RAPE AND THE SOCIAL CONTROL OF WOMEN Paradigms and the Study of sexual Assault
Rape as Sexual Release Sexual Outlet Sexual Deviance Sexual Enticement
Rape as Power and Control There are a variety of Feminist Theories There are a variety of Feminist Theories L iberal Feminist L iberal Feminist R adical Feminist R adical Feminist M arxist (Socialist Feminist) M arxist (Socialist Feminist) A narchist Feminist A narchist Feminist
Basic Focus L iberal Feminism Reformism R adical Feminism Patriarchy M arxist Feminism Capitalism A narchist Feminism Domination
Radical Feminism Rape is seen as the Outcome of Historical Social Traditions Males Dominate all important Activities Economic and Political Vs. Family & Care Taking (Public vs. Private)
Women as Property Women are Both Portrayed and Treated as subservient therefore are degraded Women tend to be treated, viewed as property and playthings Ones worth and value is diminished Thus you may be treated in many ways Because you are less than human Rape is an outcome of social inequality between the sexes
Fear of Rape A feed back process reinforces the inequality - intimidation(Sexual Harassment), Fear of Rape (Gordon & Riger) Etc. This restricts behavior even more Impacts lifestyles; limits job choices, effects promotions and advancements, etc.
Impact of Rape According to Radical Feminism the current movement towards equality, may affect rape in two divergent ways 1)May frustrate males leading to more rape or processing problems 2)May create less rape as sub- ordinate/super-ordinate relations change
What Needs to be Done? Feminism suggests two major ways to approach rape: 1)Need to increase arrests and enforce harsher punishments (think predator laws) 2)Others say that even though we should treat the crime more seriously it won’t eliminate rape; instead we need to equalize socio-economic relations and power relations
Rape is Power Sexual gratification is no motive for rape, rather, rape is to establish and or maintain dominance, control over women by men (Think post-civil war and the control of African-Americans.)
Marxist Criminology Conflict Theory Assumptions: Law is tool for maintaining power of dominate group - capitalist; feminist substitute men as the dominate group; blacks substitute whites;(similar assumptions of Marxist theory) Relationships are governed by social rules
Marriage and family relations have traditionally been linked to property relations and law “…the concept of property implies a set of socially granted rights about access to and disposition of the goods in questions.” Property relations are protected by the state; if anything happens to property the state protects the owner
Women as Property Humans are often seen as property: Slaves; Children, owned by father; in marriage man and woman become one, which one? Law has be created to protect sexual property,(the exclusive rights over sexual behavior)
In patriarchal society like ours, husbands have rights over wives, fathers have rights over daughters until marriage where another man takes over Rape laws have changed; protection of owner has been written out, mostly; but application may not It appears that application may support traditional gender roles
The Power/Control Paradigm Early Contributors Susan Griffin, Rape: The All-American Crime. Ramparts (Vol. 10/Sept.) 1971; Janice Reynolds, Rape as Social Control. Catalyst (No.8/Winter) 1974; Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. 1975 (1993)’; Carol Smart and Barry Smart, Women, Sexuality and Social Control. 1978
Susan Brownmiller Against our will: Men, Women and Rape. Ground breaking Opened up the study of rape to new and insightful analysis Primarily a poltical statement. Broad sweeping statements about the nature of rape and power Provided intellectual fodder for thirty years. The amount of research and the nature of research regarding sexual assault owes a great deal to her early thoughts.
Major Themes of Power/Control Paradigm 1)Rape is not about sex 2)Rape is about domination 3)Rape is social control 4)Rape is violence directed at all women 5)Rape is and act of terrorism perpetrated by men against women
Rape is Social Control What does that really mean? Control implies manipulation by some over others How does a woman come to know where she is safe and where she is not? How does a woman come to realize that places and people are not trustworthy? (Facebook or Myspace)
Patriarchy is continually reproduced, not necessarily in vicious, conscious overt attempts (although at times it might be), Subtle operations of day to day life. Control also implies limited acceptance by those controlled, or at least their inability to mount successful resistance. (Peglia)
Fear of Rape Is a form of social control designed to control all women Reynolds, “…Rape is a means of social control aimed at constraining the behavior of women, a way of keeping women in ‘their place’.”
Brownmiller, “From prehistoric times to the present, I believe, rape has played a critical function. It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” (radical functionalism?)
Rape is Terrorism Susan Griffin, “Rape is an act of aggression in which the victim is denied her self-determination. It is an act of violence which, if not actually followed by beatings or murder, nevertheless always carries with it the threat of death. And finally, rape is a form of mass terrorism, for the victims of rape are chosen indiscriminately, but the propagandists for male supremacy broadcast that it is women who cause rape be being unchaste or in the wrong place at the wrong time -- in essence, behaving as though they were free.”
The Appeal of the Power/Control Model Arguments opened our eyes to the anomalies of the previous sex linked explanations of rape How could rape be a sexual act if numbers of men could not complete the sexual act or in many cases could not obtain an erection? If rape is caused by sexual taunting or teasing, how does the rape of very young children fit this scenario? If rape is the result of limited sexual access how does one explain the large number of rapes committed by married men or men on ongoing relationships?
Insights Analysis of rape took on the emphasis of control, domination, aggression, and power. These characteristics were the foundation for the analysis of most issues concerning women or women’s role in society. The power/control paradigm indeed sent the Madonna - whore duality crashing. It was obvious that the dualistic thinking so evident in western thought was not an appropriate model for understanding violence against women.
How Can Rape be Stopped Given This Paradigm of Thought? The enemy of woman was/is man. All men benefit from the domination and control of all women. If women were to gain their rightful place in society, strength would have to be garnished from within the spirit of women themselves and from the network or bond between all women.
Critique of White Feminist theory of Rape Angela Davis, “Women, Race, & Class” Theory of rape was a white woman’s theory, very good, but limited Queer Theory, same complaint Rape of women by women needs better explanation
What next? Anomalies need to be as honestly addressed as the anomalies of sex based theories of rape. Rape by women, not suppose to be that way! Multiple stigmas
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