Silence and responsibility

Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):189–208 (2004)
Abstract
In this paper, I shall be concerned with the phenomenon that has been labeled silencing in some of the recent philosophical literature. A speaker who is silenced in this sense is unable to make herself understood, even though her audience hears every word she utters. For instance, consider a woman who says “No”, intending to refuse sex. Her audience fails to recognize her intention to refuse, because he thinks that women tend to be insincere, and to not say what they really mean, especially in sexual situations.1 This speaker’s utterance then goes astray in the manner that constitutes silencing in my sense. Regarding this phenomenon, philosophers such as Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby have argued, first, that women are particularly liable to be thus affected, i.e., silenced; second, that, as a result of this silencing, they are systematically disadvantaged; and third, that pornography is responsible for this silencing.
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Citations of this work BETA
Mary Kate McGowan (2009). Debate: On Silencing and Sexual Refusal. Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4):487-494.
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