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Debating rape: to whom does the uncanny 'myth' metaphor belong?

Debating rape: to whom does the uncanny 'myth' metaphor belong?
Debating rape: to whom does the uncanny 'myth' metaphor belong?
This article focuses on the language and metaphors used in debating rape myths, arguing that it is their uncanny aesthetic and affective qualities that accounts for the debate’s fractious nature but that also brings the possibility of a more productive politics. For much feminist-informed rape myth acceptance scholarship (FRMAS), ‘myths’ in this context are more than merely mistaken beliefs: rather, they comprise a world made up of illusions or spectres that must be laid to rest. Critics of this view, too, while critical of feminists’ reliance on ‘myths’ as a way of stifling open discussion, likewise tend to use a discourse of myths explicitly or implicitly with a similarly disorienting effect. For both sides of the debate then, ‘myth’ serves as a disquieting, uncanny metaphor that displaces and substitutes whatever else apparently erroneous beliefs, attitudes and knowledges about rape might signify.
1467-6478
123-143
Gurnham, David
f63e1a54-5924-4fd0-a3f5-521311cee101
Gurnham, David
f63e1a54-5924-4fd0-a3f5-521311cee101

Gurnham, David (2016) Debating rape: to whom does the uncanny 'myth' metaphor belong? Journal of Law and Society, 43 (1), 123-143. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-6478.2016.00744.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article focuses on the language and metaphors used in debating rape myths, arguing that it is their uncanny aesthetic and affective qualities that accounts for the debate’s fractious nature but that also brings the possibility of a more productive politics. For much feminist-informed rape myth acceptance scholarship (FRMAS), ‘myths’ in this context are more than merely mistaken beliefs: rather, they comprise a world made up of illusions or spectres that must be laid to rest. Critics of this view, too, while critical of feminists’ reliance on ‘myths’ as a way of stifling open discussion, likewise tend to use a discourse of myths explicitly or implicitly with a similarly disorienting effect. For both sides of the debate then, ‘myth’ serves as a disquieting, uncanny metaphor that displaces and substitutes whatever else apparently erroneous beliefs, attitudes and knowledges about rape might signify.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 5 November 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 February 2016
Published date: March 2016
Organisations: Southampton Law School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383650
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383650
ISSN: 1467-6478
PURE UUID: 79a7c42c-50e8-4bb0-b49e-3c7567472b4b
ORCID for David Gurnham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6807-7587

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Nov 2015 14:52
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:38

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