Anti-miscegenation legislation was frequently assigned to prohibit and control interracial sex and marriage, making it a prime example of states regulation of interracial intimacies. The term ‘miscegenation’ was not coined until 1863, but the West’s concern with the morality and consequences of interracial mixing is documented at least two centuries prior.
In the United States, the historical prohibition of interracial relationships exempliﬁes the state’s regulation of intimate life. Anti-miscegenation laws prohibiting interracial sex and marriage predate the Declaration of Independence by more than a century. At one time or other 41 of the 50 states have enacted such legislation, encompassing restrictions not simply against Blacks, but also Asians, Native Americans, ‘Orientals’, ‘Malays’, Native Hawaiians, and in some cases, simply all non-Whites. These laws were universally declared unconstitutional in the landmark civil rights case of Loving v Virginia (1967). Anti-miscegenation laws named as such were not enacted in Canada, though an informal and extra-legal regime ensured that the social taboo of racial intermixing was kept to a minimum. However, it is arguable that Canada’s various manifestations of the federal Indian Act were designed to regulate interracial (in this circumstance, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) marital relations and the categorization of mixed-race offspring.
Of particular interest is the former Section 12.1.b, ﬁnally amended by Bill C-31 in 1985, which stipulated that Aboriginal women who married non-Aboriginal men and the progeny of these interracial relationships would be denied Indian legal status, while Aboriginal men who married non-Aboriginal women would retain the status that would also be given to their wives and children. Both anti-miscegenation laws and the Indian Act are, in short, striking examples of the state’s regulation of the intimate sphere.
The Indian Act, with all its variations, clearly restricted and provided penalties for interracial sex and marriages, providing criteria against which the category of ‘Indian’ is to be measured, just as was the case in US anti-miscegenation regulations. During the colonial era, intermarriage was encouraged and seen as vital both by European fur traders and Aboriginal groups. Once the frontier came under the control of the British colonial power, however, this trend became condemnable. Though the ﬁrst Indian Act was passed in 1876, the ﬁrst of the legal instruments designed to regulate the classiﬁcation of Aboriginal peoples can be dated to 1850 when the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada passed parallel acts that provided the ﬁrst deﬁnition of who was an Indian. This early legislation, which formed the template for all future manifestations of the federal Indian Act, provided a characterization of ‘Indian and none other’ based on having Indian blood, descent from Indians, and women married to those who met the ﬁrst two criteria.
This deﬁnition of ‘Indian’, with an emphasis on ‘Indian blood’ that would last until 1951, strongly resembles anti-miscegenation regimes in the United States which were always enacted and enforced in tandem with classiﬁcatory rules principled on the fractionalization of racial identities – that is, the determination of legal racial identity based on the amount of non-white blood a person has as represented by a fraction (1 /4, 1/8, 1/16).
In contrast to the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, the Indian Acts were designed to remove Indian status, called ‘enfranchisement’ by the legislation itself. However, much like the United States, this was not an attempt by the state to ensure the equal treatment of Aboriginal people in Canadian society. Rather, the federal government was compelled by legal precedent, constitutional convention and colonial legacy to administer ‘Indians and lands reserved for Indians’, as per the Constitution Act of 1867. The legal category of ‘status Indian’, after all, ‘is the only category to whom a historic nation-to-nation relationship between the Canadian and Indigenous people eis recognized’. The removal of Indian status, therefore, was a two-fold strategy: it removed the constitutional Indian status of individuals, and therefore diminished the collective claim of underlying Aboriginal title to the land, and simultaneously alleviated the burden of Indian administration on the Crown.
Several provisions of the Indian Act also reveal the gendered nature of the retention or loss of Indian status. Under what would become the infamous Section 12.1.b of the 1876 Indian Act, Indian women who married non-Indian men would lose status, as would their offspring. Indian men who married non-Indian women, however, would not only retain status for themselves and their progeny, but their wives would gain status as well. […] In considering this, it’s important to note that white women were constructed in Canada as the guardians of morality and the vessels through which white civilization would continue. For a white woman to marry an Aboriginal man, she would be required to commit the sin of crossing racial boundaries and stepping beyond the societal norms of acceptable behaviour for the moral, chaste, proper and civilized ideal of femininity. Racialization and the provision of status to white wives, therefore, could be interpreted as a punishment for white women, who, while subjugated on the basis of gender were at least white, and would now have their positions on the racial hierarchy slide down to its lowest rung – that of a (legal) woman of colour.
Debra Thompson called “Nation and Miscegenation: Comparing Anti-Miscegenation Regulations in North America”
I’ve highlighted excerpts of this article in a way, so that, hopefully, the passage might be understood without reading the full article. While it’s quite “academic,” I think that the article is well written enough so that someone unfamiliar with the jargon might be able grasp what Thompson is trying to say. Thompson highlights the underpinnings of Canada’s horrid Indian Act, while detailing the history of anti-miscegenation laws in North America. If you’d like to learn more about the history of multiraciality in North America and whiteness, racism in the legal system and how colonial white men were threatened by just about everything, I would recommend clicking on the link to read the full article.
See more about the one drop rule here @ fuckyeahethnicwomen
What is really being sold in a pornographic film? It’s a conception of sexuality that Dworkin identified— it is not just sex on film. It is sex presented in the context of domination and subordination. Pornography does not just eroticize or sexualize male domination over women. It eroticizes racism. It eroticizes every power dynamic that you can imagine. Think of any power dynamic that you know where there is a hierarchy. I can guarantee you that there is a pornographic film that eroticizes that dynamic.
male/female, white/poc, employer/employee, parent/child, etc…it is a sick sick industry.
i haven’t seen any sex-positive feminists defending racism as a valid “kink” yet (funny), but there’s still time.
edit: i HAVE NOW. nazi kink, for real.
and i read a good argument for the concept of “full-time” “slavery/ownership” in BDSM being inherently racist.
I have problems with Robert Jensen and they way he essentially speaks over those who are actively trying to change the status quo in porn. Are these problems in mainstream inherent? Damn right. But to go “and that’s why ALL PORN IS BAD,” completely overshadowing the number of people who are trying to make their money and be ethical about it is some bullshit. You cannot put Jiz Lee on the same level as something from Bang Bros. You just CAN’T.
[HUGE TRIGGER WARNINGS, ESPECIALLY FOR TRANSMISOGYNY, CISSEXISM, RACISM, CRIMINALIZATION… PLEASE SEE MY TAGS]
*Prepares self for a long discussion*. Robert Jensen and I have had many lovely— and by “lovely” I am completely sarcastic and I mean “horrendous”— interactions when I attended a day long discussion/presentation of his.
He knows who I am personally and explicitly dislikes me, which is wonderful, because that means I succeeded in calling his shit out, over and over.
There are many legitimate arguments to make about the horrendous racism, sexism, cissexism, etc, in mainstream porn. (I’ll save my arguments for why the eroticizing of power dynamics by and for those oppressed by those power dynamics can be cathartic and positive for a different time.) Regardless of one’s views, I strongly recommend not quoting Robert Jensen to make any arguments.
Three of MANY reasons not to promote Robert Jensen in any form:
1. He is massively transmisogynistic and cissexist. One example is when he verbally attacked and misgendered a trans* woman who was, at the time, also an anti-pornography scholar. (She has since changed her views, but more importantly, this is her description of his transmisogyny in interacting with her.) In a public gathering, when confronted by myself and my friends (having read her post), Jensen OPENLY misgendered trans* women as a whole, tried to COMPLAIN ABOUT HER TO US, and tried to argue that trans* people are upholding patriarchy and gender oppression BY IDENTIFYING AS TRANS*.
2. He promotes the criminalization of sex work of ALL FORMS, in ways that have been explicitly stated by sex workers (especially sex workers of color who are already targeted by police) to TANGIBLY INCREASE THE RISK OF HARM AND DEATH IN THEIR LIVES. (i.e. Although Jensen does not promote imprisonment of sex workers themselves, he promotes criminal punishments for johns and those who purchase sex, which sex workers articulate causes the industry to slip farther underground, with riskier, more violent clients the ones most likely to stick around.)
3. Robert Jensen is a rich, white, cis man who claims to know what is best for women, and/or people of color, and/or sex workers. When they disagree, he explicitly says they have a “false consciousness” and are being brainwashed. He literally said this in response to one of my discussion questions about what actual sex workers of color are saying they need. As defined by people who experience these oppressions, Jensen is sexist, racist, transmisogynistic, cissexist, and just plain harmful.
Bonus: Despite claiming to be anti-capitalist, he gets paid top dollar (I promise you, I saw the numbers… a lot of money) to talk about the oppression of women of color without including the perspectives women of color in his talks!
I could go on for hours, but I think that’s enough for now. Jensen’s role model, Andrea Dworkin, was unbelievably racist and cissexist, too, and Robert Jensen is worse.
I recommend Emi Koyama, “a multi-issue social justice activist and writer synthesizing feminist, Asian, survivor, dyke, queer, sex worker, intersex, genderqueer, and crip politics,” for a nuanced, non-criminalizing analysis of the sex industry and intersectional oppressions within it. Her writing on this topic is available on her linked website.
(Edited to add: Forgot to mention, my own personal experience is that I literally had only sat down and introduced myself a minute before when Jensen 1) misgendered me, and 2) started commenting in detail about my physical appearance. This is someone who makes a living talking about objectification.)
Oh, I remember how he tried to shut you down when he came to our school. He was on some severe bullshit.(via sourcedumal)
…I still keep sitting here thinking, HOW do you look at research on how members of an incredibly vulnerable population, subjected continuously to sexual/institutional violence, worked to support and care for each other by providing an alternative to a healthcare system that was at best indifferent and more frequently abusive, and think “Yeah, nobody would want to read THIS”? Like, how?
You probably have to be pretty stupid, too. But also sexist, racist, and a d-bag.
Finally, since this is a blog about academia and not journalism, I’ll forgive the commenters for not understanding that it is not my job to read entire dissertations before I write a 500-word piece about them. I read some academic publications (as they relate to other research I do), but there are not enough hours in the day or money in the world to get me to read a dissertation on historical black midwifery. In fact, I’d venture to say that fewer than 20 people in the whole world will read it.
In other words, “I’m a frequently-published white lady. I can say whatever I want about black scholarship because nobody is actually going to read that bullshit, and lots of people will read what I write and never think to question it because I’m a frequently-published white lady!”
This woman is fucking vile, and the Chronicle is SPECTACULARLY failing at accountability for giving her a platform.(via cabell)
never assume good faith of white institutions, ever.
the shit that “thee most respectable newsletter Of Academia” is pulling right now to cover their anti-black b.s.
is the same shit that goes down on tumblr everyday with these white folks and their POC pets.
it’s being done with longer word by ppl with degrees but it’s basically the same damn thing.
(POWER differentials what is that???)
but it’s the same damn thing. place your faith in it and see what happens.
and your silence will not protect you
your professionalism will not protect you
your advisor will not protect you
they see black, especially black caring about black, and they see a wide open target
that they can take out and keep it moving.
and the only thing that stops them is going goon.
if they wanna make it personal, about our lives and our work, then let’s make it about yours too.
tl:dr Naomi Schaefer Riley needs to lose her job and her comfort. she doesn’t deserve any of it.
Please contact me about a bridge I need to sell
Reading this article, where the statement “nothing in this world happens unless white folk says it happens” is not only true in the entertainment industry. It overlaps into academia. I learned last year at my discipline’s national conference that reviewers can turn away journal article submissions if they do not ‘fit’ with for example, the type of racial discourse, that a journal might advocate. For example, there’s a bit of a stigma to being a ‘race’ scholar and who is allowed to do race-work while still being viewed as legitimate. Most journals where we publish our work as academics in the US are predominately European or American (aka white). Journals are ranked in tiers. I’ve even heard firsthand be careful where I publish my work because I wouldn’t want it to be in a ‘ghettoized’ journal … so even how and where we publish our work can become racialized (undivorced from class and privileged)
This is very much from my perspective but it’s easy to get positioned in a particular way - if you’re Black, do work on “urban” communities, if you’re a
whitewoman - do work on families, if you’re a Black woman do work on black families in “urban” settings lmao … like it’s so laughable but it’s just so weird … and yes, I am a Black woman interested in race and ethnicity, gender, and “urban” settings but also ‘urban’ in the technical definition of the word (e.g. population densities, political centers, etc)… Work on PoC are often celebrated when it’s not work done by PoC, with our voices, facilitated by our ideologies …
Historically, whites have always been able to do work on PoC positioned as a problem, but rarely do we see work done by PoC on whites being problems as part of the canon. Of course that work is there (see: Death of White Sociology), but in a class (if included) they will be a footnote, one article, a section in a chapter - it will not be something we discuss and dissect. The rare times we did bring in a scholar of color and read their work (Franz Fanon), a student called him a reverse racist (>.<) … and I went into my detailed rant about how that was utter bullshit and then you just get looked at as angry, bitter, and/ or unforgiving … The emotional labor that scholars of color have to go through is deep.
I’ll never forget when a colleague told me my work on Black and Latin@ students and education disparity wasn’t a novel topic … it was so baffling … when there stops being inequality, then I’ll stfu but until then there’s always work to be done and different ways of addressing the issue as new policies emerge and disproportionately impact Students of Color…
In short, it’s very difficult to even have simple class room discussions surrounding race because at a PWI, in PW-classroom, white students get uncomfortable and the air gets tense. So Black, Latin@, accented, some international students won’t speak even while all the white hands go up and say things that are full of privilege and nonsense. Not all white students do this but there has been enough. So what happens, certain things simply don’t get discussed, chapters get skipped, and the majority of the students (who is the majority?) leave happy while the others have to deal with it.
It’s hard in these academic streets, all day … it’s so tiring.
They think they’re doing so well, not lynching people or using slurs, but they keep throwing this constant barrage of little pinpricks until I am just worn OUT. And then I have to play that “should I say something or will I look petty?” game. Stop it white people.
this was my day today. just.
i was about ready to kill someone.
Much of [Derrick] Bell’s scholarship rejected dry legal analysis in favor of allegorical stories. In books and law review articles, he presented parables about race relations, then debated their meaning with a fictional alter ego, a black professor named Geneva Crenshaw, who forced him to confront the truth about the persistence of racism in America.
One of his best-known parables is “The Space Traders,” which appeared in his 1992 book, “Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism.” In the story, as Mr. Bell later described it, creatures from another planet offer the United States “enough gold to retire the national debt, a magic chemical that will cleanse America’s polluted skies and waters, and a limitless source of safe energy to replace our dwindling reserves” in exchange for one thing: its black population, which would be sent to outer space. The white population accepts the offer by an overwhelming margin.