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17 Geo. Mason U. C.R. L.J. 199 (2006-2007)
Intersectionality and Identity: Revisiting a Wrinkle in Title VII

handle is hein.journals/gmcvr17 and id is 203 raw text is: INTERSECTIONALITY AND IDENTITY:
by Bradley Allan Areheart*
In DeGraffenreid v. General Motors Assembly Division,' a group
of black female employees sued General Motors (GM) under Title
VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, claiming that GM's seniority system
was discriminatory towards black women.2 They alleged that the dis-
crimination they encountered as black women was a combination of
race- and sex-based discrimination.3 In other words, the identity for
which they sought protection lay at the intersection of two legally-pro-
tected categories: race and sex. The court stated these women were
attempting to combine statutory remedies and create a new 'super-
remedy' that would give them relief beyond what the drafters
intended.'4 Accordingly, the court held that the allegations should be
examined for race discrimination, sex discrimination, or alternatively
either, but not a combination of both.5
While the court simply dismissed the race-based claim,6 its treat-
ment of the sex-based claim illuminates potential intersectional claim-
* Associate, Jenner & Block; J.D. 2005, University of Texas; B.A. 2001, Baylor University.
I am indebted to Professor Wendy Wagner, whose enthusiasm, intellect, and kindness have
inspired me; her mentoring was instrumental in helping me complete the process leading to this
publication. I am also deeply grateful to Professor Karen Engle whose gracious criticism was
exceedingly helpful in revising this Article. Additionally, I would like to thank Seth Belzley,
David Blake, Ezra Church, Michael Heidler, Mathew Titus, Chad Walker, Jonathan Wentz, and
especially John Gore for their comments on earlier drafts. I would like to thank my parents for
their encouragement and my best friend and wife, Robyn, for her unconditional love and sup-
port. Above all, I would like to thank my Lord Jesus Christ, without whom I truly can do
! 413 F. Supp. 142, 143 (E.D. Mo. 1976), affd in part, rev'd in part on other grounds, 558
F.2d 480 (8th Cir. 1977).
2 Id. at 143.
3 Id.
4 Id
5 Id.
6 The court suggested consolidation of the plaintiffs' race-based claim with another party's
claim against GM. Id. at 144-45. Plaintiffs' counsel unsuccessfully opposed this suggestion by
noting that, unlike the suggested case for consolidation, racial discrimination did not provide the

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