Compelled to Crime The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black

Compelled to Crime The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women almost 15 years later it's still amazing it should be a classic while of the arguments may feel a bit dated it's only because this text and its ideas have been so influential within social movements one could argue that this book laid the intellectual foundation for INCITE the careful and meticulous framing and story telling that Richie does is compelling and irrefutable even for thsoe who don't agree with her broader conclusions this should also be a case study in how scholarship and organizing come together to shift consciousness the best of the Black Studies tradition at work This book is intense painful and if you've survived violence triggering I set this book aside a few times because it was so harrowing She interviews women on Rikers Island some of them are charged with homicide because their husbands killed their kids horrible stuff like that Her theory of gender entrapment is really sharp and she contrasts the interviews with Black battered women on Rikers with interviews of white battered women on Rikers and Black non battered women on Rikers proving a particular pattern of gender entrapment that's only among the Black battered women who had high self esteem in their families then were shut out of opportunities in school and by employers then tried to base their identity on building a traditional home and were loyal to their men in the face of racial oppression and the police It could be a powerful critiue of what is often heard that Black men are oppressed than Black women which is based on some particular things like college career and incarceration statistics that don't tell the whole story The Black women in this book felt strong and felt sorry for their men at first allowing them to be vulnerable to abuse than they realized as the author explains it As I went through the book I tried to be very conscious of not inserting a white feminist reading that would divide Black women from Black men in a false solidarity with white women To me it seems to make even clear than ever the reality that white feminists need to fight racism against Black men both for its own sake and because it hurts Black women so directly First published in 1996 Routledge is an imprint of Taylor Francis an informa company

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