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Feigenbaum, Erika Faith, , . Heterosexual Privilege: The Political and the Personal
2007, Hypatia 22 (1): 1-9.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this essay, Feigenbaum examines heterosexism as it functions politically and interpersonally in her own experience. She loosely traces her analysis along the current political climate of the bans on same-sex marriages, using this discussion to introduce and illustrate how heterosexual dominance functions. The author aims throughout to clarify what heterosexism looks like “in action,” and she moves toward providing steps to recognize, name, interrupt, and counter heterosexist privilege.

Comment: This article is a very accessible introduction to the concept of privilege via the debate over the legality of same-sex marriage. It would make a good addition to a course that covers questions about domination, LGBT rights, or same-sex marriage.

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Mills, Charles, , . The Racial Contract
1997, Ithaca, Cornell University Press.
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Added by: John Baldari, Contributed by:

Introduction: White supremacy is the unnamed political system that has made the modern world what it is today. You will not find this term in introductory, or even advanced, texts in political theory. A standard undergraduate philosophy course will start off with Plato and Aristotle, perhaps say something about Augustine, Aquinas, and Machiavelli, move on to Hobbes, Locke, Mill, and Marx, and then wind up with Rawls and Nozick. It will introduce you to notions of aristocracy, democracy, absolutism, liberalism, representative government, socialism, welfare capitalism, andlibertarianism. But though it covers more than two thousand years of Western political thought and runs the ostensible gamut of political systems, there will be no mention of the basic political system that has shaped the world for the past several hundred years. And this omission is not accidental. Rather, it reflects the fact that standard textbooks and courses have for the most part been written and designed by whites, who take their racial privilege so much for granted that they do not even see it as political, as a form of domination. Ironically, the most important political system of recent global history-the system of domination by which white people have historically ruled over and, in certain important ways, continue to rule over nonwhite people-is not seen as a political system at all. It is just taken for granted; it is the background against which other systems, which we are to see as political are highlighted. This book is an attempt to redirect your vision, to make you see what, in a sense, has been there all along.

Comment: This text should be a primary early introduction to philosophy of race and critical race studies. Due to the Marxist undertones, this text would be well suited to secondary reading in a political philosophy course or module.

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