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Concept of "intersectional" reaches DC Council

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

There will be a hearing October 27th on a bill that would prohibit "discrimination wholly or partially because of any combination of statutorily protected traits".

The "Intersectional Discrimination Protection Amendment Act of 2019" introduced by council-members T. White, Todd, Grosso, Nadeau, and Silverman, is no doubt in reference to the concept of "intersectionality". Intersectionality is a feminist concept developed by black feminist Kimberly Crenshaw which states that people can face discrimination on multiple levels leading to a very specific type of oppression. So black women face not just sexism and racism, but face a racialized sexism or sexualized racism (sometimes called "misogynoir").

In her famous paper that first brought this term to the public she makes reference to the fact that an automaker would hire white women (so they did hire women) and black men (so they did hire black people), but would not hire black women. When black women tried suing, they were told they could not because being a black women specifically is not a protected class.

This bill is important because under Title VII, a protected class can't be combined with another protected class. This effects women of color the most. This bill would allow the district to do the opposite.

The hearing is scheduled for October 27, at 12 PM EST.


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