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Essay On "Rape, Racism, And The Law"

736 words - 3 pages

Jennifer Wriggins analyzes the significance how race, ethnicity, and class influence a woman's vulnerability to rape, the meaning and impact of the rape, and the response of family, of community, and of social institutions. Her article, "Rape, Racism, and the Law," specifically focuses on the history of rape in the United States between the rapes of White women by Black men. As a feminist, she specifically focuses on two very damaging consequences of this selective blindness: the denials that Black women are raped; and all women are subject to pervasive and harmful sexual coercion of all kinds. Thorough this powerful essay, she examine the legal system's treatment of rape and how racism plays a major part in denying the rights of African Americans, as well as, deny the veracity of women's sexual subordination by creating a social meaning of rape which implies that the only type of sexual abuse is "illegal rape" and the only form of illegal rape is Black offender/White victim.I was exasperated after reading this article. This article highly irritated and annoyed me because of the interconnectedness of rape and racism. As a woman, it is hard not to get heated about this particular subject. Presently, there are now many struggles against rape. And, in acknowledging the struggles against rape one must also acknowledge the difference among women and the different ways that groups other than women are disempowered. In one of the many examples in this essay, racism and justice collide when in 1859 the Mississippi Supreme court dismissed the indictment of a male slave for the rape of a female slave less than 10 years old. "This indictment cannot be sustained, either at common law or under our statutes. It charges no offense known to either system. Slavery was unknown to the common law… and hence its provisions are inapplicable… There is no act which embraces either the attempted or actual commission of a rape by a slave on a female slave… Master and slaves cannot be governed by the same system or laws; so different are their position, right and duties." This ruling is disheartening in a few ways: Black men are held to lesser standards of restraint with...

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