Black feminist reflections on Charles Mills’s “intersecting contracts”

Kathryn T. Gines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This critical commentary is presented in two parts. The first section, “Intersecting Contracts: Conceptual Interventions and Aims,” provides an overview of Mills’s analysis of the racia-sexual contract and the divergent positions of white men (full contractors and persons), white women (subcontractors with real, though inferior power), nonwhite men (subcontractors, though not on equal standing with white women because “race trumps gender”), and nonwhite women (nonpersons and noncontractors at the bottom of the structure and dominated by all three of the aforementioned groups). The second section, “Privilege and Patriarchy: Does ‘Race Generally Trump Gender’?,” shows how Mills offers an uneven representation of critiques presented by women of color theorists. For example, he focuses on the critiques of white women (and white feminism), emphasizing the asymmetry between white women and nonwhite men as well as the tensions between white women and nonwhite women. This article also problematizes Mills’s claim that “race generally trumps gender” and argues for a more nuanced analysis of nonwhite men’s participation in patriarchy and privilege.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Philosophy of Race
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Philosophy


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