Who’s to Blame?

  • The main aim of this paper is to investigate how sexist ideology distorts our conceptions of sexual violence and the hermeneutical gaps such an ideology yields. I propose that we can understand the problematic issue of hermeneutical gaps about sexual violence with the help of Fricker’s theory of hermeneutical injustice. By distinguishing between hermeneutical injustice and hermeneutical misfire, we can distinguish between the hermeneutical gap and its consequences for the victim of sexual violence and those of the perpetrator of such violence. I then argue that perpetrators are both morally responsible and accountable for their acts, even if they are the result of a hermeneutical misfire. Ultimately, I show that with regard to sexual violence, we should opt for accountability to change the behaviour of the perpetrator and the social structure. Content warning: The paper discusses sexual violence and difficulties conceptualising experiences of such violence.

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Author details:Hilkje Charlotte HänelORCiDGND
Title of parent work (English):Social Epistemology
Subtitle (English):Hermeneutical Misfire, Forward-Looking Responsibility, and Collective Accountability
Place of publishing:London
Publication type:Article
Date of first publication:2020/11/08
Publication year:2020
Release date:2022/09/22
Tag:Sexist ideology; accountability; blame; hermeneutical injustice; hermeneutical misfire; moral responsibility
First page:173
Last Page:184
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften / Fachgruppe Soziologie
DDC classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 302 Soziale Interaktion
License (German):License LogoCC-BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International
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