AGAINST RAPE by Andra & Kathleen Thompson Medea


Email this review


Medea and Thompson do not limit themselves to ""the prosecutable crime"" -- so few are prosecuted, fewer convicted -- and they take pains to dispel the idea that the rapist is necessarily a ""hulking, slavering maniac."" According to their own survey -- academic sociology offers little -- the average rapist is an acquaintance or a friend of a friend or even ""the man next door"" who is in every way encouraged by society's notion that man is the hunter and woman the game -- encouraged too by a language that speaks of ""niggers and kikes and chinks and broads"" thus conveniently dehumanizing the potential victim. A good deal of the book is devoted to self-defense -- karate, yes, if that's feasible, but also simply the kind of street smarts that will, hopefully, enable women to evade/avoid trouble before it starts. Though they don't urge tackling an assailant with a gun, the authors do insist that women must get away from feeling helpless in the face of attack. Any resistance, even screaming or kicking, if it is not expected, can be effective. Most important the authors deal with the unwarranted guilt which in rape cases is often experienced by the victim. A shrewd, eye-opening book which deals squarely and from a strong feminist perspective with the social and human ramifications of a crime that is frequently deplored but seldom punished.

Pub Date: July 16th, 1974
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux