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The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism [Paperback]

Katie Roiphe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

17 Jan 1994
A 24-year-old graduate student takes on the feminist establishment in an indictment of the women's movement today. The author takes an unflinching look at today's sexual politics - date rape, sexual harassment, "take back the night" marches, male superfeminists - and offers a scathing critique of the willingness she sees among women to embrace the role of the victim.


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd (17 Jan 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241002575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241002575
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex, Fear and Feminism 23 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In 1986, Katie Roiphe arrived at Harvard to study English literature; she subsequently pursued her studies at Princeton. She found that the question which preoccupied women at both these institutions above all others was the regulation of sexual behaviour. Most held that sexual behaviour - specifically heterosexual behaviour - should be governed by stricter rules than it had been in the past. Among her female contemporaries, the orthodox views were that:

1. The definition of rape should be expanded beyond cases in which sex is obtained by physical force or the threat of physical force. In the eyes of some, sex was rape unless, on every occasion, there was sobriety and a verbal yes. As one standard pamphlet circulated to students advised:

'hearing a clear sober 'yes' to the question 'Do you want to make love?' is very different from thinking 'Well, she didn't say no''.

2. Rape is very common. A widely quoted 1985 study estimated that one in four college women in the United States is the victim of rape or attempted rape.

3. It is desirable to enforce codes on sexual harassment which prohibit such behaviour as 'leering and ogling, whistling, sexual innuendo, and other suggestive or offensive or derogatory comments, humor and jokes about sex' (this is from Princeton's guidelines).

In The Morning After, first published in 1993, Roiphe questions whether rape is as common as has been suggested and whether the program of tightening regulation is advisable. Feminists have, in her view, been too eager to adopt stereotypes of women as a victims and men as predators. It is particularly absurd, she suggests, for the young, middle-class, highly-educated women at Ivy League universities to claim victim status en masse.
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