Ancient Hatred and Its Contemporary Manifestations: The Torture of Lesbians

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Hawthorne, Susan (2006) Ancient Hatred and Its Contemporary Manifestations: The Torture of Lesbians. Journal of Hate Studies, 4 (1). pp. 33-58. ISSN 1540-2126


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.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 1606 Political Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Keywords ResPubID11703, lesbians, violence against lesbian, torture victims, sex crimes, rape victims, women - crimes against, justification (law), hate crimes,
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