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Lecture 5

ENGL 2Q99 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, Heteropatriarchy

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Sharlene Cranston

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WGST/ENGL2Q99 Sexual Violence as a Tool of Genocide
February 10, 2017
Andrea Smith
o Graphic article uses examples to show it’s not theoretical.
o For a long time identified as an indigenous person but biologically she isn’t?
o Elite scholar
o Contentious character.
o Uses the term Indian and native in the article
Indigenous feminisms are No Wave Feminisms and are intrinsically a result of an a connection to colonialism and
settler colonialism, which brought to our nations white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and capitalism.”
o “In the modern state, the constant purification and elimination of racialized enemies within the state that
ensures the growth of the national body” (8-9).
o “Native people are a permanent ‘present absence’ in the US colonial imagination… [that it] effected though
the metaphorical transformation of Native bodies into a pollution of which the colonial body must constantly
purify itself” (9)
She believes it was genocide no doubt.
This is how genocide works want to purify, clean, decontaminate.
Polluted bodies must be purified methods of justification.
What needs to be in place in order for something to be considered a genocide? It patriarchy genocide
towards women?
Sexual Violence as Genocide
o “because Indian bodies are “dirty” they are considered sexually violable and ‘rapable’, and the rape of bodies
that are considered inherently impure or dirty simply does not count” (10).
o “The more ‘degenerate’ and ‘abnormal’ [in this case Native Peoples] are eliminated, the lives of those who
speak will be stronger, more vigorous, and improved. The enemies are not political adversaries, but those
identified as external and internal threats to the population. Racism is the condition that makes it acceptable to
put (Certain people) to death in a society of normalization” (Stoler qtd. In Smith 12).
A population you can just hurt all the time, inherently “rapable”.
Material issues.
Racism is a key component of the social fabric, its not something that happens its built into the system and
its to process through which some people become disposable.
Causing emotional, psychological murder.
Indigenous women experience violence at a much higher rate than others.
Indigenous women are consumable, disposable like land. Can be appropriated.
When your body isn’t respected it effects your self-worth after hundreds of years going through this is
destroys people.
Colonial Logics and “Equality”
o Colonizers realized that in order to subjugate indigenous nations, they would have to subjugate women within
these nations. Native peoples needed to learn the value of hierarchy, the role of physical abuse in maintaining
that hierarchy, and the importance of women remaining submissive to their men” (23).
Looks at it intersectionally. Shows how all these components are intertwined and inseparable.
Reading against the text.
Colonizers realized the egalitarian society of the Indigenous people and got scared that their women
would realise the misogyny they mapped out their cultural beliefs onto the people.
By positioning the indigenous women are terrible or sexually impure, it makes the white women not realise
their situation and real feelings so that European women don’t question the patriarchy.
Women had to be convinced that a woman’s proper place was under her husband, her husband’s proper
place was under the church.
o The colonizers logic is that “Native women can only be free while under the dominion of white men, and both
native and white women have to be protected from Indian men, rather than from white men” (23).
Like middle eastern conquests to save women from Middle Eastern men.
Language of liberation.
Reinforces the hierarchy often the people being liberated don’t want to be liberated
Liberate/free -> benevolence -> education -> civilize.
Spivak white men saving brown women from brown men attempt to justify violence and invasions.
The indigenous rapist - a figure people can gesture towards and that it is believed that racialized men are
more sexually deprived, violent etc..
find more resources at
find more resources at
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