The “Welfare Queen” Goes to the Polls: Race-Based Fractures in Gender Politics and Opportunities for Intersectional Coalitions
Catherine Powell & Camille Gear Rich
As Americans celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment’s ratification, our celebration would be premature if we failed to reflect on the ways that race has been used to fracture women’s efforts at coalition politics and our under-standing of women’s rights. Indeed, a careful reading of U.S. history and contemporary politics shows that although similar rights claims are made across a diverse community of American women, women’s shared interests are often obscured by the divisive manipulation of race. Notably, 2020 is also the 150-year anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment, which granted the right to vote to Black men. In this Article, we use the coinciding anniversaries of the two amendments as a critical opportunity to direct feminist attention to intersectional questions—to frame this historical moment as a pivot point that explores the mutually constitutive nature of gender and racial subordination in American politics.