A New Intersectional Model to Illuminate the Workplace Discrimination of Arab-American and Muslim Women in the U.S.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, US
Lydia Jamil is in her final year at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Jamil is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in National Security. She is a first generation Lebanese-American. Her current research interests include women and gender relations, social justice, and community engagement.
Prejudices about Middle Eastern women have created a trend of male-centric approaches to studying Middle Eastern people and societies. Following terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001; increases in stereotyping and prejudices have made these studies more discriminatory in addition to excluding the women that these prejudices impact. In this paper, I examine how changes in the conceptualization of Arab-American identity following the attacks of September 11, 2001 impacted the experience of all Arab Americans and how discrimination models have failed to account for this. I use intersectionality theory, specifically, the works of Kimberlé Crenshaw and Rachel E. Luft to argue that discrimination models are faulty because of their focus on men in a sexist system, as well as, their focus on Islam in an Islamophobic era in American history. I review the data and research that has been collected on sexual and ethnic harassment in the workplace, highlighting the absence of Arab-American women in these works as evidence of male-centered study. I argue that an improved discrimination model must use tools of intersectionality such as narratives and decentralize religion in order to demonstrate that cases of discrimination are a racialized gendered problem rather than a cultural problem.
How to Cite:
Jamil, L., 2016. A New Intersectional Model to Illuminate the Workplace Discrimination of Arab-American and Muslim Women in the U.S.. Philologia, 8, p.None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/ph.v8i0.3