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Andrea Smith, Conquest (Chapters 1, 7, and 8)

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Kellie Herson

on 28 February 2014

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Transcript of Andrea Smith, Conquest (Chapters 1, 7, and 8)

Andrea Smith,
(Chapters 1, 7, and 8)

Chapter One: "Sexual Violence as a Tool of Genocide"
discussing rape as exclusively patriarchal overlooks racism and other forms of structural domination - including colonialism
women of color experience rape as a racialized experience because rape is a weapon of racism and colonialism
rape under colonialism is intended to eradicate the colonized community while rape within slavery is intended to reproduce the enslaved labor force
indigenous people have been discursively positioned under colonialism as unclean, barbaric and therefore undeserving of self-governance/bodily autonomy -> this leads to a belief that the rape of indigenous women doesn't really "count"
Chapter One (continued)
Provides historical context:
precolonial Native society was generally more peaceful and more valuing of women - although, she is clear to state, it was not perfect and should not be excessively romanticized
colonialism imposed white heteropatriarchy upon indigenous societies
framed indigenous women as victims in need of saving from indigenous men, who were framed as perpetrators of violence - a discourse which continues to justify western imperialism today
this also kept white women in check by implying that things could be worse for them, which encouraged their complicity with colonialism
Chapter One (continued)
continuing legacy of US imperialism over indigenous communities, with reference to violence against women:
violence against indigenous women is not taken seriously - victim-blaming responses abound, and they echo historical/colonial discourse
even if it were taken seriously, legal relationships between tribal governments and the US nation-state provide no structural support
1950s - massive termination of tribal statuses
continuation of the Major Crimes Act - includes rape
Native Americans cannot prosecute non-Indians for reservation crimes
Chapter Seven: "Anticolonial Responses to Gender Violence"
"... the struggle for sovereignty and the struggle against sexual violence cannot be separated" (137)
even when they are not separated, many privilege sovereignty and believe that sexual violence will end once sovereignty is gained
gender issues are sometimes framed as irrelevant to the survival of the nation/community - but gender violence is very much a survival issue for indigenous women
viewing rape as a tool of colonialism should change the way communities respond to it
Chapter 7 (continued)
Using the police state as a solution for gender violence in indigenous communities is a problematic solution - not only is the US criminal justice system itself problematic, but it is particularly problematic for people of color
Advocates for restorative justice based in community wholeness and accountability:
Without accountability for perpetrators, survivors of violence are sometimes asked to "forgive and forget"
Restorative justice should involve:
simultaneous intervention against multiple forms of violence;
survivors as organizers, not clients;
an expanded conception of community;
transnational coalition-building;
organizing outside the nonprofit industrial complex;
and preventative measures (e.g., education funding).
Chapter Eight: "U.S. Empire and the War Against Native Sovereignty"
Discusses post-9/11 U.S. and the War on Terror as an imperialist activity
Resurgence of "women-saving" discourse as well as new "antihomophobia" discourse
Feminist and indigenous support of the War on Terror is problematic for numerous ideological/political and environmental reasons -- we must CONSISTENTLY work against violence, imperialism, sexism, and racism
Includes US anti-immigration politics in this discussion as well
Full transcript