Kvinnofrid :Synen på våldtäkt och konstruktionen av kön i Sverige 1600-1800
The present dissertation deals with attitudes towards rape in early modern Sweden. The narratives from rape cases show certain similarities and differences, all of which provide a basis for a categorization. In somewhat generalized form, the documents identify a cast of six different-type characters: the unruly soldier, the despotic household head, the foul-minded hired hand, the honorable wife, the naive servant girl and the innocent under-aged girl. Reports by representatives of any one of these types, display a common view, judgmental elements often included.Views of rape between 1600 and 1800 were subject to changes of four kinds. One is, the woman is made an active subject, whose will and actions come under sharper focus in rape trials. A second type can be termed the sexualizing of the crime, where attack and assault aspects of a rape crime diminish, but purely sexual aspects increase, in importance. Amounting to a third change is growing interest in the remaining physical aspects of the rape crime. With this type as with the second type, brighter light falls on material and physical sides of the crime, while social matters and matters of honor became of less concern. A fourth change is that discussions of male authority run high at the outset of the period under study, but in time give way to talk of female qualities and morals. On the conceptual level the change can be interpreted as due to the shift which now linked violence and sexual practice directly to the individual and his/her morals, instead of as before to his/her social position in patriarchal society.On the immediate plane the actions of a single male individual were under review in a rape case, but on a larger scale the main issue was how much authority and power the male should have by virtue of the position he held. There was yet a scale where questions lurked concerning the legitimacy of the patriarchal system as a whole and of political power in any form.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; History and philosophy subjects; History subjects; History; rape; gender; Sweden; 1600–1800; violence; sexuality; seduction; early modern; patriarchal society; masculinity; rape law; narratives of rape; Historia; History; Historia
Date of Publication:01/01/2002