Added: October 11, 2014 – Last updated: June 27, 2015


Author: Lena Olsson

Title: ‘Violence that’s Wicked for a Man to Use’

Subtitle: Sex, Gender and Violence in the Eighteenth Century

In: Interpreting Sexual Violence, 1660-1800

Edited by: Anne Greenfield

Place: London

Publisher: Pickering & Chatto

Year: 2013

Pages: 141-148 and 205-208

Series: The Body, Gender and Culture 14

ISBN-13: 9781848934399 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 18th Century | English History


Link: EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)

Link: University Publishing Online (Restricted Access)


Abstract: »Lena Olsson opens this section with a discussion of the widely (if tacitly) held belief that is was very difficult to rape a woman who genuinely resisted the act. Olsson examines not only legal and medical texts that aver the difficulty and at times impossibility of raping an unwilling woman, but also works of eighteenth-century fiction and poetry that almost never depict rape through the force of a lone rapist (instead featuring accomplices who hold the woman down, or drugs used for sedation beforehand). While the myth of the 'unrapeable' woman seems to contradict commonly-held beliefs in women's inferior strength and lack of assertiveness, this myth also relies on widely-held blame-the-victim-attitudes (i.e., the idea that women secretly welcome sexual violence, and that it is impossible for a man to force an unwilling woman).« (Source: Anne Greenfield. »Introduction.« Interpreting Sexual Violence, 1660-1800. Edited by Anne Greenfield. London 2013: 10)