Colonized Masculinities and Feminicide in the United States: How Conditions of Coloniality Socialize Feminicidal Men

By Shireen Jalali-Yazdi

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Winner, Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on Gender and Human Rights (2019)


This paper argues that the colonial conditions faced by African American men contribute to the construction of feminicidal masculinities.  Feminicide—the killing of women because they are women—has received increased international focus but has largely eluded political, academic, and public consciousness in the United States.  This despite the fact that the United States shows alarming rates of violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence. A 2017 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that female homicide rates for African American women are higher than those of other races and ethnicities and that these feminicides are overwhelmingly committed by African American men known to the victim.  One of the major goals of this paper is to disabuse scholars and policymakers of notions of pathological blackness that dehistoricize the conditions of African American livelihood and disengage the State from fulfilling its duty to provide civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to its citizens.  To do this I present a feminist decolonial intersectional framework of the killing of African American women and use it to undermine culturalist and racial explanations for the prevalence of feminicide in African American communities.

About the author:

Shireen Jalali-Yazdi is a recent graduate of the Dual BA Program between Columbia University and Sciences Po, where she majored in Social Sciences and Human Rights with concentrations in Law and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Project & Publications Type: Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on Gender and Human Rights, Rapoport Center Working Paper Series