Hypatia 32 (1):135-151 (2017)
AbstractThis article conceptually investigates a type of gender murder, “romantic femicide.” I understand this as the extreme form of violence that occurs as a result of men's incapacity to cope with their partners’ autonomy and power. The incapacity is not merely an individual pathology but is rather rooted in the dynamic of recognition characterizing love under structural conditions of gender dichotomy. After having sketched out the current discussion about femicide and its shortcomings, I argue for the hypothesis in three steps. First, I draw on a feminist theory of recognition in order to outline a nonviolent form of love. Lovers of this sort would depend on their partners and, at the same time, try to affirm their independence of them. Second, I show how such an interdependence bond would entail a dynamic of mutual empowerment. Third, I argue that love becomes a relation of domination as result of gender dichotomy. The dichotomization of two gender identities, “man” and “woman,” splits the interdependence bond in a way that allows only man's unilateral exercise of power and makes mutual empowerment impossible. Violence might be required for maintaining the dynamic of dominance; finally, romantic femicide may result from the unsustainability of such a structure.
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References found in this work
Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.Kimberle Williams Crenshaw - 1991 - Stanford Law Review 43 (6):1241-99.
The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts.Andrew Levine - 1998 - Ethics 108 (3):619-622.
Romantic Love and Personal Autonomy.Marilyn Friedman - 1998 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 22 (1):162-181.
Citations of this work
Hermeneutic Labor: The Gendered Burden of Interpretation in Intimate Relationships Between Women and Men.Ellie Anderson - forthcoming - Hypatia.
The Ambiguity of Love: Beauvoir, Honneth and Arendt on the Relation Between Recognition, Power and Violence.Federica Gregoratto - 2018 - Critical Horizons 19 (1):18-34.
Just Fanciers: Transformative Justice by Way of Fancy Rat Breeding as a Loving Form of Life.Julia Gibson - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (1):105-126.
The Robust Demands of Oppression Problematizing Pettit’s Account of Attachments.Federica Gregoratto - 2018 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 5 (1):49-67.
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