From an interview with Susan Brownmiller, author of the feminist classic Against Our Will, in People in 1975:
By Sally Moore
November 10, 1975 Vol. 4 No. 19
… What first interested you in rape?
The subject came up at my consciousness-raising group: until then I had never spoken about it. I was shocked to find women I knew who’d been raped. I realized how many misconceptions I had and thought, if I was that wrong, it was worth studying.
What were some of your major misconceptions?
Those of anyone growing up in the liberal New York City milieu. To me, rape was a screaming vindictive white woman and a framed black man. I had no sympathy or identification with rape victims. It was all the fault of women who led men on.
What do statistics show?
That most rape is black on black, that it is basically an intraclass, intraracial crime because of opportunity. But there is a definite rise in the percentage of interracial rape.
Why is it increasing?
It’s part and parcel of increasing violence rather than sex, partly because the criminal population is rising and becoming more adventurous. I think writers like Eldridge Cleaver and Franz Fanon, who tried to give rape an ideological justification, didn’t help. They tried to justify interracial rape as some sort of political act. It’s typical of the left to make a convicted rapist a hero.
One perspective on Brownmiller is that in 1975 she represented the far left edge of the right wing backlash against the crime wave that got going around 1964. That makes her an interesting person. Her argument that rape and political power are correlated can be overblown, but I find it useful.