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Essentialism, Social movements, Political power, Racism, Homophobia, Classism, Sexism, Intersectionality, Multidimensional nature of oppression, Immutability


This Article arises out of the intersectionality and post-intersectionality literature and makes a case against the essentialist considerations that informed HRC's endorsement of D'Amato. Part I discusses the pitfalls that occur when scholars and activists engage in essentialist politics and treat identities and forms of subordination as conflicting forces. Part II examines how essentialism negatively affects legal theory in the equality context. Part III considers the historical motivation for and the efficacy of the "intersectionality" response to the problem of essentialism. Part III also extensively analyzes the "multidimensional" critiques of essentialism offered by the most recent school of thought in this area-the race-sexuality critics of law and sexuality and critical race theory. Finally, Part III examines the conceptual and substantive distinctions between multidimensionality (and other post-intersectionality theories) and intersectionality and offers suggestions for future theorizing in anti-subordination jurisprudence.

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Michigan Journal of Race and Law