Yale Law School
Your essay “Pregnant Man?” highlights many significant issues concerning the intersection of law, gender, sexuality, race, class, and family. In an earlier article A House Divided: The Invisibility of the Multiracial Family, we explored many of these issues as they relate to multiracial families, including our own. Specifically, we, a black female-white male married couple, analyzed the language in housing discrimination statutes to demonstrate how law and society function together to frame the normative ideal of family as heterosexual and monoracial. Our article examined the daily social privileges of monoracial, heterosexual couples as a means of revealing the invisibility of interracial marriages and families within our society and analyzed how this invisibility is both reflected in and reinforced by the language of housing discrimination statutes. We followed a framework introduced by Peggy McIntosh, outlining unearned and unacknowledged privileges of heterosexual couples and their families; we then used Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality to explain how multiracial couples and families may experience societal benefits and disadvantages differently based on various intersections of identity categories. Our analysis of housing discrimination statutes demonstrated how the assumption that plaintiffs will be monoracial, heterosexual couples fails to fully address the harms to interracial, heterosexual couples that experience discrimination in housing and rental searches because of their interraciality— their race-mixing—as opposed to any person’s individual race. In other words, it revealed how societal norms about who constitutes a family have been codified in a manner that ultimately denies legal recognition of all the harms of discrimination for certain couples and families.
Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jacob Willig-Onwuachi,
All in the Family,
Yale Journal of Law and Feminism
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/334