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Res Philosophica

Volume 95, Issue 2, April 2018

Special Conference Issue: Race and Gender

Tommy J. Curry
Pages 235-272
DOI: 10.11612/resphil.1612

Killing Boogeymen
Phallicism and the Misandric Mischaracterizations of Black Males in Theory

Black males have been characterized as violent, misogynist, predatory rapists by gender theorists dating back to mid-nineteenth–century ethnologists to contemporary intersectional feminists. These caricatures of Black men and boys are not rooted in any actual studies or empirical findings, but the stereotypes found throughout various racist social scientific literatures that held Black males to be effeminate while nonetheless hyper-masculine and delinquent. This paper argues that contemporary gender theories not only deny the peculiar sexual oppression of racialized outgroup males under patriarchy, but theories like intersectional invisibility actually perpetuates the idea that racialized males are disposable. To remedy the imperceptibility of sexual oppression and violence under the male category, the author gives an historical account of the development of racist (anti-Black) misandry throughout the centuries and proposes a theory of phallicism to describe the seemingly contradictory constructions of Black men as sexually predatory as in the case of the rapist, but nonetheless sexually vulnerable and raped under patriarchy.