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Sexual Politics of Black Womanhood (From Violence Against Women: The Bloody Footprints, P 85-104, 1993, Pauline B. Bart, Eileen Geil Moran, eds. - See NCJ-143961)

NCJ Number
P H Collins
Date Published
20 pages
This analysis of the sexual exploitation of black women from slavery to the present emphasizes the integration of sex, race, and class in maintaining social inequality and argues that the roots of inequality among classes, ethnic groups, and races are modeled on the patriarchal characterization of man's superiority to woman.
The discussion notes that scholarly and popular writing about black heterosexual relationships rarely analyze domestic violence against African-American women, especially regarding the link of this form of sexual violence to existing gender ideology concerning black masculinity and black femininity. The virtual silence of the black feminist community concerning the participation of far too many black women in prostitution is perhaps the most puzzling omission. However, examining the links between sexuality and power in a system of interlocking race, gender, and class oppression should reveal how important controlling black women's sexuality has been to the effective operation of domination overall. Understanding black women's treatment in pornography, prostitution, and rape is central to this effort. Black feminist analyses must chronicle how sexuality has been used to oppress black women and must also reconceptualize sexuality with the aim of empowering them. Notes and 40 references