Every Woman’s Fear - Stories of Rape and Dutch Identity in the Golden Age | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 122, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


This article briefly explores the ways in which literate members of the Dutch Republic deployed depictions of sexual violence in order to stimulate specific forms of Dutch national, religious, and social identification during the first half of the seventeenth century. Understanding the centrality of the discourse of rape in the nascent Dutch Republic reveals the ways in which power was expressed in bodily terms. By means of their depictions of rape, patriarchs asserted control not only over women, but also over 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.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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