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Foucault, Rape, and the Construction of the Feminine Body

Ann J. Cahill
Hypatia
Vol. 15, No. 1 (Winter, 2000), pp. 43-63
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Hypatia, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3810511
Page Count: 21
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Foucault, Rape, and the Construction of the Feminine Body
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Abstract

In 1977, Michel Foucault suggested that legal approaches to rape define it as merely an act of violence, not of sexuality, and therefore not distinct from other types of assaults. I argue that rape can not be considered merely an act of violence because it is instrumental in the construction of the distinctly feminine body. Insofar as the threat of rape is ineluctably, although not determinately, associated with the development of feminine bodily comportment, rape itself holds a host of bodily and sexually specific meanings.

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