Transforming a Rape Culture

by Emilie Buchwald (Editor)

Other authorsMartha Roth (Editor), Pamela R. Fletcher (Editor)
Hardcover, 1993




Milkweed Editions, (1993)


This volume presents a diverse group of opinions that lay the foundation for change in basic attitudes about power, gender, race, and sexuality -- for a future without sexual violence. The contributors to this sourcebook share the conviction that rape is epidemic because our society encourages male aggression and tacitly or overtly supports violence against women. Cumulatively, these 34 essays by such figures as Gloria Steinem, Andrea Dworkin, Ntozake Shange, Michael Kimmel and Louise Erdrich situate rape on a continuum extending from sexist language to pornography, sexual harassment in schools and the workplace, wife battering and date and marital rape. Highlights include a proposal to make rape a presidential election issue, an analysis of the churches' ambivalent response to societal violence, guidelines for raising boys to view themselves as nurturing, nonviolent fathers and inspirational visions of personal or institutional change.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member afterannabel
Transforming a Rape Culture is a book I've been reading for a few months on and off, skipping around. It's a collection of essays and speeches, and I've only recently just finished it. It's the best book I have ever read on the subject of rape. It's by turns infuriating and inspiring.
Some of the
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contributers I really do not like. Andrea Dworkin. I really, really do not like Andrea Dworkin. I find her stance on pornography offensive in its absolutism. Read the wikipedia article if you want to know. But, my point is, despite this, I rather like her contribution, a transcript of her speech "I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce'' (in which there is no rape) delivered in 1983 to a "men's movement" conference. There's at least a bit of wisdom in every contribution.
The best part about Transforming a Rape Culture is that it offers solutions. It names problems and gives concrete ideas to fix them; discusses strategies that have worked and not worked, such as counseling centers, legislation, artwork; stresses contribution on individual, community, national and global scales. After reading this book, I don't have a much easier time believing that I will see a world in which rape does not exist during my lifetime, but I have more faith in seeing a world working towards that.
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LibraryThing member owen1218
Some of these writers seem to assume that all men are abusive and sexist.

Many of them fail to distinguish between violence and counterviolence.

Most of them sincerely believe that simply by changing hearts and minds we can end rape forever.

These are all major faults. And though they don't entirely
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sink the book, they don't get us anywhere new.

Most of the best essays in this book come in at the end, these being some of the most personal. By far the best is Inés Hernández-Ávila's "In Praise of Insubordination".
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Minnesota Book Awards (Finalist — Nonfiction — 1994)


Original language



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