Taking sexual violence in the form of rape and hetero-psychological/physical abuse, trafficking, and harassment as a point of departure, the authors of this volume explore questions about the relationship between sex, sexuality and violence in order to better understand the terms on which women's sexual suffering is perpetuated, thereby undermining their capacity for personhood and autonomy. This volume perceives that while sexual violence as a phenomenon is heavily researched, it remains under-theorized. With anti-essentialist views of gender identity, of subjectivity and agency, and of rationality and consent, the essays study both the dynamics and consequences of sexual violence. The contributing authors blend the insights of postmodern critique with the common goal of theorizing and acting effectively against the material and psychic suffering perpetuated by the rigid rituals of gendered and sexed life.
Foreword. Joanna Bourke. Introduction: Theorizing Sexual Violence: Subjectivity and Politics in Late Modernity Renée J. Heberle and Victoria Grace 1. Sexual Violence and Objectification Ann J. Cahill 2. Gendered Violence and Sacrificial Logics: Psychoanalytic Reflections Victoria Grace 3. ‘Reality Check’: Rethinking the Ethics of Vulnerability Ann V. Murphy 4. Of Shards, Subjectivities, and the Refusal to ‘Heal’: Refiguring the Damage of Incest Melanie Boyd 5. Fighting Rape Nicola Gavey 6. Rethinking the Social Contract: Masochism and Masculinist Violence Renée J. Heberle 7. Feminist Interrogations of Democracy, Sexual Violence, and the U.S. Military Meghana Nayak 8. Feminism, International Law, and the Spectacular Violence of the ‘Other’: Decolonizing the Laws of War Elizabeth Philipose