Understanding rape from the point of view of male hegemony Consideration of rape as an act which has social codes rather than just a private act has ensured rape to be an investigation topic within social sciences. Examination of the issue in the framework of feminist theory resulted in inclusion of hegemony in gender relations to discussions on rape. While classical feminist texts attributed a subsidiary role to male violence in maintenance of male dominance, feminist texts focusing on rape pointed to essential position of violence and defined rape as a form of sexual violence which is an expression of power over women. Basic assumption of another phase of theoretical process on rape which has emerged in near past regards rape as not violence but sexuality. In this framework rape is rooted from the same ground with “ordinary” sex which is not regarded as rape. This ground is formed by male sexuality which is the basis of heterosexist construct of sexuality. The last part of the article suggests an analysis of rape, especially understood in terms of hegemonic masculinity, which exceeds categorical view of gender relations. In this respect, it will be possible to put forward attitudes of different masculinity and femininity toward rape, their distance with hegemony relations which form the ground for rape and conflicting, stretching, extending, layered functioning and historicity of hegemonic relations related to rape. Thus, the aim of the article is to be regarded as a brief source including basic differences in handling of rape by feminist theory and to present a suggestion of the author about making sense of rape with regard to hegemonic masculinity.
Rape, sexual violence, hegemonic masculinity, feminist theory, gender
Ankara University, Faculty of Law