Passionate argument

January 9, 1998

A BOOK review ought at least to outline the premise of the book under review and give a reasoned appraisal. Andrea Dworkin's distorted and polemical review of my book Ruling Passions: Sexual Violence, Reputation and the Law does neither (THES, January 2). Dworkin's criticism seems to be that I have failed to embrace her own perspective rather than that of Michel Foucault.

She seems to imagine that anyone who ventures to address the topic of sexual violence is poaching on her territory and even resorts to castigate me for not mentioning her and other, predominantly American, radical feminists.

She fails to appreciate that I am not explaining sexual violence, but analysing the ideologies and social practices in institutions (from the school to the judicial system) through which it is condoned.

Sue Lees Centre for Research into Ethnicity and Gender University of North London

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