Other | France
English title: Feminist manifesto against rape
Corporate author(s): MLF (Mouvement de Libération des Femmes) = French women’s liberation movement
Keyword(s): rape | crime | patriarchy
Manifest: view document
Original paper: view pdf
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This manifesto was written when the MLF campaigned for rape to be recognized and judged as a crime (as required by the French law, although rapists were actually only charged with “aggravated assault”). The manifesto heralded an important gathering on June 26th 1976, “Ten hours against rape”, held at the “Maison de La Mutualité” (Paris). The way rape was analyzed in this article was shared by all within the MLF. Rape is a daily ordeal: even if one is not the victim of rape, one cannot avoid fear of being raped. Rape is the expression of the never-ending violence against women, the physical and cultural act on which patriarchal society is grounded. Rape is not punished as a crime against women. The text also exposed myths justifying rape: the myth of an unrestrained male sexuality echoing the myth of a passive and masochistic female sexuality finding pleasure in rape. From then on, rape was judged in the French criminal court and a new law was passed on December 23rd 1980 to recognize rape as a crime against women.