By Andrew E. Taslitz
Rape legislation reform has been a gorgeous failure. safety legal professionals persist in emphasizing sufferers' characters over defendants' habit. Reform's objectives of accelerating rape record and conviction charges have normally no longer been accomplished. In Rape and the tradition of the Courtroom, Andrew Taslitz locates the reason for rape reform failure within the language legal professionals use, and the cultural tales upon which they draw to dominate rape sufferers within the courtroom.
Cultural tales approximately rape, Taslitz argues, reminiscent of the provocatively dressed girl "asking for it," are on the root of many subconscious prejudices that be sure jury perspectives. He connects those tales with real-life examples, corresponding to the Mike Tyson and Glen Ridge rape trials, to teach how rape stereotypes are utilized by safety legal professionals to achieve acquittals for his or her clients.
Building on Deborah Tannen's pathbreaking examine at the changes among female and male speech, Taslitz additionally demonstrates how observe selection, tone, and different attorneys' linguistic strategies paintings to undermine the boldness and the credibility of the sufferer, weakening her voice in the course of the trial. Taslitz presents politically reasonable reform proposals, in line with feminist theories of justice, which promise to enhance either the adversary approach more often than not and how that the approach handles rape cases.
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One night, he lures her, when she is most exhausted, into a wood, despite her protests. When she collapses in sleep, he awakens her, “taking her” in a scene that is hinted at but not described. Although some have asserted that what happened was clearly a rape, which Thomas Hardy could not describe because it would offend Victorian sensibilities, many critics have recognized Hardy’s elision of the scene as purposeful ambiguity, a blurring of the seduction/rape line. One critic put it this way: In Alec, [Tess] senses both her creator and her destroyer.
75 One further aspect of this blurring of the rape/seduction distinction is the woman’s violence. Specifically, a woman is often viewed as an “aggressor provocateur . . 77 When the man responds with violence, he acts to defend himself by stopping the provocateur from torturing him when she knows no torture is necessary, for her body bespeaks her need; she wants it too. A man who acts in self-defense is no bully, no rapist. 78 Tess is the eldest child of a once-great family, the d’Urbervilles.
Instead, we 18 | Cultural Rape Narratives must work toward incremental change in rape stories. We achieve such change by pointing out weaknesses in the application of some cultural narratives to a particular case and by giving jurors new information. But the new tales we craft must still be rooted in old ones. Careful study of existing cultural rape tales is therefore necessary. Additionally, stories and scripts imply certain labels and vice versa. Once Ms. ” But if jurors accept that label as correct, they will attribute all that goes with that label to the labeled item, thus shutting their eyes to the unique aspects of Ms.
Rape and the Culture of the Courtroom by Andrew E. Taslitz