Friday, August 7, 2020

Diana E. H. Russell (6 November 1938 - 28 July 2020)

Diana E. H. Russell in 2009. Throughout her career as a scholar she studied and wrote about violence against women, including rape, incest, child abuse and battering.

Credit...Susan Kennedy [Source:]

Rest in power and peace, Diana E. H. Russell!💔
I'm trying to imagine all the girls' and women's lives her work and its effects have helped, in part by assisting them in finding their way out of a state of current traumatic and post-traumatic despair, by popularizing the term femicide, by naming men's systematic sexual exploitation of and violence against women that the victims didn't cause or deserve, and by detailing its institutionalised structures. Thank you, Diana. 
There are some parts of her story I was not familiar with until reading this article in the New York Times. And there were some appalling aspects to the article. The first was that "men" are not named in the heading which was supposedly making the point it was "men's" violence against women.
"As a daughter of white privilege growing up in South Africa, her rebellious instincts found an outlet in the anti-apartheid movement." 
Why not "...her horror at witnessing racist atrocity led her to the militant wing of the anti-apartheid movement"? That's like saying, Nikki Craft was anti-rape because of her rebellious nature.
"In 'The Politics of Rape' (1975), she argued that rape is an act of conformity to ideals of masculinity. Rolling Stone magazine called the book “probably the best introduction to rape now in print.” The best introduction to rape???? 
This part is astounding! Dr. Russell’s mother, Kathleen Mary (Gibson) Russell, who was British, had traveled to South Africa to teach education and drama; when she married Mr. Russell, she became a homemaker and had six children but still found time to join the anti-apartheid Black Sash movement. (She was a niece of Violet Gibson, who had attempted to assassinate Mussolini in 1926.) 
The "still found time" makes it sound like she did some volunteer work at her church, maybe knitting tea pot cozies. Maybe she was an activist who still found time to look after the children. If you have a much better obit, please send it along.
She deserved way better an obituary than that.
But with enormous thanks for your life's work, Diana! 💓 Below is a list of her world-changing writings, from Wikipedia.
Chapters in books
  • Russell, Diana E. H. (1983). "Research on how women experience the impact of pornography". In Copp, David; Wendell, Susan (eds.). Pornography and censorship. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 9780879751821.
  • Russell, Diana E. H. (1992). "Nikki Craft: Inspiring protest: Introduction". In Russell, Diana E. H.; Radford, Jill (eds.). Femicide: the politics of woman killing. New York Toronto: Twayne Publishers. pp. 325–327. ISBN 9780805790283. Pdf.
See also:
"The incredible case of the Stack o' Wheat prints" by Nikki Craft pp. 327-331.
"The evidence of pain" by D. A. Clarke pp. 331–336.
"The rampage against Penthouse" by Melissa Farley pp. 339–345.
  • Russell, Diana E. H. (2002). "Pornography causes violence". In Cothran, Helen (ed.). Pornography. Opposing Viewpoints series. San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press. pp. 48–51. ISBN 9780737707601. OCLC 45698745. Series editors: Mary E. Odom and Jody Clay-Warner.
  • Russell, Diana E. H. (2011). "Russell's theory: exposure to child pornography as a cause of child sexual victimization". In Tankard Reist, Melinda; Bray, Abigail (eds.). Big Porn Inc.: exposing the harms of the global pornography industry. North Melbourne, Victoria: Spinifex Press. pp. 181–194. ISBN 9781876756895.