Uniform TitleEvery woman's fear: stories of rape and Dutch identity in the Golden Age
NamePipkin, Amanda Cathryn (author), Bell, Rudolph (chair), Mack, Phyllis (co-chair), Jones, Jennifer (internal member), Klein, Stacy (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School-New Brunswick,
Offenses against the person,
DescriptionThis dissertation explores the ways literate members of the Dutch Republic deployed a discourse about rape to stimulate specific forms of Dutch national, religious, and social identification during the seventeenth century. In turn, it examines patriotic literature and art, Protestant advice, disciplinary and legal records, and Catholic guides for religious women. Understanding the centrality of the discourse of rape in the nascent Dutch Republic reveals the ways in which power is expressed in bodily terms. Through their depictions of rape, patriarchs asserted control over not only women, but also poorer men and minors, literary elites declared Dutch superiority over the Spanish, and Dutch Catholics and Protestants challenged each other's views of the ideal constitution of the new Dutch social body.
Depictions of rape serve distinctly different functions in the expression of religious tensions in the post-Reformation period, the assertion of patriarchal family structure, and state-building. Catholic priests used discussions of rape as the means through which they could empower certain religious women to fight to save Catholicism in the Netherlands, by leaving their homes and spreading its teachings. This highlights a rare case in which Catholic women were not limited to institutional religious opportunities after the Council of Trent, but rather engaged in active roles outside cloister walls. Protestant patriarchs, on the other hand, denied the value of adult virginity and instead used discussions of rape to assert their power over young women and wives, implying that women of a certain age who are unprotected by fathers, husbands, and the walls of their homes were not only in great danger, but also responsible for rape should it occur. A wide variety of Protestant sources take this a step further: women are not only responsible for keeping themselves out of harm's way, but can actually be held accountable -- even legally responsible -- for raping or abducting men. In addition, it is through depictions of rape that members of the Dutch male elite asserted a national identification that downplays the importance of religious difference among the Dutch by constructing the Spanish as raping tyrants and Dutch citizens as fathers and husbands who protect women.
Note[bibliography] Includes bibliographical references (p. 221-229).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.