Blog post

Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo | Mithu Sanyal

In these videos, Mithu Sanyal examines the role of race and the recurrent image of the black rapist, the omission of male victims, and the racist agenda behind media reporting of rape. She is the author of Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo

Verso Books30 May 2019

Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo | Mithu Sanyal

The racist agenda behind rape reporting

Who is sentenced for rape and who gets the longest sentences? How do right-wing media skew rape statistics to support their racist agenda? Mithu Sanyal explains the racist system that underpins media reporting around rape, especially after the New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Cologne.

Rape: from Lucretia to #MeToo

Mithu Sanyal explores how contemporary expectations around responses to rape can be dated back as far as Lucretia.

Masculinity and male victims

Mithu Sanyal explains why we need to include men in statistics around rape and sexual assault.

In conversation with Mithu Sanyal | the full interview

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Thanks to Title IX cases, #MeToo, and #Times Up, the issue of rape seems to be constantly in the news. But our thinking on the subject has a long history, one that cultural critic Mithu Sanyal elegantly reconstructs. She narrates a history spanning from Lucretia—whose legendary rape and suicide was said to be the downfall of the last Roman king—to second-wave feminism, Tarzan, and Roman Polanski.

Sanyal demonstrates that the way we understand rape is remarkably (and alarmingly) consistent across the ages, even though the world has changed beyond recognition. It is high time for a new and informed debate about sexual violence, sexual boundaries, and consent.

From Title IX cases on campus, to #metoo and #timesup, rape is a definitive issue at the heart of feminism, and lately, it’s barely out of the news. Cultural critic Mithu Sanyal is picking up where...