This article discusses the accounts of a group of upper-middle class white men of Rio de Janeiro about their sexual access to domestic workers (empregada) during their adolescence. After a brief discussion of the specific characteristics of whiteness in Brazil, the interviewees’ sexual experiences are discussed in relation to Freyre’s description, in Casa-Grande e Senzala, of the sexual relationship of the white slave master’s son with the mulata slave. This sexual relationship was recognized by the interviewees as a symbolically dense site for understanding their own experiences with empregadas even if the empregada’s skin color is considered less relevant than her class. I argue that these sexual relationships contribute to shaping the interviewees’ experiences of whiteness. In particular, interviewees’ silence about empregadas’ skin color is also a silence about their own skin color and part of the larger silence surrounding whiteness understood as a site of class and color privilege.

RIBEIRO COROSSACZ, V. (2015). Whiteness, Maleness and Power: a study in Rio de Janeiro. LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ETHNIC STUDIES, 10(2), 157-179 [10.1080/17442222.2015.1055889].

Whiteness, Maleness and Power: a study in Rio de Janeiro

RIBEIRO COROSSACZ, VALERIA
2015

Abstract

This article discusses the accounts of a group of upper-middle class white men of Rio de Janeiro about their sexual access to domestic workers (empregada) during their adolescence. After a brief discussion of the specific characteristics of whiteness in Brazil, the interviewees’ sexual experiences are discussed in relation to Freyre’s description, in Casa-Grande e Senzala, of the sexual relationship of the white slave master’s son with the mulata slave. This sexual relationship was recognized by the interviewees as a symbolically dense site for understanding their own experiences with empregadas even if the empregada’s skin color is considered less relevant than her class. I argue that these sexual relationships contribute to shaping the interviewees’ experiences of whiteness. In particular, interviewees’ silence about empregadas’ skin color is also a silence about their own skin color and part of the larger silence surrounding whiteness understood as a site of class and color privilege.
RIBEIRO COROSSACZ, V. (2015). Whiteness, Maleness and Power: a study in Rio de Janeiro. LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ETHNIC STUDIES, 10(2), 157-179 [10.1080/17442222.2015.1055889].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/417881
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