Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape by Susan Brownmiller

By Susan Brownmiller

Susan Brownmiller’s groundbreaking bestseller uncovers the tradition of violence opposed to girls with a devastating exploration of the background of rape—now with a brand new preface through the writer exposing the undercurrents of rape nonetheless current today

Rape, as writer Susan Brownmiller proves in her startling and critical ebook, isn't approximately intercourse yet approximately energy, worry, and subjugation. For millions of years, it's been seen as a suitable “spoil of war,” used as a weapon via invading armies to weigh down the desire of the conquered. The act of rape opposed to girls has lengthy been cloaked in lies and fake justifications.

It is neglected, tolerated, even inspired through governments and army leaders, misunderstood by means of police and defense firms, freely hired by way of domineering husbands and enthusiasts, downplayed via scientific and lawyers extra susceptible to “blame the victim,” and, might be such a lot shockingly, authorised in supposedly civilized societies world wide, together with the United States.

Against Our Will is a vintage paintings that has been commonly credited with altering triumphing attitudes approximately violence opposed to girls by means of awakening the general public to the real and carrying on with tragedy of rape worldwide and during the ages.

Selected through the New York occasions e-book Review as a great ebook of the yr and incorporated one of the big apple Public Library’s Books of the Century, opposed to Our Will continues to be a necessary paintings of sociological and ancient significance.

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Additional resources for Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape

Example text

I think not. In the daily life of the polls the man clearly remains the mobile element, symbolized by the masculine Hermes, whereas the woman is the stable element, symbolized by the feminine Hestia. In his imagination, however, the man seems to have seen himself as the unmoving, stable element, symbolically linked to Hestia. In her daily life, the woman, meaning once again the married woman, the wife of the citizen and the mother of citizens-to-be, was bound to the home where her task was to bear legitimate children for the family father.

But it is precisely this function - the woman's reproductive capacity - which is not symbolically acknowledged. It is missing not just in the myths and rituals, but also in the thought and legislation associated with the institution of marriage. The woman entered the family from outside, and were she to vanish again, the family's identity would not be affected. In this respect she resembles but only resembles - the masculine Hermes. We should remember that, while for the man the world outside the home was a highly significant space indeed, the space that gives his life meaning - for the woman it was a void, a nothingness.

Thus a family belongs to the place where it lives for many generations, indeed, it belongs to the very earth. As the family's navel, Hestia constitutes a root fixing the house, home and family to the earth. In keeping with this symbolism, a new addition to the family was associated with the produce of the earth; the birth of a child was like the appearance of a new shoot. Here again we suspect that no clear distinction is made between vegetative and sexual reproduction, and, as we shall see, this has implications for Hestia's function.

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