Fighting Bodies, Fighting Words: A Gender Analysis

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Rape should not be considered a sexual act, but rather an act of violence in which rape is used as a weapon. (Easteal, 1994) While this can be forced upon both male and females, the vast majority of circumstances see women as the victim and men as the perpetrator. Over time feminists have conveyed their views and so with their contribution have complicated various everyday understandings regarding the gender issues involved. As written by Sharon Marcus in her effective 1992 work, Fighting Bodies, Fighting Words: A Theory and Politics of Rape Prevention she questions views on understandings including rape as a reality, women being powerless and rape being a result of women’s fear. Additional bodies of work that both mirror and question certain…show more content…
This is a view supported by Hawkesworth and later questioned by Marcus creating a complicated view on the gender issues involved. (Marcus, 1994) In the hope of demolishing this social view Marcus has conveyed a significant point highlighting the need for a change in the language of rape. Her overall argument persists that the language of rape must be understood in order for prevention. This is described through the reality of women being polite and noncombative despite their instincts that a male is being inappropriate. This confronting reality creates an easier environment for the male to proceed with the act. (Marcus, 1992) This is supported by numerous feminists, as they believe the reason for women being polite is due to gender roles being forced onto them, as well as the fact that women were deprived of equality and respect to begin with. They stand firm is saying that women’s oppression is a fatal flaw and could be the result of the ideology of rape. (Brownmiller, 1975) This gender issue is continued as Marcus also expresses that rape is a result of the social interaction leading up to the act. It is thus not the male’s physical power to rape but their power in language to force intercourse onto the female. It is so, these reasons as to why Marcus stresses the importance of women learning the appropriate responses in potential rape scenarios. Overall it is indeed these stances by Marcus that questions to everyday understanding of men and women regarding

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