Alta Viscomi


The #MeToo Movement and the rise in the public consciousness of the impact of sexual violence has made abundantly clear that the legal rape reform movement that began in the 1970s was largely unsuccessful in stemming the tide of sexual violence. That movement was directed at the procedures in criminal justice system that make rape prosecutions easier for the state, but it failed to address the state’s role in enabling and perpetuating sexual violence. By failing to address those issues and by actively turning to carceral feminism, the state implemented a system in which sexual violence reporting remains low while prosecution and subsequent incarceration rates have increased. Feminist scholars today recognize the shortcomings of the state in such regard and have subsequently called for implementation of a new vision of justice based on accountability beyond the state as a way to bring about an end to sexual violence. Here, I analyze and critique both the legal rape reform movement that began in the 1970s and explore the ways in which the next generation of feminists suggests society move to a place where sexual violence is no longer as significant a threat.