Wed March 27, 2013
A Feminist Analysis of Sexual Assault
-Hooks (pp. 117-132)
-Summary of Brison.
-Testimonies of trauma, victim blaming, Mickinneon- stupid theory of
-Pineau-focus on date rape- patriarchal conceptual framework, myths,
concepts of consent, remedy- communicative sexuality
-philosophy of law and epistemology
-Hooks: critical outlook; Collapses binary- it’s not just about men and women, it’s
about systems of domination, sexual assault isn’t just a symptom of sexism, but
rather of systems of domination
-Crenshaw: demonstration of Hooks via intersectionality
-Sexual Assault discourse primarily addresses women, and not men.
Brison-What motivates sexual assault tends to focus on women. Don’t go out
at night, don’t dress a certain way.
-There’s an inconsistency, we need self-defense classes, safety classes.
They’re practical. But they are still symptomatic of the focus on women.
-If the discourse was more focused on stopping rape, maybe instances of rape would
go down. If it addressed men then it would get to the root.
Legal feminist philosophers- if the rules against women to prevent we’re turned on
men. “Use the buddy system if you can’t stop yourself from raping.”
-We should have those classes for men. Enroll in a course about stopping sexual
assault- we should have classes for men.
-Men have been ignored, not involved in the dialogue.
-Pineau-Talks about myths
1.Sexual assault as a masterful seduction (no means yes),coy- but it’s just an
act. But the problem that it assumes a lack of agency. Doesn’t address her as
decision maker. Ignores her autonomy, self-agency
2.Women “ask for it” if they dress provocatively- “Wanton solace of men”-to
use a term of Wollstonecraft.
3.Men’s sexual needs are uncontrollable. Rationality is impossible during a
4.Women want to be raped. Men are just fulfilling their desire that they are to
shy to express.
-Hooks-These myths are reproduced by mass media-romance novels, men subdue
“uppity” women, violent against them. Pineau- Consent-
-Actus reas- guilty action
Mens Reas- the mindset, the intent whether there is the mindset determines consent
Both of them together = criminal responsibility
Consent is ambiguous- it’s not recognized by the assailant, the assailant has the
concept of the myths. He may believe she is consenting because he has absorbed the
cultural ideological framework, so for him, he might “reasonably” believe she is
We have to redefine consent, focus on victim’s perception of consent. Usually
consent is implied unless there is specific and obvious resistance.
-Given that resistance isn’t taken at face value, that means the mindset of the
assailant is that there is consent.
-Solution-We need to take the women’s mindset of consent.
-(innocent until proven guilty, crown has burden of proof)- if that switched, the
defense proved that it didn’t occur. The defense would have to prove consent did
-Obligation and communicative sexuality- this is the solution, we have an obligation
to ensure that sexuality is mutually enjoyable- epistemic responsibility. The onus is
on us to be knowledgeable of the other. Knowledge of our partners desires, through
out the process of sex. This is better than this assumed consent, implicit contract. It’s
not about the end goal, not just agreeing to flat out sex. It’s much bro