New website for the Celia Project: A Research Collaboration on the History of Slavery and Sexual Violence:
Erica Armstrong Dunbar writes:
Lisa Cardyn, “Sexualized Racism/Gendered Violence: Outraging the Body Politic in the Reconstruction South.” Michigan Law Review 100, no. 4 (February 2002): 675. doi:10.2307/1290425.
“This Article examines the calculated deployment of sexualized violence by the Reconstruction-era klans and its relationship to competing notions of justice, citizenship, and sexual propriety. Exploring what is distinctly sexual about klan terror–the sheer pervasiveness, intensity, and ideological coherence of these acts perpetrated as they were within a system of racial dominance long marked by forced sex and procreation–establishes sexualized violence as an essential aspect of the postwar Southern condition. Resonant throughout these events was the indefeasible legacy of slavery. Much as slaveowners and their minions used sexual violence and coercion in displaying and exercising mastery over their human chattel, klansmen systematically molested and violated their victims in an attempt to reinstantiate white male dominance in its antebellum form, in effect replacing the legal infrastructure of slavery that had once authorized their status with extralegal supports of their own making. Violent sex was in both of these cases a performance of status by the dominant actors and a harshly lived reality for its victims. The enduring consequences of these experiences for the freedpeople, their white sympathizers,and subsequent generations lend important insights into the nature of historical traumatization,its potency and memorialization.”
Read the rest: JSTOR ($$)