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Rape: A South African Nightmare, by Pumla Dineo Gqola. Johannesburg: MF Books, an imprint of Jacana Media (PTY) Ltd, 2015

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dc.contributor.author Bennett, Jane
dc.date.accessioned 2019-10-23T10:36:11Z
dc.date.available 2019-10-23T10:36:11Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri Rape: A South African Nightmare, by Pumla Dineo Gqola. Johannesburg: MF Books, an imprint of Jacana Media (PTY) Ltd, 2015
dc.identifier.uri http://awdflibrary.org:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/953
dc.description.abstract In the two years since the publication of Pumla Gqola’s third book, Rape: A South African Nightmare, the quotation above is the one most cited in the myriad reviews of her work and in the conversations that the book has inspired in public space. The metaphor — rape as language — draws on notions of the symbolic as communication, and on the idea that a willingness to accept the terms of a language constitutes a powerful route to the fiction of a community. So, argues Gqola, the fiction of a South African nation involves prescribed relationships between sexual violence and citizenship. At the same time, the questions which intrigue linguists — such as the ways in which languages obscure as much as they are able to facilitate communication and the impossibility of representing embodied intensity (pain, ecstasy) “in” language — are also Gqola’s. She is harassed, puzzled, and frustrated by the seeming circularity of discussions about rape — the hopelessness experienced by activists who have been working for decades only to witness the escalation of incidents and the expansion of the forms “rape” might take, the misunderstandings (still) about what constitutes rape, the seeming jocularity about rape from some alleged perpetrators and, perhaps most poignantly, the wariness and disbelief on the faces of those to whom a survivor may confide their story. If “rape [is]… a language” for Gqola, then her book is driven by a passionate conviction that such language tells lies — about 234 | Feminist Africa 22 histories, about those who experience rape, and about the “inevitability” of rape. Perhaps, for Gqola, the most egregious lie is exposed in the conversation that she develops across the volume about what it means to live in a country whose daily vision for itself is enshrined in a Constitution full of commitment to freedoms and whose “nightmare” hauls a very particular form of genderbased violence up from the unconscious to terrorise any possibility of safety en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher African Journal of Gender and Women Studies en_US
dc.subject Rape en_US
dc.subject South Africa en_US
dc.subject Pumla Gqola en_US
dc.title Rape: A South African Nightmare, by Pumla Dineo Gqola. Johannesburg: MF Books, an imprint of Jacana Media (PTY) Ltd, 2015 en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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