Document Type



Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law




This essay introduces the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law Symposium, “Rape Law Revisited” (Vol. 13(2)). The Symposium features articles by Deborah Tuerkheimer, Kimberly Ferzan, David Bryden and Erica Madore, Bennett Capers, and Erin Collins. The symposium provides fresh perspectives on the issues surrounding sexual assault law and policy in today’s environment. The introduction notes that the current rape reform redux is not just a rehashing of old arguments, but boasts many new features. Today’s rape activism occurs in a moment when feminist ideas about coerced sex no longer exist at the margins — they govern and enjoy cultural acceptance, if not hegemony. Today’s reformist dialogue presumes that to condemn rape is to fight patriarchy itself, even as it elides other questions of sex, sexism, and the relationship between the two. Today’s rape activists seek to unsettle gender categories and be inclusive, even as they emphasize violence against women, in particular. Today’s rape reforms purport to intervene in hypermasculine sexual “culture,” but such intervention often consists of neoliberal, individualistic programs to prevent and punish sexual transgression. The introduction maps the contours of the rape issue’s new legal and political terrain and welcomes both novel and reformulated perspectives and responses.


"Originally published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law."