Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rape and Sexual Power in Early America

I tried to apply the 123 meme to Wesley Frank Craven's The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1607-1689. Alas, Mr. Craven's delightful writing style being what it is, there were only five sentences on page 123. If there were a fine for promiscuous use of the semicolon, Mr. Craven would owe the reading public a substantial debt.

Instead, let's have a look at Sharon Block's Rape and Sexual Power in Early America:
A father or husband could notify a magistrate about the crime, but the victim would have to give a deposition with specifics of the attack. Here the victim's world of women fell away as she had to tell her story to what was sometimes a roomful of men. Victims who had already been questioned or examined by other women probably had some idea what a magistrate would expect in a rape accusation and might have been bolstered by the support of mothers, fathers, husbands, or masters.

Methinks Roger Thompson should take a look at this book instead of declaring patriarchy dead.

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