Protection for Intoxicated Rape Victims

Case Study
Pages 12 (3012 words)
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Very few movie images depicting rape come to mind that can match the violence, savagery and realism of the rape scene in the movie "The Accused" (1988). Gang-raped in a dimly-raped bar by drunken bar patrons, the chilling screams of the character played by Meryl Streep leave an indelible mark that does not easily go away.


The film raises a commentary on a society and a community that makes the rape victim also the "accused" (hence, the title) and ultimately, pigeonholes women into the social roles expected of them.
According to feminist theory, rape functions as a mechanism of social control in patriarchal societies (Brownmiller, 1975; Riger and Gordon, 1981). Feminist theorists argue that rape and the fear of rape enable men to assert their power over women and maintain the existing system of gender stratification (Adamec & Adamec, 1981; Barry, 1979; Brownmiller, 1975; Riger and Gordon, 1981; Russell, 1984; Sanaday, 1981). Clark and Lewis (1977) argue that rape is more likely to occur in societies where women are regarded as the sexual and reproductive possessions of men. In such societies, men sustain their power and privilege and enforce their sexual rights through threats or use of force.
Baron and Strauss further went and described the four theories that underlie the crime of rape, in their paper that presents a theoretical model which integrates the four macrosociological theories of rape. They describe these four theories as follows:
One theory holds that rape is a mechanism of gender inequality. A second theory attributes rape to the proliferation of pornographic materials. ...
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