Added: October 25, 2000 – Last updated: May 2, 2015


Author: Marybeth Hamilton Arnold

Title: "The Life of a Citizen in the Hands of a Woman"

Subtitle: Sexual Assault in New York City, 1790-1820

In: Passion & Power: Sexuality in History

Edited by: Kathy Peiss and Christina Simmons (with Robert A. Padgug)

Place: Philadelphia

Publisher: Temple University Press

Year: 1989

Pages: 35-56

Series: Critical Perspectives on the Past

ISBN-10: 0877225966 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 18th Century, 19th Century | U.S. History | Prosecution: Trials


Link: Google Books (Limited Preview)


Author: Marybeth Hamilton, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London

Abstract: »As Marybeth Hamilton Arnold shows in her study of sexual assault in working-class New York from 1790 to 1820, eighteenth.century misogynistic views of women as carnal and depraved were embedded in the criminal justice system when it adjudicated rape cases involving working-class women. While women and men asserted different conceptions of rape in the trials, the courts' rulings reflected patriarchal assumptions. Decisions were concerned primarily with upholding men's property rights in women; women's bodily self-determination, far from being affirmed, aroused fear, hostility, and stigmatization.« (Kathy Peiss and Christina Simmons. »Passion and Power: An Introduction.« Passion and Power: Sexuality in History. Edited by Kathy Peiss et al. Philadelphia 1989: 6)

Note: A different version of this article was published as: Hamilton, Marybeth. »The Life of a Citizen in the Hands of a Woman: Sexual Assault in New York City, 1790-1820.« New York and the Rise of American Capitalism: Economic Development and the Social and Political History of an American State, 1780-1870. Edited by William Pencak et al. New York 1988.


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