rape, abortion, political rhetoric, psychosis, psychoanalysis
Republican candidates made headlines during the 2012 election for their offensive statements regarding rape when defending a comprehensive ban on abortion. Using Lacan’s theory of psychosis, this article exposes unconscious rhetorical structures that may have contributed to the repetition of those gaffes even after the Party advised all comments, during and after candidates’ attempts to retract their inaccurate statements, was the result of a foreclosure in the minds of some candidates. The discursive structure of their comments provides evidence that some candidates were unable to reconcile white patriarchal subjectivity with the inability to protect against rape.
Women's Studies in Communication
Stone Watt, S. (2020). “Rape is a four-letter word“: Psychosis, sexual assault, and abortion in the 2012 U.S. election. Women's Studies in Communication, 43(3), 225-246. doi:10.1080/07491409.2020.1740902