Abstract

Rape culture is like a disease that permeates all sectors of American society. It is historically rooted, inscribed in the law and exercised in the everyday. Since the insurgence of second-wave feminism in the late 1960s, feminists have worked tirelessly to bring attention to sexual assault as a socio-cultural dilemma. In this project, I attempt to track the development of feminist anti-rape discourse over time by applying historical discourse analyses to the specific works of Susan Brownmiller and Angela Davis. Using an intersectional feminist lens, I am able to engage a dialogue between the authors in order to demonstrate the ways that radical feminist anti-rape dialogue problematically racialized rape, resulting in backlash from black feminists. I use these frameworks to conduct an intersectional content critique of the modern-day feminist blogosphere in order to inquire questions about the ways that feminist anti-rape rhetoric has changed over time. Ultimately, my aim is to use these discursive historical progressions as a means to identify and critique normative rape culture narratives. By analyzing the racialized components of feminist anti-rape efforts that have existed for decades, I reflect upon my privileged position as a white American middle-class college student who is in search of more inclusive anti-rape efforts, free of the racism and classism that is often a repercussion of these dialogues.

Advisor

Kock, Stacia

Second Advisor

King, Shannon

Department

History; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Publication Date

2014

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2014 Angela M. Neely