Date Rape: The Intractability of Hermeneutical Injustice

In Wanda Teays (ed.), Analyzing Violence Against Women. New York: Springer. pp. 39-50 (2019)
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Abstract

Social epistemologists use the term hermeneutical injustice to refer to a form of epistemic injustice in which a structural prejudice in the economy of collective interpretive resources results in a person’s inability to understand his/her/their own social experience. This essay argues that the phenomenon of unacknowledged date rapes, that is, when a person experiences sexual assault yet does not conceptualize him/her/their self as a rape victim, should be regarded as a form of hermeneutical injustice. The fact that the concept of date rape has been widely used for at least three decades indicates the intractability of hermeneutical injustices of this sort and the challenges with its overcoming.

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Debra L. Jackson
California State University, Bakersfield

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