Decriminalization of Rape

However, by the end of the 15th Century, a counter-revolution [against peasant political advances made after the Black Death] was already under way at every level of social and political life. First, efforts were made by the political authorities to co-opt the youngest and most rebellious male workers, by means of a vicious sexual politics that gave them access to free sex, and turned class antagonism into an antagonism against proletarian women. As Jacques Rossiaud has shown in Medieval Prostitution, in France, the municipal authorities practically decriminalized rape, provided the victims were women of the lower class.

–Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch


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