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‘Post-feminist’ or ‘pro-rape’ culture?

By Anastasia Powell and Sheree Cartwright, Monday, 16 November 2009

We have been described as living in a post-feminist age: a time of “girl power” where young women are empowered to negotiate sex on their own terms. Today’s young women (like many young men) are free to actively embrace their sexuality, and to put their bodies on display without fear of sullying their reputation or experiencing sexual taunts and violence. They aim to determine their own reality and reject constructs imposed by society’s expectations.

The F-word has long been described as irrelevant to today’s young woman, who avidly exclaims “I’m not a feminist, but …”

“But …” is right. In last Monday’s edition of The Age (November 9, 2009) it was reported that a group of past and present students of the University of Sydney had set up a “pro-rape” page on Facebook describing themselves as “anti-consent”. Yet the public Facebook site (which has since been closed down) is apparently just one part of a larger counter-culture that is associated with the sexual assaults of several young women. article

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