Angela Harris, in her article Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory, asserts a theory of "multiple consciousness" in which Black women are composed of partial, contradictory, or antithetical selves. She defines "essentialism" as the idea that there is an essential women's experience that can be isolated from other aspects of experience. In this vein, she criticizes the supposed "essentialism" of Catharine MacKinnon's work. Her argument is that MacKinnon writes from a white perspective, including Black women only in the brackets and footnotes of her analysis. She also accuses MacKinnon of having a "nuance theory" in which Black women's experience is simply a variation of white women's experience. In MacKinnon's work, according to Harris, Black women become white women plus.
cunningham, e. christi
"Unmaddening: A Response to Angela Harris,"
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism:
1, Article 15.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol4/iss1/15