Real Rape

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Many men believe that they can force women to have sex against their will and that it isn't rape--at least, not if the man knows the women and doesn't beat her up or wield a weapon. The law's casual treatment of such rape cases is the subject of this pioneering book, which is both a powerful exposé of the often shocking facts and a trenchantly written call for reform.
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Overview

Many men believe that they can force women to have sex against their will and that it isn't rape--at least, not if the man knows the women and doesn't beat her up or wield a weapon. The law's casual treatment of such rape cases is the subject of this pioneering book, which is both a powerful exposé of the often shocking facts and a trenchantly written call for reform.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The title refers to acquaintance rape, which the author, a Harvard Law School professor, maintains has frequently been characterized by the courts and the general public as not ``real rape.'' Estrich traces the legal history of rape by a non-stranger. Her unremarkable findings, that acquaintance rape has been and continues to be reported less often than stranger rape, to be prosecuted less frequently, and to result in conviction less often, are stated and restated throughout this very short bookonly about 100 pages are devoted to the text, the balance consisting of indexes and notes. She makes an articulate plea for change in the law and its application so that it will no longer be the rape victim who has to prove her innocence. Recommended for larger law collections. Anne Twitchell, Sch. of Architecture Library, University of Maryland, College Park
Christian Science Monitor

Real Rape is a vital book for judges, lawyers, law students, legislators, police officers, and those working in rape crisis centers...Estrich's writing is calm, logical, eloquent, and often scathingly ironic. On its own terms, her book is valuable for its untangling of the various threads of illogic that have formed the centuries-old web that has prevented justice from being served.
— Catherine Foster

San Francisco Examiner

A powerful indictment of the sexism, double standards and institutionalized distrust of women that lie behind the legal system's refusal to treat 'simple' rape (the legal term for sexual assault in which the victim knows her assailant and no weapon or overt physical violence is used) as a real crime. This is an important book, well researched and tightly argued...Estrich addresses the issues directly, cogently and with the sense of urgency and outrage the seriousness of the crime deserves.
— K. Kaufmann

New York Times Book Review

A persuasive argument for legal change.
— Carole Gould

University of Chicago Law Review

Real Rape is a powerful book. It reveals and empowers women's experiences in law. If it succeeds in creating a drive for the revision of rape law, it may enable women to get out from under the 'unfair struggle with the forces of perception.'
— Kim Lane Scheppele

Boston Globe

[A] brave, simply focused and powerfully reasoned book.
— Christina Robb

Christian Science Monitor - Catherine Foster
Real Rape is a vital book for judges, lawyers, law students, legislators, police officers, and those working in rape crisis centers...Estrich's writing is calm, logical, eloquent, and often scathingly ironic. On its own terms, her book is valuable for its untangling of the various threads of illogic that have formed the centuries-old web that has prevented justice from being served.
San Francisco Examiner - K. Kaufmann
A powerful indictment of the sexism, double standards and institutionalized distrust of women that lie behind the legal system's refusal to treat 'simple' rape (the legal term for sexual assault in which the victim knows her assailant and no weapon or overt physical violence is used) as a real crime. This is an important book, well researched and tightly argued...Estrich addresses the issues directly, cogently and with the sense of urgency and outrage the seriousness of the crime deserves.
Laurence Tribe
No one will ever again be able to address the legal problems of rape without taking Susan Estrich's landmark work into account. It is a model of how to think about a perplexing legal issue without losing track either of logic or of human experience.
New York Times Book Review - Carole Gould
A persuasive argument for legal change.
University of Chicago Law Review - Kim Lane Scheppele
Real Rape is a powerful book. It reveals and empowers women's experiences in law. If it succeeds in creating a drive for the revision of rape law, it may enable women to get out from under the 'unfair struggle with the forces of perception.'
Boston Globe - Christina Robb
[A] brave, simply focused and powerfully reasoned book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674749436
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1987
  • Pages: 176

Meet the Author

Susan Estrich is Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California.
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Table of Contents

1. My story

2. Is it Rape?

3. Wrong Answers: The Common Law Approach

4. Modern Law: The Survival of Suspicion

5. The Law Reform Solution

6. New Answers

Notes

Index of Cases

General Index

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