TRANSFORMING A RAPE CULTURE by Emilie Buchwald

TRANSFORMING A RAPE CULTURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Well-edited, worthy compendium of writings about sex and violence in our culture. In 34 essays--some reprinted, many published here first--well- known feminist activists, university professors, theologians, novelists, editors, and politicians diagnose and prescribe remedies for a society that daily demeans and circumscribes women with the threat of rape. Andrea Dworkin's famous ``I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce'' opens the collection: It's a 1983 speech to a ``men's movement'' seminar in which Dworkin passionately challenges men to begin to shun and punish each other for the act of rape. In ``Erotica vs. Pornography,'' Gloria Steinem makes an early (1977) version of the now-familiar argument for banning pornography as tool of male dominance. In ``Radical Heterosexuality,'' reprinted from Ms., Naomi Wolf analyzes ``relationships'' in light (or gloom) of rape. More positively, in ``What Women Want,'' Milkweed's editor-in-chief Buchwald proposes specific principles that women impart to their daughters as a means to avoid but not fear rape; and in ``How Rape is Encouraged in American Boys,'' sociologist Myriam Miedzian prescribes a curriculum to train boys not to attain gender identity through misogyny and rape. Other essays offer first-person accounts of sexual harassment, enforced subordination, and rape; explore the psychology of gender cruelty; report on sexual intimidation and violence within American churches and on college campuses; and devise new tactics for changing laws and language that normalize sexual aggression. The book closes with a section of ``visions'' of a better world, including Louise Erdrich's a beautiful meditation on women's spiritual liberation from ``The Veils.'' An impressive collection on a subject that should be of wider interest and concern.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1993
ISBN: 0-915943-06-9
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Milkweed
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1993




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