A reoccurring theme in the book, The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, is the theme of women being discriminated against and used by men. This theme presents itself several times in the book because the story is set in a sexist and racist society in which women were seen by men as only good for housework and sex. The protagonist of the story, Celie, starts off the book as a black girl who is taught to be compliant and to fear men, and throughout the story learns to become a woman she herself admires. The story is written in such a way that it is understandable but the exact setting of the book remains a mystery; however, the stereotypical sexist and racist society doesn’t. The book is written as letters to Celie’s God and are written in first person from her perspective.
The hyper-sexuality of Black women in slavery comes as no surprise. It was used as a tactic to justify the sexual practices between slave and master. To Whites, the Black woman had a sexual appetite that could not be fulfilled by Black men. Therefore, it was the White man’s job to satisfy her. They used this excuse to justify the rape and seduction of slave women.
Richard’s grandmother was always excessively beating him. From the beginning, Richard would not subdue himself to the white man like the other black people around. The white people knew that he was different from other black men. Whites were scared because Richard challenged the system that they had created to insure white supremacy. They feared Richard, and some of the white people felt it necessary to act out their racist feelings in order to cover up their fear.
He is almost completely shunned from the town because he is trying to help a black man accused of rape. Mayella had told Tom, “I said come here, nigger, and bust up this chiffarobe for me, I gotta nickel for you.” (p.241) She had tricked him to coming over to her. Then that’s about the time when she accuses him of rape. He had felt sorry for her, which is why he was falsely accused in the first place. Courthouse segregation was one of the biggest bits of racism I found in this book.
For over a century, women have been speaking about the double enslavement of black women and how not only are they handicapped on account of their sex, but they are mocked almost everywhere because of their race as well. In “Multiple Jeopardy, Multiple Consciousness: The Context of a Black Feminist Ideology,” Deborah King illustrates how the dual discriminations of racism and sexism remain pervasive, and how class inequality compounds those oppressions. In the case of Pecola Breedlove, the protagonist of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, this triple jeopardy of race, gender, and class ultimately leave her feeling socially powerless in society. Pecola must suffer all the burdens of prejudice of having dark skin, as well as bear the additional burden of having to cope with white and black men because of her sex. The beauty standards of white Western culture, the sexual abuse of Pecola by her father, and Pecola’s low economic status have multiplicative effects on Pecola and all aid in her progressive alienation from society as well as her fall towards insanity.
The factors that influence the departure or remaining of a wife with her abusive spouse are explained. Resolutions that may assist in improving the emotional and physical problems are identified. The Victimization of Women Married to Substance Addicted Men Women from all walks of life, of different societies, culture, race and creed experience the devastating effects of violence on a regular basis. Aggravated assault, simple assaults, sexual assaults, murders and rapes are all occurrences of violence against women. “In general, for both fatal and non-fatal violence, women are at higher risk than men to be victimized by an intimate” (Craven, 1996, p. 2).
His behavior and outlook on life are influenced by how his mother raises him. In Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “Everything that Rises Must Converge”, Julian and his mother maintain conflicting personal views surrounding the status of African-Americans in 1960’s society. Mrs. Chestny closely associates herself with the time period of plantations and slaves but says that she “can be gracious to anybody” (O’Connor 1017). Julian, on the other hand, believes his mother is a flat-out racist and almost feels the need to apologize to African-Americans for his mother’s behavior and attitude. Despite these clashes of perspective, the main conflict between mother and son derives from Julian’s inability to put his pride aside, accept the sacrifices his mother made for him, and move on from his lack of success in the real world.
Because of this racism and prejudice, the decision of Atticus’ to defend this man (who would certainly be killed without a lawyer because he is black and the accuser is white) is widely discussed in the town. Atticus seems to take all the criticism and name-calling well and sticks to his belief. Atticus also seems to want to influence his children’s thoughts and attitudes towards colored people by hiring an African-American maid, Calpurina. He pays her a normal wage, one that a white maid would receive, and treats her with the same respect he
The cycle continues with Grange’s son, Brownfield, as he brutally abuses his wife and children—murdering his wife in the end. Ruth, Brownfield’s daughter, is able to beat the odds and break the sequence of domestic abuse and racism. Several factors prompt the victimization of women illustrated throughout the novel. The main force is the need for male dominance and power, a desire that results from societal oppression (racism), which the African American men face in the South. All of the characters victimized by racism, as well as domestic violence, are negatively impacted.
It is an environment in which women are sexually objectified and in which they are constantly degraded not only in the media, but in everyday life. In rape culture, women are seen as only sexual objects and nothing more. Their intelligence, emotions, personality and other qualities are forgotten and overlooked while their bodies are objectified. This is a culture in which sexual violence, sexually explicit jokes, and misogynistic language are glamorized while the victims of rape are degraded and blamed for any incident that has fallen upon them. Nowadays, one in five women has reported experiencing rape.