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CHOICE connect, May 2020 Volume 57 No. 9

Issues of sexual violence and rape are at the forefront of feminist philosophy and theory. In particular, feminist phenomenology, a branch of philosophy concerned with understanding the lived experience of women within patriarchal power relations, has focused on how the threat of sexual violence shapes feminine embodiment. For example, feminist phenomenologists have examined the ways in which the possibility of sexual violence and rape may prevent a woman from traveling alone at night, a fear that is not likely to occur to a man. The difference is not that a man cannot be raped, but rather that men's embodiment does not situate them as the site of such abuse. In When Time Warps, Burke (philosophy, Sonoma State Univ.) sets forth a new direction for feminist phenomenology by focusing on the sexualized racism, temporality, and chrononormativity of sexual violence. In particular, she argues that sexual violence, whether as threat or actual harm, severs the temporal continuity of women’s lived experience. The rape victim, for example, experiences herself as out of sync with her past (prior to the trauma) and unable to pursue an open future (after the trauma). When Time Warps is indispensable for those who teach or study feminist philosophy, gender studies, philosophy of race, and critical phenomenology.

--J. Liz, San Jose State University

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.

©2020 by Megan Burke