Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

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First published: July 1, 2023 - Last updated: July 1, 2023


Author: Kathrin Breuer

Title: Is a Prostitute Rapeable?

Subtitle: Teresa Ruiz Rosas's Novel Nada que declarar in Dialogue with #MeToo

In: German #MeToo: Rape Cultures and Resistance, 1770-2020

Edited by: Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson

Place: Rochester, NY

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

Year: 2022 (Publiehed online: October 8, 2022)

Pages: 362-380

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies 10

ISBN-13: 9781640141353 (hardcover) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106062 (EPUB) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106055 (PDF) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 21st Century | American History: Peruvian History | European History: German History | Types: Sexual Assault / Forced Prostitution; Victims: Professions / Prostitutes; Representations: Literary Texts / Teresa Ruiz Rosas


- Cambridge Core (Restricted Access)

- JSTOR (Restricted Access)

- Google Books (Limited Preview)


Author: Kathrin Breuer, Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature, Brandeis University

Summary: »The #MeToo Movement provides a powerful platform to collect and publicize the testimony of victims of sexual harassment and violence. It has provided a platform for formerly invisible victims of sexual assault, empowered women and young girls, and addressed persistent cultural blind spots about gendered violence. To date, #MeToo has supported white middle-class women, actresses, women of color, incarcerated women, female domestic workers, and female veterans. Yet #MeToo excludes accounts of sex workers, thereby implicitly discrediting their experiences of abuse and perpetuating the still widespread societal belief that prostitutes cannot be sexually harassed or raped since they are women who are always consenting. The historical persuasiveness of that view is reflected in jurisdiction skewed against prostitutes, as legal scholar Barbara Sullivan documented. Some argue that not only the exclusion of professional sex workers from the debate but also the #MeToo movement's explicit support of Survivor's Agenda, an organization that lobbies for the legalization of sex work, is alarming and antithetical to their proclaimed goal of strengthening women's rights. The fluid boundaries between voluntary and coerced sex work and life as a prostitute are subjects of Teresa Ruiz Rosas's 2013 novel, Nada que declarer, which raises questions that substantially enrich the #MeToo discourse.
Rosas's novel addresses the issue of legalized and allegedly well-regulated prostitution in Germany through the story of the eighteen-year-old protagonist, Diana Postigo, who was brought from Peru to Germany and forced into prostitution. While the story is fictional, Ruiz Rosas's work is well researched and reflects frequently employed recruitment methods and working conditions of some of those sex workers who offer their services in brothels. In the novel, the author draws on her intimate familiarity with her country of origin, Peru, and her knowledge of Germany, her country of residence since the early 1990s. In both places, Ruiz Rosas has been involved in raising awareness about gendered violence, human trafficking, and exploitation in the prostitution industry.« (Source: Cambridge Core)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of Peru | History of Europe: History of Germany / History of Germany (1990-present) | Prostitution: Forced prostitution, Prostitution in Germany | Literature: Peruvian literature / Teresa Ruiz Rosas | Sex and the law: Rape / History of Rape, Rape in Gemany