Rape by Joanna Bourke
Sex, Violence, History

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Synopsis

Joanna Bourke takes the issue of rape out from the academic ghettos and distills the truth so often exploited to sell newspapers. Neither prurient nor overly sympathetic, she investigates rape from a historical standpoint examining the history of sexual aggression, the idea of rape as a social construct, and the often-ignored idea of embodiment, and analyzes the physical response of rapists as well as the often-cited “rape is about power” theories.

Indebted to a growing body of sophisticated feminist analyses about rape victims, Bourke here shifts the emphasis from the victims to the perpetrators in order to place rapists in their historical context. An invaluable study, this book delivers the hard truth that if we are to imagine a world free of unwanted sexual violence, then we must consider the issue of rape from every angle.
 

About Joanna Bourke

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Joanna Bourke teaches history at Birkbeck College, London. Her books include "Dismembering the Male: Men's Bodies, Britian and the Great War" (1996).
 
Published October 28, 2007 by Counterpoint. 528 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Bourke rejects the biological explanations of evolutionary psychologists who trace sexual violence back to our distant ancestors, finding more convincing the claim by feminists and social theorists that societal forces create men who sexually abuse others.

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The Guardian

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'Self-policing' (making sure you don't get raped) has become the norm: victims are encouraged to think of themselves as 'lucky' to be raped (to use the title of Alice Sebold's rape memoir) because they weren't killed.

Oct 14 2007 | Read Full Review of Rape: Sex, Violence, History

The Guardian

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But surely the systematic rape of women - and children - by the thousand in some war zones (yes, rape occurs in all war zones, but some are far worse), and by the commerce of the net, require different collective remedies.

Oct 20 2007 | Read Full Review of Rape: Sex, Violence, History

The Telegraph

Marital rape remains "the most difficult form of abuse to successfully prosecute" reports Joanna Bourke, in this monumental and gloomy history of rape from 1860 to the present.

Nov 22 2007 | Read Full Review of Rape: Sex, Violence, History

Times Higher Education

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