Looking at popular culture from 1980 to the present, feminism appears to be “over”: that is, according to popular critics we are in an era of “postfeminism” in which feminism has supposedly already achieved equality for women.
Not so, says Sarah Projansky. In Watching Rape, Projansky undermines this complacent view in her fascinating and thorough analysis of depictions of rape in U.S. film, television, and independent video. Through a cultural studies analysis of such films as Thelma and Louise, Daughters of the Dust, and She's Gotta Have It, and television shows like ER, Ally McBeal, Beverly Hills 90210, and various made-for-tv movies, Projansky challenges us to see popular culture as a part of our everyday lives and practices, and to view that culture critically. How have media defined rape and feminism differently over time? How do popular narratives about rape also communicate ideas about gender, race, class, nationality, and sexuality? And, what is the future of feminist politics, theory, and criticism with regard to issues of sexual violence, postfeminism, and popular media?
The first study to address the relationship between rape and postfeminism, and one of the most detailed and thorough analyses of rape in 25 years, Watching Rape is a crucial contribution to contemporary feminism.