women more likely to lose credibility based on their background
Lafree acknowledges the racial and sexual
discrimination and subordination experienced by white and black women, and men.
But ignores the experience of black women. He ignores the interaction between
blacks and whites.
Black women discriminated as their rapists not
likely to get punished, twice as many rapists get sentenced to prison for white
women compared to black women.
Criticisms -lafree ignores black women’s
subordination to white women. His analysis suggests it becomes a competition of
white/black men to accessing white women.
Lafree suggests- ‘black women are considered
victims of discrimination only to the extent that white men can rape the
without fear of punishment. Rather than being viewed as victims of
discrimination in their own right, they become merely the means by which
discrimination against black men can be recognised.’ (p372)
Rape and intersectionality -Lafree – test out two claims- the first is that black
people face discrimination in the justice system and the second, that rape laws
exist to regulate women. It is the law that constructs rape which discriminates
race and gender. Lafree suggests that race is the biggest determinant in rape
cases. Black men raping white women punished severely but black men raping
black women more leniently—more interested in protecting the interests of own.
Sexual stratification based on race and influenced by ‘rules of sexual access’
(p.372)- blacks punished more harshly for raping white women than black women
Black women more likely to get raped than black
men raping men, but this is still given more attention, so b/w ignored and
Antiracism and rape- antiracist critiques of
rape are how the law operates protecting white women’s rape, discriminating
black men, and ignoring the rape of black women. Historically white rapists are
justified but black rapists lynched which made the torture of black men
tolerated, this is in addition black men often falsely accused of raping white
Race and antirape lobby – rape victims measured
against narrow, socially accepted standards, law judge’s woman based on her
moral character. Feminist critique is that rape law could be used by rapists to
tarnish character- scrutinize woman’s moral character.
Crenshaw suggests the problem is with the way
race is conceptualised, this is because racism is not addressed in feminism,
neither is sexism accounted for in antiracist discourses.
Race/rape constructions reproduced from history
where racial hierarchies more visible, the rape of black women marginalised.
Eg- rape of white women, lead to imprisonment of black teenage youths which was
later found forced confessions. Other reports were made during the same week
but were ignored. Smith suggests that there is a sexual hierarchy, in which
some female bodies are worth more, the average sentence of a man raping white
woman was twice the amount of years of rapes of black women. Black women also
less likely to be believed.
Media victim blaming about women ‘asking for it’
because of what she was wearing
Made discourse around rape in America is based
on historical conceptions of black men raping white women. White women’s rape
treated differently to black women. For example, the central park case –
teenaged boys were dehumanised
Political intersectionality in rape-
intersectionality used as a tool to frame sexism and racism – black women and
rape little attention
When minority group given grant etc, it is only
tokenistic. Even when woc of colour is considered they need to be ‘qualified’
or have credentials to do a job, even if another person who may represent the
same group is better suited to do a job. ‘the problem is not simply that women
who dominate the anti-violence movement are different from women of colour, but
rather, that they frequently have the power to determine, either through
material resources or rhetorical resources, whether the intersectional
differences of women of colour will be incorporated at all into the basic
formulation of policy. Thus, the struggle over incorporating these differences
is not a petty or superficial conflict about who gets to sit at the head of the
table. In the context of violence, it is sometimes a deadly serious matter of
who will survive—and who will not.’
Race and domestic violence support services –
strategies of empowerment in services – white women ignore the intersectional
needs of woc- race, gender, class etc create context, – but depending on the
choices made, can recreate subordination, such as women of colour not being
able to access support. For example, when non-English speakers are turned away
for not being able to speak English, even though there may be other means of
translation such as a relative…make a cover up excuse i.e.., ‘they did not want
to take the woman in the shelter because they felt that the woman would feel
isolated.’ (p.365). example of non-English speaking woman used – political
dynamics – when one excuse does not work they’ll think of another excuse
because they do not want to deal with something foreign.- look for reasons to
deny resources—in victims trying to use services they are bombarded with more
problems with the burden of accessing problems.
‘I offer this description to suggest that Other
women are silenced as much by being relegated to the margin of experience as by
total exclusion. The effort to politicise violence against women will do little
to address black and other minority women if their images are retained simply to
magnify the problem rather than to humanize their experiences.’ (p.364) –
othered, tokenistic, excluded. Images
are maintained to emphasise the problem- as minorities the problem
Attention given to white women, while minority
women victim blamed and rape considered insignificant
Strategies that aim to raise awareness by white
people suggest that ‘battering is a minority problem’ (p363) some suggest that
all violence occurs in different communities and classes, however less
attention given to the problem, of exploring stereotypes, more concerned in
evading problems. even though some regard given to people of colour, primary concern
is given mainly to white women. They act to politicise problems, and make
problems important / visible in the dominant group, while indirectly
marginalising minority groups even more. Issues are ‘white washed’ in order to make it
important/relevant- to protect the interests of their ‘own’ first. It will need
to be considered their problem to be recognised as a problem.
Race and the domestic violence lobby – race
based priorities in policies function to cover up issues that POC face
Reporting also exposes different power
relations- exposing problems has ‘debilitating effects on families and
communities of colour.’ (p362).
The culture of oppressed group of women matters
as some cultures value honour and the shame of the family, kept as a priority.
Woc from these communities may not want attention from authority figures. Race
and culture plays role, authorities perceive woc and culture as socially
inferior, may not report due to the desire to create a place separate from the
scrutiny of the majority—a racist society.
The cost of exposing gender violence in black
communities- perceptions of woc are concealed in popular culture- in contrast
with reality- imagined or real- people of colour are made to look like they are
inherently pathologized in some way- either that or not taken seriously.
2 – political intersectionality – woc often
subordinated to groups- black men and white women- gendered and raced
experiences ignored and discourses are inadequate in covering all dimensions,
as the experiences of women of colour are not the same as white women. Feminism
failed to account for woc.
Context- American society – anti immigration
policy. Public service provision not personalised/contextualised. But immigrant
women from more privileged backgrounds are more likely to access resources
Race, gender, class differences- policies and
interventions based on the experience of white women – policies still do not
cater for different needs- i.e., immigrant women not able to access resources,
often culture/language barriers. More complication in Asian communities as
often immigrant Asian women are dependent on men-language barrier and threat
from male partners. Fear reporting and seeking welfare services would have
risks for their families. Turned away from services due to language barrier.
Interactions add dimen woc often from poor backgrounds and resources in place
do not accommodate needs; these women are often unable to help themselves
either – gender and racial discrimination encountered when they try to access
welfare and employment.sion to existing problems.
Woc frequently the subject of intersecting
discourses of sexism and racism, both of which are usually not represented in
discourses-, and marginalised because of identity – black women. She discusses
1- structural intersectionality- this relates the way they are placed- makes
abuse different to white women; 2) political intersectionality – how
anti-racist politics have marginalised WOC; 3 – the implications of
intersectionality in wider context
Contemporary feminist practices are not a good
reflection of what really happens. Crenshaw asserts dimensions in violent
behaviour that go untold. – this is the focus of article is on women of colour
The problem with identity politics is that it
ignored differences in groups of people- for example, race and gender
Violence according to Crenshaw (1995) has become politicised, it is
recognised as something that is systematic. In considering people of colour
there have become conflicts in identity politics, but this politicisation
affects different groups of women differently. This clashes with dominant
discourses of social justice
Which is About considering the multiple layers
of discrimination women of colour experience, that race and gender cannot be
separated. Hooks uses this concept to explain her ideas around black feminism .
intersectionality mainly on the works of
What is intersectionality? It is fundamentality the idea that
aspects of identity such as class, race, gender, sexuality and so on are not
separate but work together in understanding different identities.0