From The Vault: Joan Little and The Dialectics of Rape (June 1975)

“A little more than 100 years ago … rape served not only to further [the Black woman’s] oppression but also as a means of terrorizing the entire Black community. It placed brutal emphasis on the fact that Black slaves were indeed the property of the white master. … The social incentive given to rape is woven into the logic of the institutions of this society. It is an extremely efficient means of keeping women in a state of fear of rape, or of the possibility of it.”

( For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION (Alfred A. Knopf)—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)