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Lesbian Rape? The Academy of Film and Gender Studies Will Release New Documentary Examining Lesbian Rape in Fall 2007

Controversial Documentary Will Examine Lesbian Rape and Sexual Violence between Women

Los Angeles, CA, September 09, 2007 --( The Academy of Film and Gender Studies will be releasing its much anticipated Documentary, “She Stole My Voice: A Documentary About Lesbian Rape,” (directed by Justine Chang and Armand Kaye) in fall of 2007. This documentary, which has been the subject of considerable controversy, interweaves the experiences of victims, expert analyses, community responses, and visual depictions to create a complete understanding of this crime.

According to director Justine Chang, “Lesbian rape is a crime that society has generally overlooked, either because its members look at lesbian rape as being either impossible or harmless. This film shows that lesbian rape is neither.”

The film attempts to create a holistic view of lesbian rape by examining it from every possible angle, including the perspective of victims as well as perpetrators of lesbian rape. These are underscored with often graphic, jarring, and realistic depictions of lesbian rape.

According to Ms. Chang, “What you have now is a crime that no one knows how to react to, because no one has any real image or understanding of what it is. There are almost no depictions of it anywhere. The only video versions of lesbian rape that exist right now are found in pornography, in which the ‘victim’ invariably starts to enjoy the rape. With a social understanding based on something that ludicrous, it is no surprise that police and prosecutors don’t take it seriously. For people to know how to react, they have to first be able to picture what they are dealing with, and that it is real, and devastating, and horrific. That’s what makes the depictions so essential to this film.”

Chang also pointed out that the ignorance about lesbian rape was not limited to society or to law enforcement. In fact, as the film shows, feminist theorists are equally guilty of discounting lesbian rape. “When you talk about women in the workplace, most feminist theorists are in agreement,” explained Chang. “When you talk about political and social equality, most feminist theorists are in agreement. But when it comes to lesbian rape, you begin to see a lot of contradictory elements. You’ll even see the same theorists saying opposite things about lesbian rape at different times. That’s important, because it shows that we aren’t just dealing with average people being insufficiently educated. The ambiguities and incomplete understanding runs all the way from the average person to the most important feminist theorists of the last fifty years. It’s something that a lot of people, including the gender deconstructivists that, in retrospect, should have seen it, completely missed.”

“She Stole My Voice: A Documentary about Lesbian Rape” will be available on DVD in the United States in September, and will be available worldwide in 2008. Directors Justine Chang and Armand Kaye, along with the Academy of Film and Gender Studies, have pledged that 10% of profits from the film will go to organizations that provide assistance to survivors of lesbian rape.

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The American Academy for Film and Gender Studies
Armand Kaye

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