By Pamela Barnett
Risky hope is a crucial paintings that calls realization to how post-1960s literary representations of rape have formed the ways that either sexual and social freedoms are imagined in American tradition. Exploring key post-sixties texts together with Cleaver's Soul on Ice , Brownmiller's opposed to Our Will , French's The Women's Room , Naylor's the ladies of Brewster position , Walker's Meridian , and Dickey's Deliverance , Barnett reveals that the frequent literary explorations of rape have been as a rule conjoined with a number of of the novel social hobbies of the sixties: civil rights, black nationalism, women's liberation and black feminism. Sexual violence emerges in those texts whilst the transformative percentages articulated via sixties-era liberation events set off and accentuate imbalances of strength and cultural difference-for instance, Eldridge Cleaver's declare that he lashed out opposed to the white energy constitution by way of raping white ladies. This e-book can be of substantial curiosity to scholars and students of twentieth century American literature, in addition to American experiences and African American stories students commonly in problems with sexuality, race, and violenc
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Extra resources for Dangerous Desire: Literature of Sexual Freedom and Sexual Violence Since the Sixties
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, opponents of integration argued that integration and civil rights would lead to widespread interracial sex and marriage. This conflation was expressed by opponents to the 1956 integration of Little Rock Central High and to the 1964 student-led voter registration drive known as Mississippi Freedom Summer. By the 1970s, these arguments reached their most virulent expression in the discourse of white supremacists. In the months surrounding the integration of Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, several writers in the black press addressed the way sexual anxieties were being mobilized toward the defeat of explicitly political goals.
The cultural logic of the equation is reprehensible. Though violated and wounded in the flesh, Cleaver recalls his victims in a debasing and remote manner. He attempts to overcome his desire—which makes him feel collapsed into her—by erasing the object of his desire as such. White women become mere bodies which mediate a conflict between black and white men specifically: Cleaver defiles “his women” rather than white women per se. Black women are also cast as mere mediating objects. Cleaver recognizes black women as victimized by systematic sexual oppression since slavery, but he is not true to what he seems to have gained in historical consciousness.
In his 1967 book Black Power, Stokely Carmichael wrote that integration amounted to asking black people to “give up their identity, deny their heritage” (55). Many saw, in separatism, a positive assertion of a racialized self. When, in 1967, Michele Wallace observed a new frequency in black male and white female couples, she thought this was inconsistent with the racial politics of the day: “In ’67 black was angry, anywhere from vaguely to militantly anti-white; Black was sexy and had unlimited potential” (10).