All Rape Is Corrective Rape

(Trigger-warning for discussion of sexual assault.)

While researching a blog post on anti-gay hate crimes such as corrective rape, I stumbled across this piece on corrective rape. The author’s main argument is that in our patriarchal society, all rape is corrective in that it is meant to “correct” women’s behavior when women step outside the lines of acceptable femininity:

Because any woman who exists outside of those proscribed, religious-gender roles, needs to be corrected. That way she will learn her place, but also serve as an example to other women in the vicinity, that if you want to benefit from the protection of the law, and society, you best toe their line.

The message that rape sends is that you’d better behave within these narrow confines… or else. Or else you will be assaulted, violated, beaten, impregnated against your will, ostracized, shamed.

Even behaving “properly” isn’t a guarantee of safety, unfortunately. It’s been said many times, but it bears repeating: rape isn’t just about sex, but also about power. If we start thinking of all rape as corrective rape, it might help reframe the social issues that are contributing to the astounding prevalence of rape and sexual assault in this country.

About Jeana

Jeana

Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.