Ancient Hatred and Its Contemporary Manifestation: The Torture of Lesbians

Citation:

Hawthorne, Susan. 2006. "Ancient Hatred and Its Contemporary Manifestation: The Torture of Lesbians." The Journal of Hate Studies 4 (1): 33-58.

Author: Susan Hawthorne

Abstract:

This paper looks at a number of different elements that make up the experience of torture by lesbians in the contemporary world. I draw together elements of popular culture, along with testimonies by lesbians, concerning torture in diverse countries, as well as citing some historical sources. I examine the justifications and excuses given for torture, including the view that rape is a normal part of heterosexual activity. I argue that domination is exemplified in the punishment of lesbians as outsiders in patriarchal culture, in particular when groups and nations go to war. I also look at the way in which arguments for the legalization of torture share similarities with arguments in favor of prostitution, pornography, and consensual BDSM. I challenge the defenders of these acts and argue that such defense is a case of moral neglect. I conclude with the contention that the freedom of lesbians from torture and violence may be an indicator of the social health of a society.

Topics: Gender, Women, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, Torture, Sexual Torture

Year: 2006

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