Color of Rape

Gender and Race in Television's Public Spheres

By Sujata Moorti

Subjects: Mass Media
Paperback : 9780791451342, 277 pages, October 2001
Hardcover : 9780791451335, 277 pages, October 2001

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Table of contents



1. Television and Theories of the Public Sphere

2. The Feminist Subject of Rape

3. The Right of Sight is White: The Singular Focus of Network News

4. White Men Do Feminism: Multiple Narratives of Prime-Time Rape

5. Testifying in the Court of Talk Shows

6. Fragmented Counternarratives



Analyzes the depiction of rape on television network news, daytime shows, prime time programming, and alternative programming.


Honorable Mention, 2003 Myers Outstanding Book Award presented by The Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America

Through an analysis of television images of rape, this book makes important contributions to theories of the public sphere as well as feminist theories of rape. It shows how issues pertaining to race and gender are integrated in television discussions of rape, and how ideas of race, stereotypes of black (male and female) sexuality, and the perceived threat of miscegenation continue to shape contemporary attitudes toward sexual violence.

Sujata Moorti is Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Letters, Old Dominion University.


"A must read. Moorti's analysis of the messages we see about rape on TV and video is certainly sobering. She warns readers not to view the new visibility of rape and anti-rape rhetoric in popular culture as signs of victory. Instead, the book reveals how media narratives can undermine feminist goals, reinforce stereotypes, and recycle harmful ideas about rape, gender, feminism, and race." — The Women's Review of Books

"Moorti's careful and consistent attention to the issues of gender, race, and their intersection provides one of the most nuanced feminist analyses of rape on United States television of any I have read. This perspective makes the book a must read not only for scholars interested in rape, and for feminist scholars in particular, but also for those concerned with gender and race in the media, generally." — Sarah Projansky, University of California, Davis

"In addition to finding a significant place within the larger areas of media studies and scholarly examinations of race and gender issues, this book will be a welcome addition to the specialized field of studies examining contemporary media representations of rape. It brings the field up to date and will undoubtedly serve as the comprehensive statement on representations of rape and race." — Lisa Cuklanz, author of Rape on Prime Time: Television, Masculinity, and Sexual Violence