Oppression, Sexual Violence and Their Effects on Native American Women

Isabella J. Baxter '15, Gettysburg College


This paper is a response to the chapter “Sexual Violence as a Tool of Genocide” in Andrea Smith’s book Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. Smith argues that U.S. colonial culture strategically uses sexual violence against Native women as a weapon to ensure the oppression and marginalization of Native people. This paper details and examines Smith’s argument and also considers the influence of Native Women on White feminism. Despite the great influence Native culture has on White feminism, White Feminists’ perceptions of Native women is often skewed and biased, as a result of the systematic oppression that is utilized by U.S. colonizers on Native Americans.