Susan Rosenthal

Sexual violence

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Sexual violence is structured into capitalism. The normalising of prison rape proves that sexual assault is less about gender relations and more about the exertion of power and control.

According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 200,000 people were sexually assaulted in American detention facilities in 2011 alone. That means a prisoner in the US is 30 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than a woman outside of prison. These assaults are not included in national crime statistics. Prison rape is not treated as a crime but as an expected consequence of imprisonment.

Capitalism, alienation and the family

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In the second part of her two-part series on the family, Canadian socialist Susan Rosenthal explains how families can trap men, women and children in violent and abusive relations.

Stripping the romantic veneer from the typical family reveals two people who are socialised to be opposites, crammed in a box, subjected to falling living standards, rising debt and social insecurity. They are expected to raise children, who have lots of needs, and to do this with no outside support. Add bouts of unemployment, injury, or illness. Add some dependent relatives. Then make it difficult for these people to leave. Insist that they solve their own problems, and if they cannot, then it must be their fault or their partner’s fault.

The myth of personal life under capitalism

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In the first part of a two-part series, Canadian socialist Susan Rosenthal takes apart the liberal notion of personal choices and shows how profoundly capitalism shapes our private lives.

As children, we count each birthday, eager to become adults so we can do what we want and make our own decisions. Once arrived, we discover that adult freedom is an illusion. Our childhood dreams of an exciting life are replaced with never-ending work and little to show for it. We feel like failures. What did we do wrong? The answer is — nothing. We did nothing wrong. This is how capitalism functions.


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