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CompleteMartialArts.com - Rape and Sexual Power in Early America


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Manufacturer: The University of North Carolina Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 364.1532097309033
EAN: 9780807857618
ISBN: 0807857610
Label: The University of North Carolina Press
Manufacturer: The University of North Carolina Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 296
Publication Date: 2006-09-04
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2006-08-02
Studio: The University of North Carolina Press

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In a comprehensive examination of rape and its prosecution in British America between 1700 and 1820, Sharon Block exposes the dynamics of sexual power on which colonial and early republican Anglo-American society was based.

Block analyzes the legal, social, and cultural implications of more than nine hundred documented incidents of sexual coercion and hundreds more extralegal commentaries found in almanacs, newspapers, broadsides, and other print and manuscript sources. Highlighting the gap between reports of coerced sex and incidents that were publicly classified as rape, Block demonstrates that public definitions of rape were based less on what actually happened than on who was involved. She challenges conventional narratives that claim sexual relations between white women and black men became racially charged only in the late nineteenth century. Her analysis extends racial ties to rape back into the colonial period and beyond the boundaries of the southern slave-labor system. Early Americans' treatment of rape, Block argues, both enacted and helped to sustain the social, racial, gender, and political hierarchies of a New World and a new nation.


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Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Everything you wanted to know . . .
Comment: Everything you wanted to know about rape in early America but were afraid to ask. Where did the colonists draw the line between consensual and coerced sex? Where did they draw the line between coerced sex and the crime of rape? In answering these questions, Sharon Block shows how race and class determined the power that men had to avoid prosecution, and the power that women had to seek protection. She knows that study of the legal records is necessary but not sufficient, so she explores how early Americans wrote about rape in diaries, fiction, political propaganda, travel writing, and humor. In short: a brilliant book.


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