This chapter explores a paradox: at a time when the scope of Title VII’s sex discrimination protection is expanding dramatically to protect individual expressions of gender identity in the workplace, no similar expansion has occurred in race discrimination case law. The chapter contends that the difference has more to do with culture and context than law. While courts treat some expressions of gender identity as fixed and immutable, they treat expressions of racial identity as socially determined and mutable. Moreover, while gender conformity demands are sex-specific, racially loaded conformity demands are always formally race-neutral. It is these differences, rather than differences in legal doctrine per se, that have caused race discrimination coverage to remain static while sex discrimination coverage has evolved and expanded.
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