When you synthesize and analyze the suffering and violence against women, its tough to differentiate or separate them by looking at color to race. Women are women are they become one. Within each of these readings, I’ve come to the realization that women were definitely being taken as rapable or sex symbols. In the reading “Conquest”, by Andrea Smith, it discusses how natives were marked by their sexual perversity. In the eyes of the colonizers, they were nothing but dirty and rapable. When someone is violated in such intense ways, it traumatizes them tremendously, making them feel less of woman. In this particular reading, I feel like the authors main argument is presenting how these issues weren’t taken seriously. She analyzes ways of framing violence against women. Smith also argues that native women were vulnerable to sexual violence, and due to the rape, they didn’t want to claim themselves as native women. I feel strength behind that statement. They never said they wished no longer to be women, but to not be native because of how they were being portrayed. Native women along with other African American women were viewed as rapable or the property of someone else.
Despite the violence that these women have encountered, I feel as though they would still stand strong as women. Smith disputes the mainstream portrayal of the Native culture and how women were framed. A few implications that smith discusses is how violence against native women was prevalent, where white men were the primary violators living in Indian territories. Indians weren’t even given the chance to be entitled to their own voices, let alone their own bodies. They weren’t seen as real humans, which is why the humanity of natives was destroyed. This brings back the term on racism, which according to Smith “ is the condition that makes it acceptable to put [certain people] to death in a society of normalization” (Smith pg. 12, 2005).
When you link this reading to “Reproduction in Bondage” by Dorothy Roberts, you can see the similarities of how black women were brutally dominated by other men. Just as Smith indicates in conquest, “sexual violence as a tool of racism also continues against other women of color” (Smith pg. 29, 2005). The brutal domination of slave women was a foundation to sustain slavery. The essence of black women was destroyed because of the fact that their masters were using techniques to enhance slavery fertility, without the consensus of these women. They were stripped, beaten, mutilated, and bred. Forced to have sex was a “normal” pattern. The relationship and what we can link between these two readings is how sexual violence was seen as normal, a traditional, and a cultural behavior. In “Reproduction in Bondage”, the author laid out how women were owned by their masters and constantly felt the pressure to reproduce. The more kids, the more valuable a woman was to her master. However, those who couldn’t reproduce were often mistreated and even sold by their masters. “Damn you I will let you know what you have done; you don’t breed, I have not had a young one from of you for several months” (Roberts pg. 27). Breeding was a tool to raise slaves for market. Just like how rape and violence in “Conquest” was seen as normal, Roberts discusses how a woman being rapped wasn’t considered a crime; it didn’t exist for that matter. The masters saw rape as a tool for more labor force just like how the native traditional saw violence and rape as a cultural behavior. What’s awful is how police made no type of effort or solve for these cases, which goes back to blaming the victims.
When analyzing these two pieces of readings, you see the concept of violence against women of color. Women of color are known to be targeted for sexual violence. This includes Blacks, Latinos, Indians, and Immigrants. What’s intriguing about all this is how women of color were stripped of their rights by being brutality violated on another…