, Mediation of Wife Abuse Cases: The adverse Impact of Informal Dispute Resolution on Women, 7 HARV. WOMEN'S L.J. 57, 63 (1984) ("Battering occurs in all racial, economic, and religious groups, in rural, urban, and suburban settings.") (citation omitted); Steven M. Cook, Domestic Abuse Legislation in Illinois and Other States: A Survey and Suggestions for Reform, 1983 U. ILL. L. REV. 261, 262 (1983) (student author) ("Although domestic violence is difficult to measure, several studies suggest that spouse abuse is an extensive problem, one which strikes families regardless of their economic class, race, national origin, or educational background.") (citations omitted). 55. For example, Susan Kelly-Dreiss states: The public holds many myths about battered women-they are poor, they are women of color, they are uneducated, they are on welfare, they deserve to be beaten and they even like it. However, contrary to common misperceptions, domestic violence is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group. Hearings on Violent Crime Against Women, supra note 44, pt. 2, at 139 (testimony of Susan KellyDreiss, Executive Director, Pa. Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Kathleen Waits offers a possible explanation for this misperception: It is true that battered women who are also poor are more likely to come to the attention of governmental officials than are their middle- and upper-class counterparts. However, this phenomenon is caused more by the lack of alternative resources and the intrusiveness of the welfare state than by any significantly higher incidence of violence among lower-class families. Waits, supra note 54, at 276-77 (citations omitted). 56. However, no reliable statistics support such a claim. In fact, some statistics suggest that there is a greater frequency of violence among the working classes and the poor. See M. STRAUS, R. GELLES, & S. STEINMETZ, supra note 54, at 31. Yet these statistics are also unreliable because, to follow Waits's observation, violence in middle- and upper-class homes remains hidden from the view of statisticians and governmental officials alike. See note 55 supra. I would suggest that assertions that the problem is the same across race and class are driven less by actual knowledge about the prevalence of domestic violence in different communities than by advocates' recognition that the image of domestic violence as an issue involving primarily the poor and minorities complicates efforts to mobilize against it. 57. On January 14, 1991, Senator Joseph Biden (D-Del.) introduced Senate Bill 15, the Violence Against Women Act of 1991, comprehensive legislation addressing violent crime confronting women. S. 15, 102d Cong., 1st Sess. (1991). The bill consists of several measures designed to create safe streets, safe homes, and safe campuses for women. More specifically, Title III of the bill creates a civil rights remedy for crimes of violence motivated by the victim's gender. Id. ? 301. Among the findings supporting the bill were "(1) crimes motivated by the victim's gender constitute bias crimes in violation of the victim's right to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender" and "(2) current law [does not provide a civil rights remedy] for gender crimes committed on the street or in the home." S. REP. No. 197, 102d Cong., 1st Sess. 27 (1991). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1260 [Vol. 43:1241 groups focused on the experiences of those groups. Indeed, as sub gested by the opening comments of Senator David Boren (D-Okla port of the Violence Against Women Act of 1991, the displaceme "other" as the presumed victim of domestic violence works prim political appeal to rally white elites. Boren said, Violent crimes against women are not limited to the streets of the cities, but also occur in homes in the urban and rural areas across th country. Violence against women affects not only those who are actually beaten and brutalized, but indirectly affects all women. Today, our wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and colleagues are held captive by fear generated from these violent crimes-held captive not for what they do or who they are, but solely because of gender.58 Rather than focusing on and illuminating how violence is disregarded when the home is "othered," the strategy implicit in Senator Boren's remarks functions instead to politicize the problem only in the dominant community. This strategy permits white women victims to come into focus, but does little to disrupt the patterns of neglect that permitted the problem to continue as long as it was imagined to be a minority problem. The experience of violence by minority women is ignored, except to the extent it gains white support for domestic violence programs in the white community. Senator Boren and his colleagues no doubt believe that they have provided legislation and resources that will address the problems of all women victimized by domestic violence. Yet despite their universalizing rhetoric of "all" women, they were able to empathize with female victims of domestic violence only by looking past the plight of "other" women and by recognizing the familiar faces of their own. The strength of the appeal to "protect our women" must be its race and class specificity. After all, it has always been someone's wife, mother, sister, or daughter that has been abused, even when the violence was stereotypically Black or Brown, and poor. The point here is not that the Violence Against Women Act is particularistic on its own terms, but that unless the Senators and other policymakers ask why violence remained insignificant as long as it was understood as a minority problem, it is unlikely that women of color will share equally in the distribu- tion of resources and concern. It is even more unlikely, however, that those in power will be forced to confront this issue. As long as attempts to politicize domestic violence focus on convincing whites that this is not a "minority" problem but their problem, any authentic and sensitive attention to the 58. 137 Cong. Rec. S611 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 1991) (statement of Sen. Boren). Senator William Cohen (D-Me.) followed with a similar statement, noting that rapes and domestic assaults are not limited to the streets of our inner cities or to those few highly publicized cases that we read about in the newspapers or see on the evening news. Women throughout the country, in our Nation's urban areas and rural communities, are being beaten and brutalized in the streets and in their homes. It is our mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends, neighbors, and coworkers who are being victimized; and in many cases, they are being victimized by family members, friends, and acquaintances. Id. (statement of Sen. Cohen). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1261 experiences of Black and other minority women probably will con regarded as jeopardizing the movement. While Senator Boren's statement reflects a self-consciously pol entation of domestic violence, an episode of the CBS news p Hours59 shows how similar patterns of othering nonwhite women ent in journalistic accounts of domestic violence as well. Th presented seven women who were victims of abuse. Six were inte some length along with their family members, friends, supporter detractors. The viewer got to know something about each of th These victims were humanized. Yet the seventh woman, the onl one, never came into focus. She was literally unrecognizable thro segment, first introduced by photographs showing her face badly later shown with her face electronically altered in the videotape at which she was forced to testify. Other images associated with included shots of a bloodstained room and blood-soaked pillows. friend was pictured handcuffed while the camera zoomed in for his bloodied sneakers. Of all the presentations in the episode, h most graphic and impersonal. The overall point of the segment " this woman was that battering might not escalate into homicide women would only cooperate with prosecutors. In focusing agenda and failing to explore why this woman refused to coopera gram diminished this woman, communicating, however subtly, t responsible for her own victimization. Unlike the other women, all of whom, again, were white, this man had no name, no family, no context. The viewer sees her o timized and uncooperative. She cries when shown pictures. She to be forced to view the bloodstained room and her disfigured program does not help the viewer to understand her predicamen sible reasons she did not want to testify-fear, love, or possibly never suggested.60 Most unfortunately, she, unlike the other six, epilogue. While the fates of the other women are revealed at the episode, we discover nothing about the Black woman. She, like th she represents, is simply left to herself and soon forgotten. I offer this description to suggest that "other" women are si much by being relegated to the margin of experience as by total Tokenistic, objectifying, voyeuristic inclusion is at least as disemp complete exclusion. The effort to politicize violence against wom little to address Black and other minority women if their images simply to magnify the problem rather than to humanize their e Similarly, the antiracist agenda will not be advanced significantly by suppressing the reality of battering in minority communities. Hours episode makes clear, the images and stereotypes we fear 59. 48 Hours: Till Death Do Us Part (CBS television broadcast, Feb. 6, 1991). 60. See Christine A. Littleton, Women's Experience and the Problem of Transition on Male Battering of Women, 1989 U. CHI. LEGAL F. 23. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1262 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 available and are frequently deployed in ways that do not gener understanding of the nature of domestic violence in minority c 3. Race and domestic violence support services. Women working in the field of domestic violence have someti duced the subordination and marginalization of women of color policies, priorities, or strategies of empowerment that either eli disregard the particular intersectional needs of women of color. der, race, and class intersect to create the particular context in w of color experience violence, certain choices made by "allies" ca intersectional subordination within the very resistance strategies respond to the problem. This problem is starkly illustrated by the inaccessibility of do lence support services to many non-English-speaking women. I written to the deputy commissioner of the New York State De Social Services, Diana Campos, Director of Human Services for de Ocupaciones y Desarrollo Econ6mico Real, Inc. (PODER), d case of a Latina in crisis who was repeatedly denied accomodation ter because she could not prove that she was English-proficient. had fled her home with her teenaged son, believing her husband kill them both. She called the domestic violence hotline admini PODER seeking shelter for herself and her son. Because mo would not accommodate the woman with her son, they were f on the streets for two days. The hotline counselor was finally ab agency that would take both the mother and the son, but when t told the intake coordinator at the shelter that the woman spoke lish, the coordinator told her that they could not take anyone w English-proficient. When the woman in crisis called back and w the shelter's "rule," she replied that she could understand Englis to her slowly. As Campos explains, Mildred, the hotline cou Wendy, the intake coordinator that the woman said that she could communicate a little in English. told Mildred that they could not provide services to this woman b they have house rules that the woman must agree to follow. Mildre her, "What if the woman agrees to follow your rules? Will you still her?" Wendy responded that all of the women at the shelter are req attend [a] support group and they would not be able to have her in the if she could not communicate. Mildred mentioned the severity of t man's case. She told Wendy that the woman had been wandering the at night while her husband is home, and she had been mugged tw also reiterated the fact that this woman was in danger of being k either her husband or a mugger. Mildred expressed that the woman' was a priority at this point, and that once in a safe place, receiving ing in a support group could be dealt with.61 61. Letter of Diana M. Campos, Director of Human Services, PODER, to Jose This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1263 The intake coordinator restated the shelter's p lish-speaking women, and stated further that t the shelter herself for screening. If the woma them in English, she might be accepted. W PODER hotline later that day, she was in such a s counselor who had been working with her had d in Spanish.62 Campos directly intervened at thi director of the shelter. A counselor called back from the shelter. As Campos reports, Marie [the counselor] told me that they did not want to take the woman in the shelter because they felt that the woman would feel isolated. I explained that the son agreed to translate for his mother during the intake process. Furthermore, that we would assist them in locating a Spanish-speaking battered women's advocate to assist in counseling her. Marie stated that utilizing the son was not an acceptable means of communication for them, since it further victimized the victim. In addition, she stated that they had similar experiences with women who were non-English-speaking, and that the women eventually just left because they were not able to communicate with anyone. I expressed my extreme concern for her safety and reiterated that we would assist them in providing her with the necessary services until we could get her placed someplace where they had bilingual staff.63 After several more calls, the shelter finally agreed to take the woman. The woman called once more during the negotiation; however, after a plan was in place, the woman never called back. Said Campos, "After so many calls, we are now left to wonder if she is alive and well, and if she will ever have enough faith in our ability to help her to call us again the next time she is in crisis."64 Despite this woman's desperate need, she was unable to receive the protection afforded English-speaking women, due to the shelter's rigid commit- ment to exclusionary policies. Perhaps even more troubling than the shelter's lack of bilingual resources was its refusal to allow a friend or relative to translate for the woman. This story illustrates the absurdity of a feminist approach that would make the ability to attend a support group without a translator a more significant consideration in the distribution of resources than the risk of physical harm on the street. The point is not that the shelter's image of empowerment is empty, but rather that it was imposed without regard to the disempowering consequences for women who didn't match the kind of client the shelter's administrators imagined. And thus they failed to accomplish the basic priority of the shelter movement-to get the woman out of danger. Deputy Commissioner, New York State Department of Social Services (Mar. 26, 1992) [hereinafter PODER Letter]. 62. The woman had been slipping back into her home during the day when her husband was at work. She remained in a heightened state of anxiety because he was returning shortly and she would be forced to go back out into the streets for yet another night. 63. PODER Letter, supra note 61 (emphasis added). 64. Id. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1264 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 Here the woman in crisis was made to bear the burden of the shelter's refusal to anticipate and provide for the needs of non-English-speaking women. Said Campos, "It is unfair to impose more stress on victims by placing them in the position of having to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to receive services that are readily available to other battered women."65 The problem is not easily dismissed as one of well-intentioned igno- rance. The specific issue of monolingualism and the monistic view of women's experience that set the stage for this tragedy were not new issues in New York. Indeed, several women of color reported that they had repeatedly struggled with the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Vio- lence over language exclusion and other practices that marginalized the interests of women of color.66 Yet despite repeated lobbying, the Coalition did not act to incorporate the specific needs of nonwhite women into its central organizing vision. Some critics have linked the Coalition's failure to address these issues to the narrow vision of coalition that animated its interaction with women of color in the first place. The very location of the Coalition's headquarters in Woodstock, New York-an area where few people of color live-seemed to guarantee that women of color would play a limited role in formulating policy. Moreover, efforts to include women of color came, it seems, as something of an afterthought. Many were invited to participate only after the Coalition was awarded a grant by the state to recruit women of color. However, as one "recruit" said, "they were not really prepared to deal with us or our issues. They thought that they could simply incorporate us into their organization without rethinking any of their beliefs or priorities and that we would be happy."67 Even the most formal gestures of inclusion were not to be taken for granted. On one occasion when several women of color attended a meeting to discuss a special task force on women of color, the group debated all day over including the issue on the agenda.68 The relationship between the white women and the women of color on the Board was a rocky one from beginning to end. Other conflicts developed over differing definitions of feminism. For example, the Board decided to hire a Latina staffperson to manage outreach programs to the Latino community, but the white members of the hiring committee rejected candidates favored by Latina committee members who did not have recognized feminist 65. Id. 66. Roundtable Discussion on Racism and the Domestic Violence Movement (Apri (transcript on file with the Stanford Law Review). The participants in the discussion-D pos, Director, Bilingual Outreach Project of the New York State Coalition Against Dom lence; Elsa A. Rios, Project Director, Victim Intervention Project (a community-base East Harlem, New York, serving battered women); and Haydee Rosario, a social work East Harlem Council for Human Services and a Victim Intervention Project volunteer conflicts relating to race and culture during their association with the New York State Against Domestic Violence, a state oversight group that distributed resources to batter shelters throughout the state and generally set policy priorities for the shelters that were Coalition. 67. Id. 68. Id. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1265 credentials. As Campos pointed out, by measuring Latinas ag own biographies, the white members of the Board failed to rec different circumstances under which feminist consciousness de manifests itself within minority communities. Many of the wom terviewed for the position were established activists and leaders w own community, a fact in itself suggesting that these women we familiar with the specific gender dynamics in their communitie accordingly better qualified to handle outreach than other cand more conventional feminist credentials.69 The Coalition ended a few months later when the women of color walked out.70 Many of these women returned to community-based organizations, preferring to struggle over women's issues within their communities rather than struggle over race and class issues with white middle-class women. Yet as illustrated by the case of the Latina who could find no shelter, the dominance of a particular perspective and set of priorities within the shelter community continues to marginalize the needs of women of color. The struggle over which differences matter and which do not is neither an abstract nor an insignificant debate among women. Indeed, these conflicts are about more than difference as such; they raise critical issues of power. The problem is not simply that women who dominate the antiviolence movement are different from women of color but that they frequently have power to determine, either through material or rhetorical resources, whether the intersectional differences of women of color will be incorporated at all into the basic formulation of policy. Thus, the struggle over incorporating these differences is not a petty or superficial conflict about who gets to sit at the head of the table. In the context of violence, it is sometimes a deadly serious matter of who will survive-and who will not.71 B. Political Intersectionalities in Rape In the previous sections, I have used intersectionality to describe or frame various relationships between race and gender. I have used intersectionality as a way to articulate the interaction of racism and patriarchy generally. I have also used intersectionality to describe the location of women of color both within overlapping systems of subordination and at the margins of feminism and antiracism. When race and gender factors are examined in the context of rape, intersectionality can be used to map the ways in which racism and patriarchy have shaped conceptualizations of rape, to describe the unique vulnerability of women of color to these converging sys69. Id. 70. Ironically, the specific dispute that led to the walk-out concerned the housing of t ish-language domestic violence hotline. The hotline was initially housed at the Coalition's ters, but languished after a succession of coordinators left the organization. Latinas on th board argued that the hotline should be housed at one of the community service agencies, board insisted on maintaining control of it. The hotline is now housed at PODER. Id. 71. Said Campos, "It would be a shame that in New York state a battered woman death were dependent upon her English language skills." PODER Letter, supra note 61 This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1266 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 tems of domination, and to track the marginalization of wome within antiracist and antirape discourses.72 1. Racism and sexism in dominant conceptualizations of rape Generations of critics and activists have criticized dominant c izations of rape as racist and sexist. These efforts have been im revealing the way in which representations of rape both reproduce race and gender hierarchies in American society.73 Bl as both women and people of color, are situated within both gro which has benefitted from challenges to sexism and racism, resp yet the particular dynamics of gender and race relating to the r women have received scant attention. Although antiracist and an saults on rape have been politically useful to Black women, at som monofocal antiracist and feminist critiques have also produced discourse that disserves Black women. Historically, the dominant conceptualization of rape as quintessentially Black offender/white victim has left Black men subject to legal and extralegal violence. The use of rape to legitimize efforts to control and discipline the Black community is well established, and the casting of all Black men as potential threats to the sanctity of white womanhood was a familiar construct that antiracists confronted and attempted to dispel over a century ago. Feminists have attacked other dominant, essentially patriarchal, conceptions of rape, particularly as represented through law. The early emphasis of rape law on the property-like aspect of women's chastity resulted in less solicitude for rape victims whose chastity had been in some way devalued. Some of the most insidious assumptions were written into the law, including the early common-law notion that a woman alleging rape must be able to show that she resisted to the utmost in order to prove that she was raped, rather than seduced. Women themselves were put on trial, as judge and jury scrutinized their lives to determine whether they were innocent victims or women who essentially got what they were asking for. Legal rules thus functioned to legitimize a good woman/bad woman dichotomy in which women who lead sexually autonomous lives were usually least likely to be vindicated if they were raped. 72. The discussion in following section focuses rather narrowly on the dynamics of a Black/ white sexual hierarchy. I specify African Americans in part because given the centrality of sexuality as a site of racial domination of African Americans, any generalizations that might be drawn from this history seem least applicable to other racial groups. To be sure, the specific dynamics of racial oppression experienced by other racial groups are likely to have a sexual componant as well. Indeed, the repertoire of racist imagery that is commonly associated with different racial groups each contain a sexual stereotype as well. These images probably influence the way that rapes involving other minority groups are perceived both internally and in society-at-large, but they are likely to function in different ways. 73. For example, the use of rape to legitimize efforts to control and discipline the Black com- munity is well established in historical literature on rape and race. See JOYCE E. WILLIAMS & KAREN A. HOLMES, THE SECOND ASSAULT: RAPE AND PUBLIC ATTITUDES 26 (1981) ("Rape, or the threat of rape, is an important tool of social control in a complex system of racial-sexual stratification."). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1267 Today, long after the most egregious discriminatory laws ha icated, constructions of rape in popular discourse and in crim tinue to manifest vestiges of these racist and sexist themes. As notes, "a variety of cultural narratives that historically have violence with racial oppression continue to determine the nat response to [interracial rapes]."74 Smith reviews the well-pub a jogger who was raped in New York's Central Park75 to expo public discourse on the assault "made the story of sexual victim arable from the rhetoric of racism."76 Smith contends that in the rapists as "savages," "wolves," and "beasts," the press "sha course around the event in ways that inflamed pervasive fea men."77 Given the chilling parallels between the media repre the Central Park rape and the sensationalized coverage of simi that in the past frequently culminated in lynchings, one could prised when Donald Trump took out a full page ad in four New papers demanding that New York "Bring Back the Death P Back Our Police."78 Other media spectacles suggest that traditional gender-based stereoty that are oppressive to women continue to figure in the popular construct of rape. In Florida, for example, a controversy was sparked by a jury's quittal of a man accused of a brutal rape because, in the jurors' view, t woman's attire suggested that she was asking for sex.79 Even the press c 74. Valerie Smith, Split Affinities: The Case of Interracial Rape, in CONFLICTS IN FEMINI 271, 274 (Marianne Hirsch & Evelyn Fox Keller eds. 1990). 75. On April 18, 1989, a young white woman, jogging through New York's Central Park, raped, severely beaten, and left unconscious in an attack by as many as 12 Black youths. Wolff, Youths Rape and Beat Central Park Jogger, N.Y. Times, Apr. 21, 1989, at B1. 76. Smith, supra note 74, at 276-78. 77. Smith cites the use of animal images to characterize the accused Black rapists, includi descriptions such as: "'a wolfpack of more than a dozen young teenagers' and '[t]here was moon Wednesday night. A suitable backdrop for the howling of wolves. A vicious pack ran r pant through Central Park.... This was bestial brutality.' " An editorial in the New York T was entitled "The Jogger and the Wolf Pack." Id. at 277 (citations omitted). Evidence of the ongoing link between rape and racism in American culture is by no m unique to media coverage of the Central Park jogger case. In December 1990, the George Wash ton University student newspaper, The Hatchet, printed a story in which a white student alleged t she had been raped at knifepoint by two Black men on or near the campus. The story ca considerable racial tension. Shortly after the report appeared, the woman's attorney informe campus police that his client had fabricated the attack. After the hoax was uncovered, the w said that she hoped the story "would highlight the problems of safety for women." Felicity Ba False Rape Report Upsetting Campus, N.Y. Times, Dec. 12, 1990, at A2; see also Les Payne, A R Hoax Stirs Up Hate, Newsday, Dec. 16, 1990, at 6. 78. William C. Troft, Deadly Donald, UPI, Apr. 30 1989. Donald Trump explained that spent $85,000 to take out these ads because "I want to hate these muggers and murderers. should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes." Tr Calls for Death to Muggers, L.A. Times, May 1, 1989, at A2. But cf. Leaders Fear 'Lynch' Hyst in Response to Trump Ads, UPI, May 6, 1989 (community leaders feared that Trump's ads would "the flames of racial polarization and hatred"); Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Cost of Full-Page Ad C Help Fight Causes of Urban Violence, N.Y. Times, May 15, 1989, at A18 ("Mr. Trump's pro could well lead to further violence."). 79. Ian Ball, Rape Victim to Blame, Says Jury, Daily Telegraph, Oct. 6, 1989, at 3. months after the acquittal, the same man pled guilty to raping a Georgia woman to whom he This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1268 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 erage of William Kennedy Smith's rape trial involved a considera of speculation regarding the sexual history of his accuser.80 The racism and sexism written into the social construction of merely contemporary manifestations of rape narratives emanatin historical period when race and sex hierarchies were more explicit Yet another is the devaluation of Black women and the marginali their sexual victimizations. This was dramatically shown in the s tention given to the rape of the Central Park jogger during a week twenty-eight other cases of first-degree rape or attempted rape were in New York.81 Many of these rapes were as horrific as the rape i Park, yet all were virtually ignored by the media. Some were gang and in a case that prosecutors described as was "one of the most recent years," a woman was raped, sodomized and thrown fifty fe top of a four-story building in Brooklyn. Witnesses testified that t "screamed as she plunged down the air shaft.... She suffered frac both ankles and legs, her pelvis was shattered and she suffered e internal injuries."83 This rape survivor, like most of the other forg tims that week, was a woman of color. In short, during the period when the Central Park jogger domi headlines, many equally horrifying rapes occurred. None, however the public expressions of horror and outrage that attended the Ce rape.84 To account for these different responses, Professor Smith "It's your fault. You're wearing a skirt." Roger Simon, Rape: Clothing is Not the C Times, Feb. 18, 1990, at E2. 80. See Barbara Kantrowitz, Naming Names, NEWSWEEK, Apr. 29, 1991, at 26 the tone of several newspaper investigations into the character of the woman who alle was raped by William Kennedy Smith). There were other dubious assumptions animatin age. One article described Smith as an "unlikely candidate for the rapist's role." Boy's N Palm Beach, TIME, Apr. 22, 1991, at 82. But see Hillary Rustin, Letters: The Kenne TIME, May 20, 1991, at 7 (criticizing authors for perpetuating stereotypical images of the not a "likely" rapist). Smith was eventually acquitted. 81. The New York Times pointed out that "[n]early all the rapes reported during t week were of black or Hispanic women. Most went unnoticed by the public." Don Ter of an Infamous Rape, 28 Other Victims Suffer, N.Y. Times, May 29, 1989, at B25. Nea rapes occurred between attackers and victims of the same race: "Among the victims we 7 Hispanic women, 3 whites, and 2 Asians." Id. 82. In Glen Ridge, an affluent New Jersey suburb, five white middle-class teenage gang-raped a retarded white woman with a broom handle and a miniature baseball bat Hanley, Sexual Assault Splits a New Jersey Town, N.Y. Times, May 26, 1989, at B Jackson, The Seeds of Violence, Boston Globe, June 2, 1989, at 23; Bill Turque, Gang Suburbs, NEWSWEEK, June 5, 1989, at 26. 83. Robert D. McFadden, 2 Men Get 6 to 18 Years for Rape in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ti 1990, at B2. The woman "lay, half naked, moaning and crying for help until a neighbo in the air shaft. Community Rallies to Support Victim of Brutal Brooklyn Rape, N.Y. June 26, 1989, at 6. The victim "suffered such extensive injuries that she had to le again .... She faces years of psychological counseling .. ." McFadden, supra. 84. This differential response was epitomized by public reaction to the rape-murder Black woman in Boston on October 31, 1990. Kimberly Rae Harbour, raped and stabbe 100 times by eight members of a local gang, was an unwed mother, an occasional prost drug-user. The Central Park victim was a white, upper-class professional. The Black raped and murdered intraracially. The white woman was raped and left for dead inte Central Park rape became a national rallying cause against random (read Black male) v This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1269 sexual hierarchy in operation that holds certain gard than others.85 Statistics from prosecution this hierarchy is at least one significant, albeit evaluating attitudes toward rape.86 A study of for example, showed that the average prison te raping a Black woman was two years,87 as com rape of a Latina and ten years for the rape of a issue is the fact that African-American victims be believed.89 The Dallas study and others like i problem: neither the antirape nor the antiracist on the Black rape victim. This inattention stem of rape is conceptualized within antiracist and Although the rhetoric of both agendas formally cism is generally not problematized in feminism tized in antiracist discourses. Consequently, th relegated to a secondary importance: The prim supported by feminists and others concerned a women; the primary beneficiaries of the Black racism and rape, Black men. Ultimately, the ref gies that have grown out of antiracist and femin have been ineffective in politicizing the treatm 2. Race and the antirape lobby. Feminist critiques of rape have focused on the rape of Kimberly Rae Harbour was written into a local scrip Department's siege upon Black men in pursuit of the "fiction Ellement, 8 Teen-agers Charged in Rape, Killing of Dorches 1990, at 1; James S. Kunen, Homicide No. 119, PEOPLE, Jan. 1 the Stuart and Harbour murders, see Christopher B. Daly, Scan Reach Record in Boston, Wash. Post, Dec. 5, 1990, at A3. 85. Smith points out that "[t]he relative invisibility of black w the differential value of women's bodies in capitalist societies. T as a crime against the property of privileged white men, crim men of color, working-class women, and lesbians, for example those against white women from the middle and upper classe 86. "Cases involving black offenders and black victims were D. LAFREE, RAPE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT (1989). LaFree also notes, however, that "the race composition of the victim-offender dyad" was not the only predictor of case dispositions. Id. at 219-20. 87. Race Tilts the Scales of Justice. Study: Dallas Punishes Attacks on Whites More Harshly, Dallas Times Herald, Aug. 19, 1990, at Al. A study of 1988 cases in Dallas County's criminal justice system concluded that rapists whose victims were white were punished more severely than those whose victims were Black or Hispanic. The Dallas Times Herald, which had commissioned the study, reported that "[t]he punishment almost doubled when the attacker and victim were of different races. Except for such interracial crime, sentencing disparities were much less pronounced ...." Id. 88. Id. Two criminal law experts, Iowa law professor David Bald versity professor Alfred Blumstein "said that the racial inequities m figures suggest." Id. 89. See G. LAFREE, supra note 86, at 219-20 (quoting jurors wh Black rape survivors); see also H. FEILD & L. BIENEN, supra note 3 This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1270 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 dominant rules and expectations that tightly regulate the sexuali men. In the context of the rape trial, the formal definition of rape the evidentiary rules applicable in a rape trial discriminate against measuring the rape victim against a narrow norm of acceptable sex duct for women. Deviation from that norm tends to turn women in imate rape victims, leading to rejection of their claims. Historically, legal rules dictated, for example, that rape victim have resisted their assailants in order for their claims to be accep abatement of struggle was interpreted as the woman's consent to t course under the logic that a real rape victim would protect her ho ally to the death. While utmost resistance is not formally required rape law continues to weigh the credibility of women against narro tive standards of female behavior. A woman's sexual history, for ex frequently explored by defense attorneys as a way of suggesting t man who consented to sex on other occasions was likely to have con the case at issue. Past sexual conduct as well as the specific circum leading up to the rape are often used to distinguish the moral ch the legitimate rape victim from women who are regarded as moral or in some other way responsible for their own victimization. This type of feminist critique of rape law has informed many of th damental reform measures enacted in antirape legislation, incl creased penalties for convicted rapists90 and changes in evidentiary preclude attacks on the woman's moral character.91 These reforms tactics attorneys might use to tarnish the image of the rape victim operate within preexisting social constructs that distinguish vict nonvictims on the basis of their sexual character. And so these re while beneficial, do not challenge the background cultural narrat undermine the credibility of Black women. Because Black women face subordination based on both race and reforms of rape law and judicial procedures that are premised on conceptions of gender subordination may not address the devalua Black women. Much of the problem results from the way certain expectations for women intersect with certain sexualized notions of 90. For example, Title I of the Violence Against Women Act creates federal penalti crimes. See 137 CONG. REC. S597, S599-600 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 1991). Specifically, se the Act authorizes the Sentencing Commission to promulgate guidelines to provide that who commits a violation after a prior conviction can be punished by a term of imprisonme up to twice of what is otherwise provided in the guidelines. S. 15, supra note 57, at 8. A section 112 of the Act authorizes the Sentencing Commission to amend its sentencing g provide that a defendant convicted of rape or aggravated rape, "shall be assigned a bas that is at least 4 levels greater than the base offense level applicable to such offenses. 91. Title I of the Act also creates new evidentiary rules for the introduction of sexual criminal and civil cases. Id. Sections 151 and 152 amend Fed. R. Evid. 412 by prohibitin tion or opinion evidence of the past sexual behavior of an alleged victim" from being a limiting other evidence of past sexual behavior. Id. at 39-44. Similarly, section 153 amen shield law. Id. at 44-45. States have also either enacted or attempted to enact rape reforms of their own. See Harriet R. Galvin, Shielding Rape Victims in the State and Fe A Proposalfor the Second Decade, 70 MINN. L. REV. 763 (1986); Barbara Fromm, Sex Mixed-Signal Legislation Reveals Need for Further Reform, 18 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 5 This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1271 tions that are deeply entrenched in American culture. Sexual African Americans go all the way back to Europeans' first eng Africans. Blacks have long been portrayed as more sexual, mo more gratification-oriented. These sexualized images of race i norms of women's sexuality, norms that are used to distinguis from bad, the madonnas from the whores. Thus Black wome tially prepackaged as bad women within cultural narratives ab men who can be raped and bad women who cannot. The di Black women's claims is the consequence of a complex inte gendered sexual system, one that constructs rules appropriate bad women, and a race code that provides images defining the sential nature of Black women. If these sexual images form ev cultural imagery of Black women, then the very representat female body at least suggests certain narratives that may ma men's rape either less believable or less important. These nar explain why rapes of Black women are less likely to result in c long prison terms than rapes of white women.92 Rape law reform measures that do not in some way engage the narratives that are read onto Black women's bodies are unli the way cultural beliefs oppress Black women in rape trials. gree to which legal reform can directly challenge cultural beli rape trials is limited,93 the very effort to mobilize political res addressing the sexual oppression of Black women can be an im step in drawing greater attention to the problem. One obstac effort has been the failure of most antirape activists to analy the consequences of racism in the context of rape. In the absen attempt to address the racial dimensions of rape, Black wome presumed to be represented in and benefitted by prevailing femin 3. Antiracism and rape. Antiracist critiques of rape law focus on how the law operates primarily to condemn rapes of white women by Black men.94 While the heightened 92. See note 35 supra. 93. One can imagine certain trial-based interventions that might assist prosecutors in struggling with these beliefs. For example, one might consider expanding the scope of voir dire to ex- amine jurors' attitudes toward Black rape victims. Moreover, as more is learned about Black women's response to rape, this information may be deemed relevant in evaluating Black women's testimony and thus warrant introduction through expert testimony. In this regard, it is worth noting that the battered women's syndrome and the rape trauma syndrome are both forms of expert testimony that frequently function in the context of a trial to counter stereotypes and other dominant narratives that might otherwise produce a negative outcome for the woman "on trial." These interventions, probably unimaginable a short while ago, grew out of efforts to study and somehow quan- tify women's experience. Similar interventions that address the particular dimensions of the experiences of women of color may well be possible. This knowledge may grow out of efforts to map how women of color have fared under standard interventions. For an example of an intersectional critique of the battered women's syndrome, see Sharon A. Allard, Rethinking Battered Woman Syn- drome. A Black Feminist Perspective, 1 U.C.L.A. WOMEN'S L.J. 191 (1991) (student author). 94. See Smith, supra note 74 (discussing media sensationalization of the Central Park jogger case as consistent with historical patterns of focusing almost exclusively on Black male/white female This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1272 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 concern with protecting white women against Black men has been p criticized as a form of discrimination against Black men,95 it just a reflects devaluation of Black women.96 This disregard for Black wo sults from an exclusive focus on the consequences of the problem f men.97 Of course, rape accusations historically have provided a just for white terrorism against the Black community, generating a legi power of such strength that it created a veil virtually impenetrable to a based on either humanity or fact.98 Ironically, while the fear of th rapist was exploited to legitimate the practice of lynching, rape was alleged in most cases.99 The well-developed fear of Black sexuality primarily to increase white tolerance for racial terrorism as a prop measure to keep Blacks under control.'?? Within the African-A community, cases involving race-based accusations against Black m stood as hallmarks of racial injustice. The prosecution of the Sc boys10l and the Emmett Till'02 tragedy, for example, triggered A dyads.); see also Terry, supra note 81 (discussing the 28 other rapes that occurred durin week, but that were not given the same media coverage). Although rape is largely an in crime, this explanation for the disparate coverage given to nonwhite victims is doubtfu given the findings of at least one study that 48% of those surveyed believed that most rape a Black offender and a white victim. See H. FEILD & L. BIENEN, supra note 35, at 80. Feild and Bienen include in their book-length study of rape two photographs distribut subjects in their study depicting the alleged victim as white and the alleged assailant as B the authors' acknowledgment that rape was overwhelmingly intraracial, the appearance photos was particularly striking, especially because they were the only photos included in book. 95. See, e.g., G. LAFREE, supra note 86, at 237-39. 96. For a similar argument that race-of-victim discrimination in the administration death penalty actually represents the devalued status of Black victims rather than disc against Black offenders, see Randall L. Kennedy, McCleskey v. Kemp: Race, Capital Pu and the Supreme Court, 101 HARV. L. REV. 1388 (1988). 97. The statistic that 89% of all men executed for rape in this country were Black is one. Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 364 (1972) (Marshall, J., concurring). Unfortu dominant analysis of racial discrimination in rape prosecutions generally does not discu any of the rape victims in these cases were Black. See Jennifer Wriggins, Rape, Racism, and 6 HARV. WOMEN'S L.J. 103, 113 (1983) (student author). 98. Race was frequently sufficient to fill in facts that were unknown or unknowable 1953, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a jury could take race into account in det whether a Black man was guilty of "an attempt to commit an assault with an attempt t McQuirter v. State, 63 So. 2d. 388, 390 (Ala. 1953). According to the "victim's" testimon stared at her and mumbled something unintelligible as they passed. Id. at 389. 99. Ida Wells, an early Black feminist, investigated every lynching she could for ab ade. After researching 728 lynchings, she concluded that "[o]nly a third of the murder were even accused of rape, much less guilty of it." PAULA GIDDINGS, WHEN AND WHER THE IMPACT OF BLACK WOMEN ON RACE AND SEX IN AMERICA 28 (1984) (quoting 100. See Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, "The Mind That Burns in Each Body": Women, R Racial Violence, in POWERS OF DESIRE: THE POLITICS OF SEXUALITY 328, 334 (Ann Sni tine Stansell, & Sharon Thompson eds. 1983). 101. Nine Black youths were charged with the rape of two white women in a railroa car near Scottsboro, Alabama. Their trials occurred in a heated atmosphere. Each tri pleted in a single day, and the defendants were all convicted and sentenced to death. Se CARTER, SCOTTSBORO: A TRAGEDY OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH (1976). The Suprem versed the defendants' convictions and death sentences, holding that they were unconst denied the right to counsel. Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 65 (1932). However, the were retried by an all-white jury after the Supreme Court reversed their convictions. 102. Emmett Till was a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago visiting his relatives nea This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1273 American resistance to the rigid social codes of white suprema extent rape of Black women is thought to dramatize racism, it as an assault on Black manhood, demonstrating his inability to women. The direct assault on Black womanhood is less freque an assault on the Black community.104 The sexual politics that this limited reading of racism and ra continues to play out today, as illustrated by the Mike Tyson use of antiracist rhetoric to mobilize support for Tyson represe ing practice of viewing with considerable suspicion rape accusa Black men and interpreting sexual racism through a male-cen The historical experience of Black men has so completely occup inant conceptions of racism and rape that there is little room the experiences of Black women. Consequently, racial solidarit ually raised as a rallying point on behalf of Tyson, but never Desiree Washington, Tyson's Black accuser. Leaders ranging min Hooks to Louis Farrakhan expressed their support for Tys established Black leader voiced any concern for Washington. Black men have often been falsely accused of raping white wo the antiracist defense of Black men accused of rape even whe herself is a Black woman. As a result of this continual emphasis on Black male sexuality as the core issue in antiracist critiques of rape, Black women who raise claims of rape against Black men are not only disregarded but also sometimes vilified within the African-American community. One can only imagine the alienation experienced by a Black rape survivor such as Desiree Washington when the accused rapist is embraced and defended as a victim of racism while she is, at best, disregarded, and at worst, ostracized and ridiculed. In contrast, Tyson was the beneficiary of the longstanding practice of using antiracist rhetoric to deflect the injury suffered by Black women victimized by Black men. Some defended the support given to Tyson on the ground that all AfriMississippi. On a dare by local boys, he entered a store and spoke to a white woman. Several days later, Emmett Till's body was found in the Tallahatchie River. "The barbed wire holding the cottongin fan around his neck had became snagged on a tangled river root." After the corpse was discovered, the white woman's husband and his brother-in-law were charged with Emmett Till's murder. JUAN WILLIAMS, EYES ON THE PRIZE 39-43 (1987). For a historical account of the Emmett Till tragedy, see STEPHEN J. WHITFIELD, A DEATH IN THE DELTA (1988). 103. Crenshaw, supra note 7, at 159 (discussing how the generation of Black activists who created the Black Liberation Movement were contemporaries of Emmett Till). 104. Until quite recently, for example, when historians talked of rape in the slavery experience they often bemoaned the damage this act did to the Black male's sense of esteem and respect. He was powerless to protect his woman from white rapists. Few scholars probed the effect that rape, the threat of rape, and domestic violence had on the psychic develop- ment of the female victims. Darlene Clark Hine, Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women in the Middle West: Preliminary Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance, in UNEQUAL SISTERS: A MULTI-CULTURAL READER IN U.S. WOMEN'S HISTORY (Ellen Carol Dubois & Vicki L. Ruiz eds. 1990). 105. Michael Madden, No Offensive from Defense, Boston Globe, Feb. 1, 1992, at 33 (Hooks); Farrakhan Backs Calls for Freeing Tyson, UPI, July 10, 1992. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1274 [Vol. 43:1241 can Americans can readily imagine their sons, fathers, brothers, being wrongly accused of rape. Yet daughters, mothers, sisters, a also deserve at least a similar concern, since statistics show that B men are more likely to be raped than Black men are to be falsely a it. Given the magnitude of Black women's vulnerability to sexual it is not unreasonable to expect as much concern for Black wome raped as is expressed for the men who are accused of raping them Black leaders are not alone in their failure to empathize with o around Black rape victims. Indeed, some Black women were amon staunchest supporters and Washington's harshest critics.106 T widely noted the lack of sympathy Black women had for Washing bara Walters used the observation as a way of challenging Was credibility, going so far as to press Washington for a reaction.107 troubling revelation was that many of the women who did no Washington also doubted Tyson's story. These women did not sym with Washington because they believed that Washington had no bu Tyson's hotel room at 2:00 a.m. A typical response was offere young Black woman who stated, "She asked for it, she got it, it's n cry rape."108 Indeed, some of the women who expressed their disdain for Wa acknowledged that they encountered the threat of sexual assau daily.109 Yet it may be precisely this threat-along with the relativ of rhetorical strategies challenging the sexual subordination of B men-that animated their harsh criticism. In this regard, Black wom condemned Washington were quite like all other women who seek tance themselves from rape victims as a way of denying their own vuln ity. Prosecutors who handle sexual assault cases acknowledge t often exclude women as potential jurors because women tend to e the least with the victim.110 To identify too closely with victimiz reveal their own vulnerability.111 Consequently, women often look 106. See Megan Rosenfeld, After the Verdict, The Doubts: Black Women Show Little for Tyson's Accuser, Wash. Post, Feb. 13, 1992, at D1; Allan Johnson, Tyson Rape C Nerve Among Blacks, Chicago Trib., Mar. 29, 1992, at Cl; Suzanne P. Kelly, Black Wom with Abuse Issue: Many Say Choosing Racial Over Gender Loyalty Is Too Great a Sacrific Feb. 18, 1992, at Al. 107. 20/20 (ABC television broadcast, Feb. 21, 1992). 108. Id. 109. According to a study by the Bureau of Justice, Black women are significantly more to be raped than white women, and women in the 16-24 age group are 2 to 3 times more like victims of rape or attempted rape than women in any other age group. See Ronald J. O Typical Rape Victim Called Poor, Young, L.A. Times, Mar. 25, 1985, at 8. 110. See Peg Tyre, What Experts Say About Rape Jurors, Newsday, May 19, 1991, at 10 porting that "researchers had determined that jurors in criminal trials side with the complai defendant whose ethnic, economic and religious background most closely resembles their ow exception to the rule ... is the way women jurors judge victims of rape and sexual assault.") Fairstein, a Manhattan prosecutor, states, "(T)oo often women tend to be very critical of the of other women, and they often are not good jurors in acquaintance-rape cases." Margaret C The Trials of Convicting Rapists, TIME, Oct. 14, 1991, at 11. 111. As sex crimes prosecutor Barbara Eganhauser notes, even young women with conte rary lifestyles often reject a woman's rape accusation out of fear. "To call another woman the This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1275 dence that the victim brought the rape on herself, usually by rules that are generally held applicable only to women. And w classify women as dumb, loose, or weak on the one hand, and criminating, and strong on the other, it is not surprising tha cannot step outside the rules to critique them attempt to valid within them. The position of most Black women on this issue problematic, first, because of the extent to which they are co minded that they are the group most vulnerable to sexual vict second, because most Black women share the African-American community's general resistance to explicitly feminist analysis when it appears to run up against long-standing narratives that construct Black men as the primary victims of sexual racism. C. Rape and Intersectionality in Social Science The marginalization of Black women's experiences within the antiracist and feminist critiques of rape law are facilitated by social science studies that fail to examine the ways in which racism and sexism converge. Gary LaFree's Rape and Criminal Justice: The Social Construction of Sexual Assault112 is a classic example. Through a study of rape prosecutions in Minneapolis, LaFree attempts to determine the validity of two prevailing claims regarding rape prosecutions. The first claim is that Black defendants face significant racial discrimination.113 The second is that rape laws serve to regulate the sexual conduct of women by withholding from rape victims the ability to invoke sexual assault law when they have engaged in nontraditional behavior. 14 LaFree's compelling study concludes that law constructs rape in ways that continue to manifest both racial and gender domination.115 Although Black women are positioned as victims of both the racism and the sexism that LaFree so persuasively details, his analysis is less illuminating than might be expected because Black women fall through the cracks of his dichotomized theoretical framework. 1. Racial domination and rape. LaFree confirms the findings of earlier studies that show that race is a significant determinant in the ultimate disposition of rape cases. He finds that Black men accused of raping white women were treated most harshly, while Black offenders accused of raping Black women were treated most leniently.116 These effects held true even after controlling for other factors of rape is to acknowledge the vulnerability in yourself. They go out at night, they date, they go to bars, and walk alone. To deny it is to say at the trial that women are not victims." Tyre, supra note 110. 112. G. LAFREE, supra note 86. 113. Id. at 49-50. 114. Id. at 50-51. 115. Id. at 237-40. 116. LaFree concludes that recent studies finding no discriminatory effect were inconc because they analyzed the effects of the defendant's race independently of the race of victi differential race effects in sentencing are often concealed by combining the harsher sentences g This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1276 [Vol. 43:1241 such as injury to the victim and acquaintance between victim and a Compared to other defendants, blacks who were suspected of assaulti white women received more serious charges, were more likely to have t cases filed as felonies, were more likely to receive prison sentences if victed, were more likely to be incarcerated in the state penitentiary (a posed to a jail or minimum-security facility), and received longer sent on the average.117 LaFree's conclusions that Black men are differentially punished d ing on the race of the victim do not, however, contribute much t standing the plight of Black rape victims. Part of the problem lie author's use of "sexual stratification" theory, which posits both tha are differently valued according to their race and that there are c "rules of sexual access" governing who may have sexual contact wit in this sexually stratified market. 18 According to the theory, Black discriminated against in that their forced "access" to white women harshly penalized than their forced "access" to Black women. 19 L analysis focuses on the harsh regulation of access by Black men to women, but is silent about the relative subordination of Black wo Black men accused of raping white women with the more lenient treatment of Black me raping Black women. Id. at 117, 140. Similar results were found in another study. Se Walsh, The Sexual Stratification Hypothesis and Sexual Assault in Light of the Changing of Race, 25 CRIMINOLOGY 153, 170 (1987) ("sentence severity mean for blacks who whites, which was significantly in excess of mean for whites who assaulted whites, was the lenient sentence severity mean for blacks who assaulted blacks"). 117. G. LAFREE, supra note 86, at 139-40. 118. Sexual stratification, according to LaFree, refers to the differential valuation according to their race and to the creation of "rules of sexual access" governing wh contact with whom. Sexual stratification also dictates what the penalty will be for bre rules: The rape of a white woman by a Black man is seen as a trespass on the valuab rights of white men and is punished most severely. Id. at 48-49. The fundamental propositions of the sexual stratification thesis have been summ follows: (1) Women are viewed as the valued and scarce property of the men of their own (2) White women, by virtue of membership in the dominant race, are more val than black women. (3) The sexual assault of a white by a black threatens both the white man's "property rights" and his dominant social position. This dual threat accounts for the strength of the taboo attached to interracial sexual assault. (4) A sexual assault by a male of any race upon members of the less valued black race is perceived as nonthreatening to the status quo and therefore less serious. (5) White men predominate as agents of social control. Therefore, they have the power to sanction differentially according to the perceived threat to their favored social position. Walsh, supra note 116, at 155. 119. I use the term "access" guardedly because it is an inapt euphemism for rape. On the other hand, rape is conceptualized differently depending on whether certain race-specific rules of sexual access are violated. Although violence is not explicitly written into the sexual stratification theory, it does work itself into the rules, in that sexual intercourse that violates the racial access rules is presumed to be coercive rather that voluntary. See, e.g., Sims v. Balkam, 136 S.E. 2d 766, 769 (Ga. 1964) (describing the rape of a white woman by a Black man as "a crime more horrible than death"); Story v. State, 59 So. 480 (Ala. 1912) ("The consensus of public opinion, unrestricted to either race, is that a white woman prostitute is yet, though lost of virtue, above the even greater sacrifice of the voluntary submission of her person to the embraces of the other race."); Wriggins, supra note 97, at 125, 127. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1277 white women. The emphasis on differential access to women is with analytical perspectives that view racism primarily in terms quality between men. From this prevailing viewpoint, the prob crimination is that white men can rape Black women with relativ while Black men cannot do the same with white women.120 Black women are considered victims of discrimination only to the extent that white men can rape them without fear of significant punishment. Rather than being viewed as victims of discrimination in their own right, they become merely the means by which discrimination against Black men can be recognized. The inevitable result of this orientation is that efforts to fight discrimination tend to ignore the particularly vulnerable position of Black women, who must both confront racial bias and challenge their status as instruments, rather than beneficiaries, of the civil rights struggle. Where racial discrimination is framed by LaFree primarily in terms of a contest between Black and white men over women, the racism experienced by Black women will only be seen in terms of white male access to them. When rape of Black women by white men is eliminated as a factor in the analysis, whether for statistical or other reasons, racial discrimination against Black women no longer matters, since LaFree's analysis involves comparing the "access" of white and Black men to white women.'21 Yet Black women are not discriminated against simply because white men can rape them with little sanction and be punished less than Black men who rape white women, or because white men who rape them are not punished the same as white men who rape white women. Black women are also discriminated against because intraracial rape of white women is treated more seriously than intraracial rape of Black women. But the differential protection that Black and white women receive against intraracial rape is not seen as racist because intraracial rape does not involve a contest between Black and white men. In other words, the way the criminal justice system treats rapes of Black women by Black men and rapes of white women by white men is not seen as raising issues of racism because Black and white men are not involved with each other's women. In sum, Black women who are raped are racially discriminated against because their rapists, whether Black or white, are less likely to be charged with rape, and when charged and convicted, are less likely to receive significant jail time than the rapists of white women. And while sexual stratification theory does posit that women are stratified sexually by race, most applications of the theory focus on the inequality of male agents of rape rather than on the inequality of rape victims, thus marginalizing the racist 120. This traditional approach places Black women in a position of denying their own victimization, requiring Black women to argue that it is racist to punish Black men more harshly for raping white women than for raping Black women. However, in the wake of the Mike Tyson trial, it seems that many Black women are prepared to do just that. See notes 106-109 supra and accompanying text. 121. In fact, critics and commentators often use the term "interracial rape" when they are actually talking only about Black male/white female rape. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1278 [Vol. 43:1241 treatment of Black women by consistently portraying racism in ter relative power of Black and white men. In order to understand and treat the victimization of Black women as a consequence of racism and sexism, it is necessary to shift the analysis away from the differential access of men and more toward the differential protection of women. Throughout his analysis, LaFree fails to do so. His sexual stratification thesis-in particular, its focus on the comparative power of male agents of rape-illustrates how the marginalization of Black women in antiracist politics is replicated in social science research. Indeed, the thesis leaves unproblematized the racist subordination of less valuable objects (Black women) to more valuable objects (white women), and it perpetuates the sexist treatment of women as property extensions of "their" men. 2. Rape and gender subordination. Although LaFree does attempt to address gender-related concerns of women in his discussion of rape and the social control of women, his theory of sexual stratification fails to focus sufficiently on the effects of stratification on women.122 LaFree quite explicitly uses a framework that treats race and gender as separate categories, giving no indication that he understands that Black women may fall in between or within both. The problem with LaFree's analysis lies not in its individual observations, which can be in- sightful and accurate, but in his failure to connect them and develop a broader, deeper perspective. His two-track framework makes for a narrow interpretation of the data because it leaves untouched the possibility that these two tracks may intersect. And it is those who reside at the intersection of gender and race discrimination-Black women-that suffer from this fundamental oversight. LaFree attempts to test the feminist hypothesis that "the application of law to nonconformist women in rape cases may serve to control the behavior of all women."123 This inquiry is important, he explains, because "if women who violate traditional sex roles and are raped are unable to obtain justice through the legal system, then the law may be interpreted as an institutional arrangement for reinforcing women's gender-role conformity."'24 He finds that "acquittals were more common and final sentences were shorter when nontraditional victim behavior was alleged."125 Thus LaFree concludes that the victim's moral character was more important than victim injury, and was second only to the defendant's character. Overall, 82.3 percent of the traditional victim cases resulted in convictions and average sentences of 122. G. LAFREE, supra note 86, at 148. LaFree's transition between race and gender suggests that the shift might not loosen the frame enough to permit discussion of the combined effects of race and gender subordination on Black women. LaFree repeatedly separates race from gender, treating them as wholly distinguishable issues. See, e.g., id. at 147. 123. Id. 124. Id. at 151. LaFree interprets nontraditional behavior to include drinking, drug use marital sex, illegitimate children, and "having a reputation as a 'partier,' a 'pleasure seeker' one who stays out late at night." Id. at 201. 125. Id. at 204. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1279 43.38 months.126 Only 50 percent of nontraditional victim cases l victions, with an average term of 27.83 months.127 The effects of and nontraditional behavior by Black women are difficult to deter the information given and must be inferred from LaFree's passi ments. For example, LaFree notes that Black victims were evenly between traditional and nontraditional gender roles. This observa gether with the lower rate of conviction for men accused of rapi suggests that gender role behavior was not as significant in determ disposition as it was in cases involving white victims. Indeed, LaFr itly notes that "the victim's race was ... an important predictor case evaluations."128 Jurors were less likely to believe in a defendant's guilt when the victim was black. Our interviews with jurors suggested that part of the explanation for this effect was that jurors ... were influenced by stereotypes of black women as more likely to consent to sex or as more sexually experienced and hence less harmed by the assault. In a case involving the rape of a young black girl, one juror argued for acquittal on the grounds that a girl her age from 'that kind of neighborhood' probably wasn't a virgin anyway.129 126. Id. 127. Id. 128. Id. at 219 (emphasis added). While there is little direct evidence that prosecutors a influenced by the race of the victim, it is not unreasonable to assume that since race is an importan predictor of conviction, prosecutors determined to maintain a high conviction rate might be likely to pursue a case involving a Black victim than a white one. This calculus is probably rein forced when juries fail to convict in strong cases involving Black victims. For example, the acqu of three white St. John's University athletes for the gang rape of a Jamaican schoolmate was in preted by many as racially influenced. Witnesses testified that the woman was incapacitated du much of the ordeal, having ingested a mixture of alcohol given to her by a classmate who sub quently initiated the assault. The jurors insisted that race played no role in their decision to acq "There was no race, we all agreed to it," said one juror; "They were trying to make it racial bu wasn't," said another. Jurors: 'It Wasn't Racial,' Newsday, July 25, 1991, at 4. Yet it is possible race did influence on some level their belief that the woman consented to what by all account amounted to dehumanizing conduct. See, e.g., Carole Agus, Whatever Happened to 'The Ru Newsday, July 28, 1991, at 11 (citing testimony that at least two of the assailants hit the victim in head with their penises). The jury nonetheless thought, in the words of its foreman, that the defen ants' behavior was "obnoxious" but not criminal. See Sydney H. Schanberg, Those 'Obnoxious' S John's Athletes, Newsday, July 30, 1991, at 79. One can imagine a different outcome had the races the parties only been reversed. Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) called the verdict "a rerun of what used to happen the South." James Michael Brodie, The St. John's Rape Acquittal: Old Wounds That Just Won't Away, BLACK ISSUES IN HIGHER EDUC., Aug. 15, 1991, at 18. Denise Snyder, executive directo the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, commented: It's a historical precedent that white men can assault black women and get away with it. Woe be to the black man who assaults white women. All the prejudices that existed a hundred years ago are dormant and not so dormant, and they rear their ugly heads in situations like this. Contrast this with the Central Park jogger who was an upper-class white woman. Judy Mann, New Age, Old Myths, Wash. Post, July 26, 1991, at C3 (quoting Snyder); see Kristin Bumiller, Rape as a Legal Symbol: An Essay on Sexual Violence and Racism, 42 U. MIAMI L. REV. 75, 88 ("The cultural meaning of rape is rooted in a symbiosis of racism and sexism that has tolerated the acting out of male aggression against women and, in particular, black women."). 129. Id. at 219-20 (citations omitted). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this attitude exists among some who are responsible for processing rape cases. Fran Weinman, a student in my seminar on race, gender, and the law, conducted a field study at the Rosa Parks Rape Crisis Center. During This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1280 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 LaFree also notes that "[o]ther jurors were simply less willing to b testimony of black complainants."'30 One white juror is quoted a "Negroes have a way of not telling the truth. They've a knack for the story. So you know you can't believe everything they say."131 Despite explicit evidence that the race of the victim is significant in mining the disposition of rape cases, LaFree concludes that rape l tions to penalize nontraditional behavior in women.132 LaFree fai that racial identification may itself serve as a proxy for nontraditiona ior. Rape law, that is, serves not only to penalize actual examples traditional behavior but also to diminish and devalue women who b groups in which nontraditional behavior is perceived as common. Black rape victim, the disposition of her case may often turn les behavior than on her identity. LaFree misses the point that althou and Black women have shared interests in resisting the madonna/w chotomy altogether, they nevertheless experience its oppressive power ently. Black women continue to be judged by who they are, not they do. 3. Compounding the marginalizations of rape. LaFree offers clear evidence that the race/sex hierarchy subordinates Black women to white women, as well as to men-both Black and white. However, the different effects of rape law on Black women are scarcely men- tioned in LaFree's conclusions. In a final section, LaFree treats the devaluation of Black women as an aside-one without apparent ramifications for rape law. He concludes: "The more severe treatment of black offenders who rape white women (or, for that matter, the milder treatment of black offend- ers who rape black women) is probably best explained in terms of racial dis- crimination within a broader context of continuing social and physical segregation between blacks and whites."133 Implicit throughout LaFree's her study, she counseled and accompanied a 12-year-old Black rape survivor who became pregnant as a result of the rape. The girl was afraid to tell her parents, who discovered the rape after she became depressed and began to slip in school. Police were initially reluctant to interview the girl. Only after the girl's father threatened to take matters into his own hands did the police department send an investigator to the girl's house. The City prosecutor indicated that the case wasn't a serious one, and was reluctant to prosecute the defendant for statutory rape even though the girl was under- age. The prosecutor reasoned, "After all, she looks 16." After many frustrations, the girl's family ultimately decided not to pressure the prosecutor any further and the case was dropped. See Fran Weinman, Racism and the Enforcement of Rape Law, 13-30 (1990) (unpublished manuscript) (on file with the Stanford Law Review). 130. G. LAFREE, supra note 86, at 220. 131. Id. 132. Id. at 226. 133. Id. at 239 (emphasis added). The lower conviction rates for those who rape Black wom may be analogous to the low conviction rates for acquaintance rape. The central issue in many cases is proving that the victim did not consent. The basic presumption in the absence of exp evidence of lack of consent is that consent exists. Certain evidence is sufficient to disprove t presumption, and the quantum of evidence necessary to prove nonconsent increases as the presu tions warranting an inference of consent increases. Some women-based on their character, iden or dress-are viewed as more likely to consent than other women. Perhaps it is the combinatio the sexual stereotypes about Black people along with the greater degree of familiarity presume This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1281 study is the assumption that Blacks who are subjected to social control are Black men. Moreover, the social control to which he refers is limited to securing the boundaries between Black males and white females. His con- clusion that race differentials are best understood within the context of social segregation as well as his emphasis on the interracial implications of boundary enforcement overlook the intraracial dynamics of race and gender subordination. When Black men are leniently punished for raping Black women, the problem is not "best explained" in terms of social segregation but in terms of both the race- and gender-based devaluation of Black women. By failing to examine the sexist roots of such lenient punishment, LaFree and other writers sensitive to racism ironically repeat the mistakes of those who ignore race as a factor in such cases. Both groups fail to consider directly the situation of Black women. Studies like LaFree's do little to illuminate how the interaction of race, class and nontraditional behavior affects the disposition of rape cases involving Black women. Such an oversight is especially troubling given evidence that many cases involving Black women are dismissed outright.134 Over 20 percent of rape complaints were recently dismissed as "unfounded" by the Oakland Police Department, which did not even interview many, if not most, of the women involved.135 Not coincidentally, the vast majority of the complainants were Black and poor; many of them were substance abusers or prostitutes.136 Explaining their failure to pursue these complaints, the police remarked that "those cases were hopelessly tainted by women who are transient, uncooperative, untruthful or not credible as witnesses in court."137 exist between Black men and Black women that leads to the conceptualization of such rapes as existing somewhere between acquaintance rape and stranger rape. 134. See, e.g., Candy J. Cooper, Nowhere to Turn for Rape Victims: High Proportion of Cases Tossed Aside by Oakland Police, S.F. Examiner, Sept. 16, 1990, at Al [hereinafter Cooper, Nowhere to Turn]. The most persuasive evidence that the images and beliefs that Oakland police officers hold toward rape victims influence the disposition of their cases is represented in two follow-up stories. See Candy J. Cooper, A Rape Victim Vindicated, S.F. Examiner, Sept. 17, 1990, at Al; Candy J. Cooper, Victim of Rape, Victim of the System, S.F. Examiner, Sept. 17, 1990, at A10. These stories contrasted the experiences of two Black women, both of whom had been raped by an acquaintance after smoking crack. In the first case, although there was little physical evidence and the woman was initially reluctant to testify, her rapist was prosecuted and ultimately convicted. In the second case, the woman was severely beaten by her assailant. Despite ample physical evidence and corroboration, and a cooperative victim, her case was not pursued. The former case was handled by the Berkeley, California, police department while the latter was handled by the Oakland police department. Perhaps the different approaches producing these disparate results can best be captured by the philosophies of the investigators. Officers in Berkeley "take every woman's case so seriously that not one [in 1989] was found to be false." See Candy J. Cooper, Berkeley Unit Takes All Cases as Legitimate, S.F. Examiner, Sept. 16, 1990, at A16. The same year, 24.4% of Oakland's rape cases were classified as "unfounded." Cooper, Nowhere to Turn, supra. 135. Cooper, Nowhere to Turn, supra note 134, at A10. 136. Id. ("Police, prosecutors, victims and rape crisis workers agree that most of the dropped cases were reported by women of color who smoked crack or were involved in other criminal, highrisk behavior, such as prostitution."). 137. Id. Advocates point out that because investigators work from a profile of the kind of case likely to get a conviction, people left out of that profile are people of color, prostitutes, drug users and people raped by acquaintances. This exclusion results in "a whole class of women . . . systematically being denied justice. Poor women suffer the most." Id. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1282 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 The effort to politicize violence against women will do little the experiences of Black and other nonwhite women until the r of racial stratification among women are acknowledged. At the the antiracist agenda will not be furthered by suppressing the r traracial violence against women of color. The effect of both the izations is that women of color have no ready means to link their with those of other women. This sense of isolation compounds politicize sexual violence within communities of color and p deadly silence surrounding these issues. D. Implications With respect to the rape of Black women, race and gender c ways that are only vaguely understood. Unfortunately, the frameworks that have traditionally informed both antirape an agendas tend to focus only on single issues. They are thus inca veloping solutions to the compound marginalization of Black w tims, who, yet again, fall into the void between concerns abou issues and concerns about racism. This dilemma is complicated that cultural images play in the treatment of Black women vict the most critical aspects of these problems may revolve less arou ical agendas of separate race- and gender-sensitive groups, and m the social and cultural devaluation of women of color. The stories our cul- ture tells about the experience of women of color present another challenge-and a further opportunity-to apply and evaluate the usefulness of the intersectional critique. III. REPRESENTATIONAL INTERSECTIONALITY With respect to the rape of Black women, race and gender conver that the concerns of minority women fall into the void between con about women's issues and concerns about racism. But when one discourse fails to acknowledge the significance of the other, the power relations t each attempts to challenge are strengthened. For example, when femin fail to acknowledge the role that race played in the public response to rape of the Central Park jogger, feminism contributes to the forces that pro duce disproportionate punishment for Black men who rape white wom and when antiracists represent the case solely in terms of racial dominat they belittle the fact that women particularly, and all people generally should be outraged by the gender violence the case represented. Perhaps the devaluation of women of color implicit here is linked to h women of color are represented in cultural imagery. Scholars in a w range of fields are increasingly coming to acknowledge the centrality of sues of representation in the reproduction of racial and gender hierarchy the United States. Yet current debates over representation continually e the intersection of race and gender in the popular culture's construction images of women of color. Accordingly, an analysis of what may be ter This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1283 "representational intersectionality" would includ these images are produced through a confluence race and gender, as well as a recognition of how racist and sexist representation marginalize wome In this section I explore the problem of represe ity-in particular, how the production of images o contestations over those images tend to ignore the women of color-in the context of the controvers Black rap group that was the subject of an obscen in 1990. I oppose the obscenity prosecution of 2 L same reasons as those generally offered in suppor without a sense of sharp internal division, of dis that the "real issue" is race or gender, inertly jux analysis offers both an intellectual and political r Aiming to bring together the different aspects of an bility, an intersectional analysis argues that racial are mutually reinforcing, that Black women are c a politics of race alone or gender alone, and that a form of subordination must at the same time be a A. The 2 Live Crew Controversy In June 1990, the members of 2 Live Crew wer under a Florida obscenity statute for their perfo club in Hollywood, Florida. The arrests came just court judge ruled that the sexually explicit lyrics Nasty As They Wanna Be, 38were obscene.'39 Alt Live Crew were eventually acquitted of charges ste formance, the federal court determination that N This obscenity judgment, along with the arre prompted an intense public controversy about rap merged with a broader debate about the representa popular music, about cultural diversity, and about of expression. Two positions dominated the debate over 2 Live Crew. Writing in News- week, political columnist George Will staked out a case for the prosecu138. 2 LIVE CREW, As NASTY AS THEY WANNA BE (Luke Records 1989). 139. In June 1990, a federal judge ruled that 2 Live Crew's lyrics referring to sodomy and sexual intercourse were obscene. Skywalker Records, Inc. v. Navarro, 739 F. Supp. 578, 596 (S.D. Fla. 1990). The court held that the recording appealed to the prurient interest, was patently offensive as defined by state law, and taken as a whole, lacked serious literary, artistic or political value. Id. at 591-96. However, the court also held that the sheriffs office had subjected the recording to unconstitutional prior restraint and consequently granted 2 Live Crew permanent injunctive relief. Id. at 596-604. Two days after the judge declared the recording obscene, 2 Live Crew members were charged with giving an obscene performance at a club in Hollywood, Florida. Experts Defend Live Crew Lyrics, UPI, Oct. 19, 1990. Deputy sheriffs also arrested Charles Freeman, a merchant who was selling copies of the Nasty recording. See Gene Santoro, How 2 B Nasty, NATION, July 2, 1990, at 4. The 11th Circuit reversed the conviction, Luke Records, Inc. v. Navarro, 960 F.2d 134 (11th Cir. 1992). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1284 [Vol. 43:1241 tion.'40 Will argued that Nasty was misogynistic filth and charact Live Crew's performance as a profoundly repugnant "combination treme infantilism and menace" that objectified Black women and sented them as suitable targets of sexual violence.141 The most pr defense of 2 Live Crew was advanced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., H professor and expert on African-American literature. In a New Yor op-ed piece and in testimony at the criminal trial, Gates contende Live Crew's members were important artists operating within and tively elaborating upon distinctively African-American forms of cul pression.142 According to Gates, the characteristic exaggeration fea 2 Live Crew's lyrics served a political end: to explode popular racis types in a comically extreme form.143 Where Will saw a misogynist on Black women by social degenerates, Gates found a form of carnivalesque" with the promise to free us from the pathologies of racis Unlike Gates, there are many who do not simply "bust out laug upon first hearing 2 Live Crew.'45 One does a disservice to the describe the images of women in Nasty as simply "sexually explicit. tening to Nasty, we hear about "cunts" being "fucked" until backb cracked, "asses" being "busted," "dicks" rammed down throats, and 140. See George F. Will, America's Slide into the Sewer, NEWSWEEK, July 30, 1990, 141. Id. 142. Henry Louis Gates, 2 Live Crew, Decoded, N.Y. Times, June 19, 1990, at A23. P Gates, who testified on behalf of 2 Live Crew in the criminal proceeding stemming from performance, pointed out that the members of 2 Live Crew were expressing themselves i messages, and were engaging in parody. "For centuries, African-Americans have been f develop coded ways of communicating to protect them from danger. Allegories and doub ings, words redefined to mean their opposites . . . have enabled blacks to share messages o initiated understood." Id. Similarly, parody is a component of "the street tradition called ing' or 'playing the dozens,' which has generally been risque, and where the best signifier o is the one who invents the most extravagant images, the biggest 'lies,' as the culture says 143. Testifying during 2 Live Crew's prosecution for obscenity, Gates argued that, "[o the brilliant things about these four songs is they embrace that stereotype [of blacks havin large sexual organs and being hypersexed individuals]. They name it and they explode it. have no reaction but to bust out laughing. The fact that they're being sung by four viril black men is inescapable to the audience." Laura Parker, Rap Lyrics Likened to Literature; in 2 Live Crew Trial Cites Art, Parody, Precedents, Wash. Post, Oct. 20, 1990, at D1. 144. Compare Gates, supra note 142 (labeling 2 Live Crew's braggadocio as "se carnivalesque") with Will, supra note 140 (characterizing 2 Live Crew as "lower animals 145. See note 143 supra. 146. Although I have elected to print some of the actual language from Nasty, much debate about this case has proceeded without any specific discussion of the lyrics. There ar one might avoid repeating such sexually explicit material. Among the more compelling on concern that presenting lyrics outside of their fuller musical context hampers a complex unde ing and appreciation of the art form of rap itself. Doing so also essentializes one dimension of work-its lyrics-to stand for the whole. Finally, focusing on the production of a single gr contribute to the impression that that group-here, 2 Live Crew-fairly represents all rapp Recognizing these risks, I believe that it is nonetheless important to incorporate excerp the Crew's lyrics into this analysis. Not only are the lyrics legally relevant in any substantive sion of the obscenity prosecution, but also their inclusion here serves to reveal the depth of m many African-American women must grapple with in order to defend 2 Live Crew. This is larly true for African-American women who have been sexually abused by men in their l course, it is also the case that many African-American women who are troubled by the sexu dation of Black women in some rap music can and do enjoy rap music generally. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1285 splattered across faces. Black women are "cunts," "bitches," a pose "hos."147 This is no mere braggadocio. Those who are concerned about of gender violence in our communities must be troubled by the p nections between these images and the tolerance for violence agai Children and teenagers are listening to this music, and one can concerned that the range of acceptable behavior is being broade constant propagation of misogynistic imagery. One must wo about young Black women who, like young men, are learning th value lies between their legs. But the sexual value of women, unl men, is a depletable commodity; boys become men by expendin while girls become whores. Nasty is misogynist, and an intersectional analysis of the cas Live Crew should not depart from a full acknowledgement of that But such an analysis must also consider whether an exclusive foc of gender risks overlooking aspects of the prosecution of 2 Live raise serious questions of racism. B. The Obscenity Prosecution of 2 Live Crew An initial problem with the obscenity prosecution of 2 Live Cr apparent selectivity.148 Even the most superficial comparison b Live Crew and other mass-marketed sexual representations sugges lihood that race played some role in distinguishing 2 Live Crew a group ever to be prosecuted for obscenity in connection with a m cording, and one of a handful of recording artists to be prosecut performance. Recent controversies about sexism, racism, and vi popular culture point to a vast range of expression that might ha targets for censorship, but was left untouched. Madonna has acte turbation, portrayed the seduction of a priest, and insinuated gr stage,149 but she has never been prosecuted for obscenity. W Crew was performing in Hollywood, Florida, Andrew Dice Clay' ings were being sold in stores and he was performing nationwi 147. See generally 2 LIVE CREW, supra note 138; N.W.A., STRAIGHT OUTTA COM ority Records, Inc. 1988); N.W.A., N.W.A. & THE POSSE (Priority Records, Inc. 1 148. There is considerable support for the assertion that prosecution of 2 Live Cr rap groups is a manifestation of selective repression of Black expression which is no sexist than expression by non-Black groups. The most flagrant example is Geffen Re not to distribute an album by the rap act, the Geto Boys. Geffen explained that "the ex the Geto Boys album glamorizes and possibly endorses violence, racism, and misogyny encourage Def American (the group's label) to select a distributor with a greater aff musical expression." Greg Ket, No Sale, Citing Explicit Lyrics, Distributor Backs Aw Boys Album, Chicago Trib., Sept. 13, 1990, ? 5, at 9. Geffen apparently has a greater aff likes of Andrew Dice Clay and Guns 'N Roses, non-Black acts which have come under and sexist comments. Despite criticism of Guns 'N Roses for lyrics which include Clay's "joke" about Native Americans (see note 150 infra), Geffen continued to d recordings. Id. 149. See Derrick Z. Jackson, Why Must Only Rappers Take the Rap?, Boston Globe, June 17, 1990, at A17. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1286 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 Well-known for his racist "humor," Clay is also comparable to 2 in sexual explicitness and misogyny. In his show, for example, Cla "Eenie, meenie, minee, mo / Suck my [expletive] and swallow slo "Lose the bra, bitch."'50 Moreover, graphic sexual images-many o violent-were widely available in Broward County where the perf and trial took place. According to the testimony of a Broward Co detective, "nude dance shows and adult bookstores are scattered th the county where 2 Live Crew performed."'51 Given the avail other forms of sexually explicit "entertainment" in Broward Coun ida, one might wonder how 2 Live Crew could have been seen as obscene by the lights of the "community standards" of the county all, patrons of certain Broward County clubs "can see women dan at least their breasts exposed," and bookstore patrons can "v purchase films and magazines that depict vaginal, oral and anal s sexual sex and group sex."153 In arriving at its finding of obscen court placed little weight on the available range of films, magazine shows as evidence of the community's sensibilities. Instead, the co ently accepted the sheriffs testimony that the decision to single o was based on the number of complaints against 2 Live Crew "comm by telephone calls, anonymous messages, or letters to the police." Evidence of this popular outcry was never substantiated. But e 150. Id. at A20. Not only does Clay exhibit sexism comparable to, if not greater tha Live Crew, he also intensifies the level of hatred by flaunting racism: " 'Indians, bright They're still livin' in [expletive] tepees. They deserved it. They're dumb as [expletive] ing Clay). One commentator asked, "What separates Andrew Dice Clay and 2 Live Crew? Answer: Foul- mouthed Andrew Dice Clay is being chased by the producers of 'Saturday Night Live.' Foulmouthed 2 Live Crew are being chased by the police." Id. at A17. When Clay did appear on Saturday Night Live, a controversy was sparked because cast member Nora Dunn and musical guest Sinead O'Connor refused to appear. Jean Seligmann, Dicey Problem, NEWSWEEK, May 21, 1990, at 95. 151. Jane Sutton, Untitled, 2 Live Crew, UPI, Oct. 18, 1990. 152. Prosecuting 2 Live Crew but not Clay might be justified by the argument that there is a distinction between "obscenity," defined as expressions of prurient interests, and "pornography" or "racist speech," defined as expressions of misogyny and race hatred, respectively. 2 Live Crew's prurient expressions could be prosecuted as constitutionally unprotected obscenity while Clay's protected racist and misogynistic expressions could not. Such a distinction has been subjected to critical analysis. See Catharine A. MacKinnon, Not A Moral Issue, 2 YALE L. & POL'Y REV. 321 (1984). The distinction does not explain why other expressions which appeal more directly to "prurient interests" are not prosecuted. Further, 2 Live Crew's prurient appeal is produced, at least in part, through the degradation of women. Accordingly, there can be no compelling distinction between the appeal Clay makes and that of 2 Live Crew. 153. Sutton, supra note 151. 154. Skywalker Records, Inc. v. Navarro, 739 F. Supp. 578, 589 (S.D. Fla 1990). The court rejected the defendants' argument that "admission of other sexually explicit works" is entitled to great weight in determining community standards and held that "this type of evidence does not even have to be considered even if the comparable works have been found to be nonobscene." Id. (citing Hamling v. United States, 418 U.S. 82, 126-27 (1974)). Although the court gave "some weight" to sexually explicit writings in books and magazines, Eddie Murphy's audio tape of Raw, and Andrew Dice Clay's tape recording, it did not explain why these verbal messages "analogous to the format in the Nasty recording" were not obscene as well. Id. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1287 were, the case for selectivity would remain.155 The history of sion of Black male sexuality is long, often violent, and all too Negative reactions to the sexual conduct of Black men have t had racist overtones, especially where that conduct threatens t into the mainstream community.157 So even if the decision to reflect a widespread community perception of the purely prur of 2 Live Crew's music, that perception itself might reflect a pattern of vigilante attitudes directed toward the sexual expre men.158 In short, the appeal to community standards does no 155. One report suggested that the complaint came from a lawyer, Jack Tho son has continued his campaign, expanding his net to include rap artists the G Short. Sara Rimer, Obscenity or Art? Trial on Rap Lyrics Opens, N.Y. Times, Oct Despite the appearance of selective enforcement, it is doubtful that any court w that the requisite racial motivation was proved. Even evidence of racial disparity criminal penalties-the death sentence-is insufficient to warrant relief absent spe discrimination in the defendant's case. See McClesky v. Kemp, 481 U. S. 279 (1 156. See notes 101-104 supra and accompanying text. 157. Some critics speculate that the prosecution of 2 Live Crew has less to do than with the traditional policing of Black males, especially as it relates to sexua whether 2 Live Crew is more obscene than Andrew Dice Clay, Gates states, "Clearl is seen as more threatening than others that are just as sexually explicit. Can th unrelated to the specter of the young black male as a figure of sexual and social disru stereotypes that 2 Live Crew seems determined to undermine?" Gates, supra n Page makes a similar point, speculating that "2 Live Crew has become the scapegoa frustration shared by many blacks and whites over a broad range of social probl have gotten out of control." Clarence Page, Culture, Taste and Standard-Settin Oct. 7, 1990, ? 4, at 3. Page implies, however, that this explanation is someth different from racism. "Could it be (drumroll, please) racism? Or could it be fea added). Page's definition of racism apparently does not include the possibility th attach one's societal fears and discomforts to a subordinated and highly stigm other words, scapegoating, at least in this country, has traditionally been, and s racist, whatever the source of the fear. 158. Even in the current era, this vigilantism is sometimes tragically express kins became a victim of it in New York on August 23, 1989, when he was killed b men who believed themselves to be protecting "their" women from being taken b May 18, 1990. Jesse Jackson called Hawkins's slaying a "racially and sexually mot and compared it to the 1955 murder of black Mississippi youth Emmett Till, who who thought he whistled at a white woman. Id. Even those who denied the ra Hawkins's murder produced alternative explanations that were part of the same h Articles about the Hawkins incident focused on Gina Feliciano as the cause of th ing her credibility. See, e.g., Lorrin Anderson, Cracks in the Mosaic, NAT'L REV., 36. "Gina instigated the trouble .... Gina used drugs and apparently still does. She a rehabilitation program before testifying for the prosecution at trial" and was later police and "charged with possession of cocaine-15 vials of crack fell out of her p and she had a crack pipe in her bra." Id. at 37. At trial, defense attorney Stephe that Feliciano "lied, . . . perjured herself .... She divides, polarizes eight mill despicable what she did, making this a racial incident." Id. (quoting Murphy). tacked the "scapegoating" of Feliciano, one stating, "Not only are women the vic lence, they're blamed for it." Alexis Jetter, Protesters Blast Scapegoat Tactics, N 1990, at 29 (quoting Francoise Jacobsohn, president of the New York chapter of ganization for Women). According to Merle Hoffman, founder of the New York tion, "Gina's personal life has nothing to do with the crime, . . . [b]ut rest assured, t sexual history .... It's all part of the 'she made me do it' idea." Id. (quoting Hof York columnist Ilene Barth observed that Gender . . . has a role in New York's race war. Fingers were pointed in Bensonhurst last week at a teenage girl . . . [who] never harmed anyone .... Word of her invitation offended local studs, sprouting macho-freaks determined to own local turf and the young This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1288 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 concern about racism; rather, it underscores that concern. A second troubling dimension of the case brought against 2 was the court's apparent disregard for the culturally rooted aspe Crew's music. Such disregard was essential to a finding of obsc the third prong of the Miller test requiring that material judg must, taken as a whole, lack literary, artistic, or political value Crew argued that this criterion of the Miller test was not met in Nasty since the recording exemplified such African-Americ modes as "playing the dozens," "call and response," and "sign The court denied each of the group's claims of cultural sp recharacterizing in more generic terms what 2 Live Crew cont distinctly African American. According to the court, "playing is "commonly seen in adolescents, especially boys, of all ages"; appears to be "part of the universal human condition"; and the c gins of "call and response"-featured in a song on Nasty abou which competing groups chanted "less filling" and "tastes grea be found in a Miller beer commercial, not in African-American c dition.161 The possibility that the Miller beer commercial may evolved from an African-American cultural tradition was appare the court. In disregarding the arguments made on behalf of 2 Live Crew denied that the form and style of Nasty and, by implication, r general had any artistic merit. This disturbing dismissal of the tributes of rap and the effort to universalize African-American m pression are a form of colorblindness that presumes to level al racial and ethnic differences in order to pass judgment on inter flicts. The court's analysis here also manifests a frequently enc strategy of cultural appropriation. African-American contribu have been accepted by the mainstream culture are eventually a females in their ethnic group .... [W]omen have not made the headlines as pa rauding bands intent on racial assault. But they number among their victims." Ilene Barth, Let the Women of Bensonhurst Lead Us in a Prayer Vigil, Newsday, Sept 159. The Supreme Court articulated its standard for obscenity in Miller v. Califo 15 (1973), reh'g denied, 414 U.S. 881 (1973). The Court held that the basic guidelines fact were (a) "whether the 'average person, applying contemporary community sta find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest"; (b) "whether th or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the law"; and (c) "whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, po tific value." Id. at 24 (citations omitted). 160. See Gates, supra note 142. 161. Skywalker Records, Inc., v. Navarro, 739 F. Supp. 578, 595 (S.D. Fla. 19 mercial appropriation of rap is readily apparent in pop culture. Soft drink and fast foo now feature rap even though the style is sometimes presented without its racial/cult ing McDonald's french fries and the Pillsbury Doughboy have gotten into the rap ac of rap is not the problem; instead, it is the tendency, represented in Skywalker, to reje origins of language and practices which are disturbing. This is part of an overall pat appropriation that predates the rap controversy. Most starkly illustrated in music tural trailblazers like Little Richard and James Brown have been squeezed out of popular consciousness to make room for Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger, and others. Th of white rapper Vanilla Ice is a contemporary example. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1289 simply "American" or found to be "universa with African-American culture that resist absor are either neglected or dismissed as "deviant." The court apparently rejected as well the poss misogynistic rap may have political value as a d element of resistance found in some rap is in m thereby challenging received habits of thought are potentially political, as are more subversive tional rules by becoming what is most feared.16 drop in which the Black male as social outl "gangsta' rap" might be taken as a rejection of a undermining fear through reassurance, in favor of opposition that attempts to challenge the rules very social outlaw that society fears and attem sentations celebrating an aggressive Black male strued as discomforting and oppositional. Not on way preclude a finding that Nasty lacks politic court's assumption that the group's intent was interests. To be sure, these considerations carry other rap artists, such as N.W.A., Too Short, Ic all of whose standard fare includes depictions of murder, and mutilation.163 In fact, had these rather than the comparatively less offensive 2 successfully defeated prosecution. The graphic v tions militate against a finding of obscenity by appeal to prurient interests but instead to more long as violence is seen as distinct from sexualit quirement may provide a shield for the more v even this somewhat formalistic dichotomy may rap artists given the historical linkages that hav 162. Gates argues that 2 Live Crew is undermining the "spe figure of sexual and social disruption." Gates, supra note 142. black sexuality," he explains, "you can do one of two things: yo with exaggeration." Id. 2 Live Crew, Gates suggests, has chose exaggerations of the "oversexed black female and male." Id. 163. Other rap acts that have been singled out for their vi Geto Boys, and Too Short. See, e.g., ICE CUBE, KILL AT WI UJAMA Music, Inc. 1990); GETO BOYS, THE GETO BOYS 1989); Too SHORT, SHORT DOG'S IN THE HOUSE (RCA Re misogynist. Moreover, even misogynist acts also express a p among rap groups and the artistic value of the medium is som critics. See, e.g., Jerry Adler, The Rap Attitude, NEWSWEEK, as a "bombastic, self-aggrandizing" by-product of the growing ment of rap set off a storm of responses. See, e.g., Patrick Go Time For Newsweek's Attitude, L.A. Times, Mar. 25, 1990, at chairman of Def-Jam Records, rap's most successful label, "Su piece would be better applied to contemporary American crise ness .... Blaming the victims-in this case America's black w a very useful approach to problem-solving." Id. (quoting Sim This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1290 [Vol. 43:1241 male sexuality and violence. Indeed, it has been the specter of viole surrounds images of Black male sexuality that presented 2 Live C acceptable target of an obscenity prosecution in a field that include Dice Clay and countless others. The point here is not that the distinction between sex and should be rigorously maintained in determining what is obscene specifically, that rap artists whose standard fare is more violent ou protected. To the contrary, these more violent groups should be m troubling than 2 Live Crew. My point instead is to suggest that o prosecutions of rap artists do nothing to protect the interests of t directly implicated in rap-Black women. On the one hand, prevai tions of obscenity separate out sexuality from violence, which has of shielding the more violently misogynistic groups from prosecuti other, historical linkages between images of Black male sexuality lence permit the singling out of "lightweight" rappers for prosecut all other purveyors of explicit sexual imagery. C. Addressing the Intersectionality Although Black women's interests were quite obviously irrelevan 2 Live Crew obscenity judgment, their images figured prominent public case supporting the prosecution. George Will's Newsweek e vides a striking example of how Black women's bodies were appro and deployed in the broader attack against 2 Live Crew. Commen "America's Slide into the Sewers," Will laments that America today is capable of terrific intolerance about smoking, or t waste that threatens trout. But only a deeply confused society is more cerned about protecting lungs than minds, trout than black women. legislate against smoking in restaurants; singing "Me So Horny" is a co tutional right. Secondary smoke is carcinogenic; celebration of torn v is "mere words."164 Lest one be misled into thinking that Will has become an ally women, Will's real concern is suggested by his repeated referenc Central Park jogger assault. Will writes, "Her face was so disfigured took 15 minutes to identify her. 'I recognized her ring.' Do you r the relevance of 2 Live Crew?"165 While the connection between the threat of 2 Live Crew and the image of the Black male rapist was suggested subtly in the public debate, it is blatant throughout Will's discussion. Indeed, it bids to be the central theme of the essay. "Fact: Some members of a partic- ular age and societal cohort-the one making 2 Live Crew rich-stomped and raped the jogger to the razor edge of death, for the fun of it."166 Will directly indicts 2 Live Crew in the Central Park jogger rape through a fictional dialogue between himself and the defendants. Responding to one de164. See Will, supra note 140. 165. Id. 166. Id. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1291 fendant's alleged confession that the rape was fun, Will asks you get the idea that sexual violence against women is fun? F store, through Walkman earphones, from boom boxes blaring lyrics of 2 Live Crew."167 Since the rapists were young Black Nasty presents Black men celebrating sexual violence, 2 Live Central Park that night, providing the underlying accompan cious assault. Ironically, Will rejected precisely this kind of arg context of racist speech on the ground that efforts to link ra racist violence presume that those who hear racist speech will on what they hear.l68 Apparently, the certain "social cohort" and consumes racist speech is fundamentally different from the o duces and consumes rap music. Will invokes Black women-twice-as victims of this music. But if he were really concerned with the threat of 2 Live Crew to Black women, wh does the Central Park jogger figure so prominently in his argument? Wh not the Black woman in Brooklyn who was gang-raped and then thrown down an airshaft? In fact, Will fails even to mention Black victims of sexu violence, which suggests that Black women simply function for Will stand-ins for white women. Will's use of the Black female body to press t case against 2 Live Crew recalls the strategy of the prosecutor in Richard Wright's novel Native Son. Bigger Thomas, Wright's Black male protagonist, is on trial for killing Mary Dalton, a white woman. Because Bigger burned her body, it cannot be established whether Bigger had sexually a saulted her, so the prosecutor brings in the body of Bessie, a Black wom raped by Bigger and left to die, in order to establish that Bigger had rape Mary Dalton.169 These considerations about selectivity, about the denial of cultural spec ficity, and about the manipulation of Black women's bodies convince me th race played a significant, if not determining, role in the shaping of the ca against 2 Live Crew. While using antisexist rhetoric to suggest a concern fo women, the attack on 2 Live Crew simultaneously endorses traditional read ings of Black male sexuality. The fact that the objects of these violent sexu images are Black women becomes irrelevant in the representation of the threat in terms of the Black rapist/white victim dyad. The Black male b comes the agent of sexual violence and the white community becomes hi potential victim. The subtext of the 2 Live Crew prosecution thus becomes re-reading of the sexualized racial politics of the past. 167. Id. 168. See George F. Will, On Campuses, Liberals Would Gag Free Speech, Newsday, N 1989, at 62. 169. RICHARD WRIGHT, NATIVE SON 305-08 (Perennial Library ed. 1989) (1940). Wr wrote, Though he had killed a black girl and a white girl, he knew that it would be for the death of the white girl that he would be punished. The black girl was merely "evidence." And under it all he knew that white people did not really care about Bessie's being killed. Whit people never searched for Negroes who killed other Negroes. Id. at 306-07. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1292 [Vol. 43:1241 While concerns about racism fuel my opposition to the obsceni cution of 2 Live Crew, the uncritical support for, and indeed cele 2 Live Crew by other opponents of the prosecution is extremely tr well. If the rhetoric of antisexism provided an occasion for racism the rhetoric of antiracism provided an occasion for defending the of 2 Live Crew. That defense took two forms, one political, the tural, both advanced prominently by Henry Louis Gates. Gates's defense argues that 2 Live Crew advances the antiracist agenda by ating stereotypes of Black male sexuality "to show how ridiculou are."170 The defense contends that by highlighting to the extrem ism, misogyny, and violence stereotypically associated with Black ality, 2 Live Crew represents a postmodern effort to "liberate" us racism that perpetuates these stereotypes.171 Gates is right to contend that the reactions of Will and others that the racial stereotypes still exist, but even if 2 Live Crew in explode these stereotypes, their strategy was misguided. Cert group wholly miscalculated the reaction of their white audience, polemic amply illustrates. Rather than exploding stereotypes, as G gests, 2 Live Crew, it seems most reasonable to argue, was simpl successfully) trying to be funny. After all, trading in sexual stere long been a means to a cheap laugh, and Gates's cultural defense Crew recognizes as much in arguing the identification of the gr distinctly African-American cultural tradition of the "dozens" a forms of verbal boasting, raunchy jokes, and insinuations of sexua all of which were meant to be laughed at and to gain for the speak for his word wizardry, and not to disrupt conventional myths of B ality.172 Gates's cultural defense of 2 Live Crew, however, recall efforts on behalf of racist humor, which has sometimes been de antiracist-an effort to poke fun at or to show the ridiculousness 170. Gates, supra note 142. Gates's defense of 2 Live Crew portrayed the group as postmodern guerrilla warfare against racist stereotypes of Black sexuality. Says G Crew's music exaggerates stereotypes of black men and women to show how ridiculou trayals are. One of the brilliant things about these songs is that they embrace the st It's ridiculous. That's why we laugh about them. That is one of the things I noticed ence's reaction. There is no undertone of violence. There's laughter, there's joy." Id. G the celebratory theme elsewhere, linking 2 Live Crew to Eddie Murphy and other Bl formers because they're saying all the things that we couldn't say even in the 1960's about our own excesses, things we could only whisper in dark rooms. They're saying we're going to explode all these sacred cows. It's fascinating, and it's upsetting everybody-not just white people but black people. But it's a liberating moment. John Pareles, An Album is Judged Obscene; Rap: Slick, Violent, Nasty and, Maybe Hopeful, N. Y. Times, June 17, 1990, at 1 (quoting Gates). For a cogent intersectional analysis of Eddie Murphy's popular appeal, see Herman Beavers, The Cool Pose: Intersectionality, Masculinity and Quiescence in the Comedy and Films of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy (unpublished manuscript) (on file with the Stanford Law Review). 171. Gates and others who defend 2 Live Crew as postmodern comic heroes tend to dismiss or downplay the misogyny represented in their rap. Said Gates, "Their sexism is so flagrant, however, that it almost cancels itself out in a hyperbolic war between the sexes." Gates, supra note 142. 172. See note 142 supra. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1293 More simply, racist humor has often been excused as "just racially motivated assaults have been defended as simple pran racism of an Andrew Dice Clay could be defended in eithe attempt to explode racist stereotypes or as simple humor not taken seriously. Implicit in these defenses is the assumption t resentations are injurious only if they are intended to injure, literally, or are devoid of some other nonracist objective. It likely that this rationale would be accepted by Blacks as a pers of Andrew Dice Clay. Indeed, the Black community's historic ing criticism of such humor suggests widespread rejecti arguments. The claim that a representation is meant simply as a joke m but the joke functions as humor within a specific social contex frequently reinforces patterns of social power. Though racia sometimes be intended to ridicule racism, the close relationshi stereotypes and the prevailing images of marginalized people this strategy. And certainly, the humorist's positioning vis-agroup colors how the group interprets a potentially derisive gesture. Although one could argue that Black comedians have cense to market stereotypically racist images, that argument here. 2 Live Crew cannot claim an in-group privilege to perpet nist humor against Black women: the members of 2 Live Black women, and more importantly, they enjoy a power relat them. Humor in which women are objectified as packages of bod serve whatever male-bonding/male-competition needs men p nates women in much the same way that racist humor subord Americans. Claims that incidences of such humor are just joke meant to injure or to be taken literally do little to blunt the quality-nor, for that matter, does the fact that the jokes are intragroup cultural tradition. The notion that sexism can serve antiracist ends has propon from Eldridge Cleaver173 to Shahrazad Ali,174 all of whom s Black women to serve as vehicles for the achievement of a "liberation" that functions to perpetuate their own subordination.175 Claims of cultural specificity similarly fail to justify toleration of misogyny.176 While the cultural 173. See note 47 supra. 174. See notes 37-42 supra and accompanying text. 175. Gates occasionally claims that both Black male and Black female images are exploded by 2 Live Crew. Even if Gates's view holds true for Black male images, the strategy does not work- and was not meant to work-for Black women. Black women are not the actors in 2 Live Crew's strategy; they are acted upon. To challenge the images of Black women, Black women themselves would have to embrace them, not simply permit Black men to "act out" on them. The only Black female rap groups that might conceivably claim such a strategy are Bytches With Problems and Hoes With Attitudes. Yet, having listened to the music of these Black female rap groups, I am not sure that exploding racist images is either their intent or effect. This is not to say, of course, that all Black female rap is without its strategies of resistance. See note 179 infra. 176. It is interesting that whether those judging the 2 Live Crew case came out for or against, This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1294 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 defense of 2 Live Crew has the virtue of recognizing merit in a form common to the Black community, something George Will and th convicted 2 Live Crew were all too glib in dismissing, it does n the need to question both the sexism within the tradition it defe objectives to which the tradition has been pressed. The fact that dozens, say, is rooted in the Black cultural tradition, or that the sented by mythic folk heroes such as "Stackolee" are African Am not settle the question of whether such practices oppress Black Whether these practices are a distinctive part of the African-Am tural tradition is decidedly beside the point. The real question is dinating aspects of these practices play out in the lives of p community, people who share the benefits as well as the burden mon culture. With regard to 2 Live Crew, while it may be true Black community has accepted the cultural forms that have ev rap, that acceptance should not preclude discussion of whether th within rap is itself acceptable. With respect to Gates's political and cultural defenses of 2 L then, little turns on whether the "word play" performed by t postmodern challenge to racist sexual mythology or simply group practice that crossed over into mainstream America. Bot are problematic because they require Black women to accept mi its attendant disrespect and exploitation in the service of some br objective, whether it be pursuing an antiracist political agenda o ing the cultural integrity of the Black community. Neither ob gates Black women to tolerate such misogyny. Likewise, the superficial efforts of the anti-2 Live Crew movemen all seemed to reject the notion that race has anything to do with their analysis. Records, Inc. v. Navarro, 739 F. Supp. 578, 594-96 (S.D. Fla 1990) (rejecting defe that 2 Live Crew's Nasty had artistic value as Black cultural expression); see also Sar Band Members Found Not Guilty in Obscenity Trial, N.Y. Times, Oct. 21, 1990, at A3 they did not agree with the defense's assertion that the 2 Live Crew's music had to b the context of black culture. They said they thought race had nothing to do with Page also rejects the argument that 2 Live Crew's NASTY must be valued as Black c sion: "I don't think 2 Live Crew can be said to represent black culture any more tha Dice Clay can be said to represent white culture. Rather, I think both represent a la See Page, supra note 157. 177. Gay men are also targets of homophobic humor that might be defended specific. Consider the homophobic humor of such comedians as Eddie Murphy, Ars Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier, the two actors who currently portray Black g television show In Living Color. Critics have linked these homophobic representation men to patterns of subordination within the Black community. Black gay filmmake has argued that such caricatures discredit Black gay men's claim to Black manhood, p as "game for play, to be used, joked about, put down, beaten, slapped, and bashe illiterate homophobic thugs in the night, but by black American culture's best Marlon Riggs, Black Macho Revisited: Reflections of a SNAP! Queen, in BROTHER NEW WRITINGS BY BLACK GAY MEN 253, 254 (Essex Hemphill ed. 1991); see al Gayface/Blackface: Parallels of Oppression, NYQ, Apr. 5, 1992, at 32 (drawing pa gayface and blackface and arguing that "gayfaced contemporary comedy . . . ser soothe the guilty consciences and perpetuate the injustices of gay-bashing America. A ing at something barely human is easier than dealing with flying bullets, split skul and demands for civil rights."). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1295 the prosecution of the Crew to the victimization do with Black women's lives. Those who deploy vice of condemning 2 Live Crew's misogynist r in the interest of empowering Black women; rat in mind, the pursuit of which was racially sub here is not that Black feminists should stand in ers of 2 Live Crew. The spirited defense of 2 L defending the entire Black community than th fending Black women. After all, Black wome subject of the representation can hardly regard the bitches and whores as essential to their interest. ily functions to protect 2 Live Crew's prerogat they want to be.178 Within the African-American political comm have to make it clear that patriarchy is a critical the lives not only of Black women, but of B would help reshape traditional practices so that not constitute sufficient justification for uncritica tic politics and patriarchal values. Although col practice has been and continues to be crucially im interests, an empowered Black feminist sensibi terms of unity no longer reflect priorities pre marginalization of Black women. 178. Although much of the sexism that is voiced in rap per rappers have gained a foothold and have undertaken various str very presence in rap challenges prevailing assumptions that ra Rose, One Queen, One Tribe, One Destiny, VILLAGE VOICE 1990, at 10 (profiling Queen Latifah, widely regarded as one of Latifah has eschewed the head-on approach, her rap and videos plified by her single, "Ladies First." QUEEN LATIFAH, ALL HA The "Ladies First" video featured other female rappers, "sho never seen before." Rose, supra, at 16. Rappers like Yo-Yo, "hip activist," take a more confrontational line; for example, Yo-Y in "It's a Man's World." Joan Morgan, Throw the 'F' Village Some female rappers, such as Bytches With Problems, have a of bitches and whores by taking on the appellations and infusin observes, It's common practice for oppressed peoples to neutralize terms of disparagement by adopt- ing and redefining them. Lyndah McCaskill and Tanisha Michelle Morgan's decision to define bitch "as a strong woman who doesn't take crap from anyone, male or female" and to encourage women to "wear the title as a badge of honor and keep getting yours" does not differ significantly from blacks opting to use the word nigger or gays embracing queer. Id. However in the case of the Bytches, Joan Morgan ultimately found the attempt unsuccessful, in part because the subversion operated merely as an exception for the few ("Lynda and Tanisha Michelle are the only B-Y-T-C-H's here; all the other women they speak about, including the menstrual accident, the woman whose boyfriend Lyndah screws, and anyone else who doesn't like their style, are B-I-T-C-H's in the very male sense of the word") and because ultimately, their world view serves to reinscribe male power. Said Morgan, "It's a tired female rendition of age-old sexist, patriarchal thinking: the power is in the pistol or the penis." Id. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1296 [Vol. 43:1241 CONCLUSION This article has presented intersectionality as a way of framing the various interactions of race and gender in the context of violence against women of color. Yet intersectionality might be more broadly useful as a way of mediating the tension between assertions of multiple identity and the ongoing necessity of group politics. It is helpful in this regard to distinguish intersectionality from the closely related perspective of antiessentialism, from which women of color have critically engaged white feminism for the absence of women of color on the one hand, and for speaking for women of color on the other. One rendition of this antiessentialist critique-that femi- nism essentializes the category woman-owes a great deal to the postmodernist idea that categories we consider natural or merely representational are actually socially constructed in a linguistic economy of difference.179 While the descriptive project of postmodernism of questioning the ways in which meaning is socially constructed is generally sound, this critique sometimes misreads the meaning of social construction and distorts its political relevance. One version of antiessentialism, embodying what might be called the vulgarized social construction thesis, is that since all categories are socially constructed, there is no such thing as, say, Blacks or women, and thus it makes no sense to continue reproducing those categories by organizing around them.180 Even the Supreme Court has gotten into this act. In Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. FCC, 81 the Court conservatives, in rhetoric that oozes vulgar constructionist smugness, proclaimed that any set-aside designed to increase the voices of minorities on the air waves was itself based on a racist assumption that skin color is in some way connected to the likely content of one's broadcast. 182 But to say that a category such as race or gender is socially constructed is not to say that that category has no significance in our world. On the contrary, a large and continuing project for subordinated people-and indeed, one of the projects for which postmodern theories have been very helpful-is 179. I follow the practice of others in linking antiessentialism to postmodernism. See generally LINDA NICHOLSON, FEMINISM/POSTMODERNISM (1990). 180. I do not mean to imply that all theorists who have made antiessentialist critiques have lasped into vulgar constructionism. Indeed, antiessentialists avoid making these troubling moves and would no doubt be receptive to much of the critique set forth herein. I use the term vulgar constructionism to distinguish between those antiessentialist critiques that leave room for identity politics and those that do not. 181. 110 S. Ct. 2997 (1990). 182. The FCC's choice to employ a racial criterion embodies the related notions that a particular and distinct viewpoint inheres in certain racial groups and that a particular applicant, by virtue of race or ethnicity alone, is more valued than other applicants because the applicant is "likely to provide [that] distinct perspective." The policies directly equate race with belief and behavior, for they establish race as a necessary and sufficient condition of securing the preference.... The policies impermissibly value individuals because they presume that persons think in a manner associated with their race. Id. at 3037 (O'Connor, J., joined by Rehnquist, C.J., and Scalia and Kennedy, J.J., dissenting) (internal citations omitted). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1297 thinking about the way power has clustered around certain categ exercised against others. This project attempts to unveil the pr subordination and the various ways those processes are experienc ple who are subordinated and people who are privileged by them. a project that presumes that categories have meaning and co And this project's most pressing problem, in many if not most the existence of the categories, but rather the particular values them and the way those values foster and create social hierarchi This is not to deny that the process of categorization is itself of power, but the story is much more complicated and nuanced First, the process of categorizing-or, in identity terms, naming lateral. Subordinated people can and do participate, sometimes e verting the naming process in empowering ways. One need only the historical subversion of the category "Black" or the current t tion of "queer" to understand that categorization is not a one-w Clearly, there is unequal power, but there is nonetheless some agency that people can and do exert in the politics of naming. important to note that identity continues to be a site of resistanc bers of different subordinated groups. We all can recognize the between the claims "I am Black" and the claim "I am a person w to be Black." "I am Black" takes the socially imposed identity an ers it as an anchor of subjectivity. "I am Black" becomes not sim ment of resistance but also a positive discourse of self-iden intimately linked to celebratory statements like the Black nation is beautiful." "I am a person who happens to be Black," on the o achieves self-identification by straining for a certain universality (in am first a person") and for a concommitant dismissal of the im gory ("Black") as contingent, circumstantial, nondeterminan truth in both characterizations, of course, but they function quite d depending on the political context. At this point in history, a s can be made that the most critical resistance strategy for disem groups is to occupy and defend a politics of social location rath vacate and destroy it. Vulgar constructionism thus distorts the possibilities for me identity politics by conflating at least two separate but closely l festations of power. One is the power exercised simply through of categorization; the other, the power to cause that categorizati social and material consequences. While the former power facili latter, the political implications of challenging one over the oth greatly. We can look at debates over racial subordination throu tory and see that in each instance, there was a possibility of ch either the construction of identity or the system of subordinat that identity. Consider, for example, the segregation system in P guson.183 At issue were multiple dimensions of domination, incl 183. 163 U.S. 537 (1896). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms 1298 STANFORD LAW REVIEW [Vol. 43:1241 gorization, the sign of race, and the subordination of those so labe were at least two targets for Plessy to challenge: the construction o ("What is a Black?"), and the system of subordination based on tha ("Can Blacks and whites sit together on a train?"). Plessy actu both arguments, one against the coherence of race as a category, t against the subordination of those deemed to be Black. In his attac former, Plessy argued that the segregation statute's application to h his mixed race status, was inappropriate. The Court refused to see attack on the coherence of the race system and instead responded that simply reproduced the Black/white dichotomy that Plessy w lenging. As we know, Plessy's challenge to the segregation system successful either. In evaluating various resistance strategies today, ful to ask which of Plessy's challenges would have been best for him won-the challenge against the coherence of the racial categorizatio or the challenge to the practice of segregation? The same question can be posed for Brown v. Board of Educ Which of two possible arguments was politically more empowerin segregation was unconstitutional because the racial categorization s which it was based was incoherent, or that segregation was uncons because it was injurious to Black children and oppressive to their c ties? While it might strike some as a difficult question, for the most p dimension of racial domination that has been most vexing to Afric cans has not been the social categorization as such, but the myria which those of us so defined have been systematically subordinat particular regard to problems confronting women of color, when politics fail us, as they frequently do, it is not primarily because those take as natural certain categories that are socially constructed bu because the descriptive content of those categories and the narra which they are based have privileged some experiences and exclude Along these lines, consider the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill cont During the Senate hearings for the confirmation of Clarence Thom Supreme Court, Anita Hill, in bringing allegations of sexual ha against Thomas, was rhetorically disempowered in part because she tween the dominant interpretations of feminism and antiracism. C tween the competing narrative tropes of rape (advanced by feminis one hand and lynching (advanced by Thomas and his antiracist su on the other, the race and gender dimensions of her position cou told. This dilemma could be described as the consequence of antir essentializing Blackness and feminism's essentializing womanhood ognizing as much does not take us far enough, for the problem is n linguistic or philosophical in nature. It is specifically political: th tives of gender are based on the experience of white, middle-clas and the narratives of race are based on the experience of Black m solution does not merely entail arguing for the multiplicity of ide 184. 397 U.S. 483 (1954). This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms July 1991] INTERSECTIONALITY 1299 challenging essentialism generally. Instead, in Hill's case, for would have been necessary to assert those crucial aspects of her were erased, even by many of her advocates-that is, to state w her difference made. If, as this analysis asserts, history and context determine t identity politics, how then do we understand identity politic cially in light of our recognition of multiple dimensions of id specifically, what does it mean to argue that gender identities scured in antiracist discourses, just as race identities have been feminist discourses? Does that mean we cannot talk about ide stead, that any discourse about identity has to acknowledge ho ties are constructed through the intersection of multiple dim beginning response to these questions requires that we first re the organized identity groups in which we find ourselves in are tions, or at least potential coalitions waiting to be formed. In the context of antiracism, recognizing the ways in which tional experiences of women of color are marginalized in prev tions of identity politics does not require that we give up organize as communities of color. Rather, intersectionality p for reconceptualizing race as a coalition between men and wo For example, in the area of rape, intersectionality provides a w ing why women of color have to abandon the general argume interests of the community require the suppression of any c around intraracial rape. Intersectionality may provide the mea with other marginalizations as well. For example, race can als tion of straight and gay people of color, and thus serve as a bas of churches and other cultural institutions that reproduce het With identity thus reconceptualized, it may be easier to und need for and to summon the courage to challenge groups that a one sense, "home" to us, in the name of the parts of us that ar home. This takes a great deal of energy and arouses intense a most one could expect is that we will dare to speak against in sions and marginalizations, that we might call attention to how of "the group" has been centered on the intersectional identi Recognizing that identity politics takes place at the site wher intersect thus seems more fruitful than challenging the possibi about categories at all. Through an awareness of intersectiona better acknowledge and ground the differences among us and means by which these differences will find expression in const politics. This content downloaded from on Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:06:10 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms

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In longer versions of The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf references “The Iron Maiden,” which
was a medieval torture device designed to trap people inside a (usually female). Why does
she refer to it as a metaphor? How does it relate to her larger point about beauty in our
culture? Do you think this metaphor is still useful today?
Beauty has become a controversial topic all over the globe. It’s what defines a woman in
the current society and generation. Wolf, N. (2013), in her book ‘The Beauty Myth,’ stresses the
pressure that women are under going to appear beautiful and meet the required standards of
beauty. Since time immemorial a woman who is pretty had to be white, tall, slim ...

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