Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why Hot Blooded Woman Stereotype Burns Women

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent comments in the context they were made weren't dangerous to any woman, but the assumptions behind comments such as his can be dangerous to women in a very specific way.

First from MSNBC, here's what was said:

The statements were captured on a six-minute tape made during a March 3 speechwriting session between Schwarzenegger and his advisers. On it, Schwarzenegger and chief of staff Susan Kennedy speak affectionately of state Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia and speculate about her nationality.

"I mean Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot," the governor says on the recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

In this situation the racial stereotypes might not have been used in a negative way, but in rape cases this same stereotype can be very negative.

Since rape cases often come down to who and what to believe, the stereotyping of an alleged victim as hot-blooded can result in people believing the stereotype over the evidence.

A so-called hot blooded alleged victim may be more easily seen as a liar or as an instigator.

This stereotype can also contribute to men who assume that women with so-called hot blood are willing women. No ifs, ands or NO!s. When a man refuses to see that his sexual contact could be sexual assault, he's no more innocent than the man who refuses to glance upward to see whether the traffic signal is red. If we wouldn't excuse the reckless driver, why do we excuse the man who is reckless with women?

Too many people take a lack of doubt by the alleged rapist to be proof that the man is innocent rather than as evidence that he may have completely objectified his alleged victim.

Refusal to accept the truth of the evidence because that evidence runs counter to a man's wishes or an observer's assumptions reveals deep flaws in the character of those who swear allegiance to the hot-blooded stereotype.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   0 comments links to this post


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