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Not Our Women: How Race Moderates the Expression of Backlash
Black and White women face different experiences of backlash for violating gender norms. Work on the Intersectional Invisibility Hypothesis has proposed that because racial minority women are often overlooked as exemplars of women, they may escape direct scrutiny for their behavior. We suggest that this explanation leaves out half of the story – the perceiver’s perspective. Drawing from work on the interactive nature of backlash and the social construction of gender, we revise the nature of this “invisibility” by suggesting that individuals tend to render racial out-group women invisible broadly. In an archival analysis of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and two experiments, we find that when participants evaluate racial in-group women, their gender bias impacts their evaluations of targets, but this relationship is attenuated with racial out-group members. This effect holds across various racial groups, suggesting that a new understanding of how race and gender function in the U.S.