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I would like to know how feminists, in general, conceptualize rape and sexual assuault. What would a feminist say is the cause of rape, its ramifications, etc.? Thanks, Allison

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. Rape is illegal and is legally identified, so it's not so much a "feminist" definition, but a legal one.

Traditionally, the law defined rape as "intercourse between a man and a woman not his wife, against the woman's will and without her consent." "Each form [incest, battering, sexual harassment, and rape] of violence [against women] is a manifestation of societially organized, supported, and condoned or "naturalized" arrangements of power and control based on the combination of gender, race, or ethnicity, class, and sexual orientiation...together [these forms of violence] create systemic and pervasive constraints on women. The infliction or threat of violence and abuse is means of keeping women silent, and, thereby controlling them." This is from the Readers Companion to U.S. Women's History under the listing "Violence Against Women" by Martha Deed. For more, I suggest you read this section.


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