Könsmakt eller häxjakt? : Antagonistiska föreställningar om mäns våld mot kvinnor

Detta är en avhandling från Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper, Lunds universitet

Sammanfattning: This dissertation is about the antagonistic conceptions of men’s violence against women – rape, incest and physical assault – as has been expressed by different actors in Sweden from 1975 – 2000. Mainly, my interest lies in how and why these conceptions have been articulated. During the studied period the attention to men’s violence against women as a question of gender, has grown remarkably. For this reason, the antagonism studied is largely constituted by discrepancies between what I call gender political perspectives – perspectives where violence is problematized in terms of gender – and models of explanation which are not primarily concerned with a connection between gender and violence. The title of the thesis – Gender Power or Witch hunt? – alludes to this antagonistic relation. Between those who see violence as an expression of men’s general power over women and those who believe that the gender political engagement in question risk leading to a witch hunt on innocent men. The object is to study the practice within which antagonistic conceptions about men’s violence against women are articulated as challenge or resistance; how these conceptions are produced within a certain gender order through struggles for precedence of interpretation and making of hegemony. The object raises a number of specific questions: How was men’s violence against women politicised? Which conceptions led to debate and why? What did the disagreement look like? Who were the actors? On which arenas did they act? What tools were used in order to challenge? How did resistance take shape? What significance did rhetoric have? How was science used? What role did the forming of social movements play? What did it take to make change possible? The body of material is almost exclusively constituted by texts. Included are social sciences, popular science, investigations, legal texts, reports, debate books, study material, articles in journals, debate articles, and media interviews. Three periods has appeared as especially important: in regard to rape the time between 1975-1977, in regard to incest 1982-1996 and to physical assault 1988-2000. From these three periods of time, I have chosen a particular event for each chapter, a certain text or debate which is studied from a cultural analytical micro perspective – a series of articles in evening papers, a public manifestation, a process of professionalisation, an oral defence of a doctoral thesis, an annual meeting or a proposed bill. When selecting material, I have searched for examples which clearly discern the antagonism and show how the struggle for precedence of interpretation occurs; politicised situations where change is possible.