Sexual violence has become a topic of intense media scrutiny, thanks to the bravery of survivors coming forward to tell their stories. But, unfortunately, mainstream public spheres too often echo reports in a way that inhibits proper understanding of its causes, placing too much emphasis on individual responsibility or blaming minority cultures.
In this powerful and original book, Linda Martín Alcoff aims to correct the misleading language of public debate about rape and sexual violence by showing how complex our experiences of sexual violation can be. Although it is survivors who have galvanized movements like #MeToo, when their words enter the public arena they can be manipulated or interpreted in a way that damages their effectiveness. Rather than assuming that all experiences of sexual violence are universal, we need to be more sensitive to the local and personal contexts – who is speaking and in what circumstances – that affect how activists’ and survivors’ protests will be received and understood.
Alcoff has written a book that will revolutionize the way we think about rape, finally putting the survivor center stage.