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NCJ Number: 67096 Find in a Library
Title: RAPE, RACISM AND THE CAPITALIST SETTING
Journal: BLACK SCHOLAR  Volume:9  Issue:7  Dated:(APRIL 1978)  Pages:24-30
Author(s): A Y DAVIS
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE BY ANGELA DAVIS DISCUSSES THE OCCURRENCE OF RAPE AND ITS CONNECTIONS WITH RACISM AND THE CAPITALISTIC SOCIETY.
Abstract: THE INFREQUENT OCCURRENCE OF RAPE IN SOCIALIST COUNTRIES CONTRADICTS THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE ROOTS OF THE URGE LIE IN THE INSTINCTUAL MAKEUP OF MEN, WHILE THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN RAPE AND THE SOCIAL RELATIONS OF CAPITALISM. IN THE U.S., RAPE LAWS WERE ORIGINALLY FRAMED FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE UPPER CLASSES, AND RAPISTS OF WORKING CLASS WOMEN HAVE SO RARELY BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE, WHILE THE RAPE CHARGE HAS BEEN DISCRIMINATELY AIMED AT BLACK MEN. OF THE 455 MEN EXECUTED BETWEN 1930 AND 1967 FOR RAPE CONVICTIONS, 405 WERE BLACK. SLAVERY RELIED AS MUCH ON ROUTINE SEXUAL ABUSE AS IT DID ON THE WHIP AND LASH, AND RACISM HAS ALWAYS NOURISHED ITSELF BY ENCOURAGING SEXUAL COERCION. LYNCHINGS OCCURRED--MORE THAN 10,000 DURING THE 3 DECADES FOLLOWING THE CIVIL WAR--BECAUSE EX-SLAVES WOULD NOT WILLINGLY DISCARD THEIR DREAMS OF PROGRESS. GIVEN THE CENTRAL ROLE PLAYED BY THE FICTIONAL BLACK RAPIST IN THE SHAPING OF POST-SLAVERY RACISM, IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE THEORIZING TO REPRESENT BLACK MEN TODAY AS THE MOST FREQUENT AUTHORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE. ALTHOUGH MALE EMPLOYERS--EXECUTIVES, DOCTORS, POLITICIANS, PROFESSORS, ETC.--ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR TENDENCY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WOMEN THEY CONSIDER SOCIALLY INFERIOR TO THEM, IT IS SELDOM THAT THEIR DEEDS COME TO LIGHT IN COURT. THOSE MEN WHO WIELD POWER IN THE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL REALM ARE ENCOURAGED BY THE CLASS STRUCTURE OF CAPITALISM TO BECOME AGENTS OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. IT WAS THE UNWRITTEN POLICY OF THE U.S. MILITARY COMMAND IN VIET NAM TO ENCOURAGE RAPE FOR IT WAS AN EFFECTIVE WEAPON OF MASS TERRORISM. RECOGNIZING THE PART PLAYED BY RACISM IN ABETTING SEXUAL VIOLENCE, THE ANTIRAPE MOVEMENT MUST NOT ONLY DEFEND WOMEN OF COLOR, BUT IT MUST ALSO DEFEND GROWING NUMBERS OF VICTIMS OF THE FALSE RAPE CHARGE. THERE ARE 12 REFERENCES.
Index Term(s): Capitalism; Racial discrimination; Rape; Rapists
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67096

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