I will touch on Hermeneutical Injustice more in the near future but I wanted to briefly relate it to a personal conversation I’ve recently had.
Let me know if you have experienced anything of this sort in the comment section or over social media. Links are at the bottom of this article!
Thanks for reading.
Hermeneutical Injustice, sexual injustices tend to occur without the ability to explain serious sexual misconduct properly in conversation, action, or society. It is more often the case that women are the victims of this injustice. I had recently discussed a case of hermeneutical injustice with a friend, who told me she was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend at the age of 15.
She explained that she did not realize she was a victim of assault until taking a consent class recently. It tends to be the case that women are not properly educated about what constitutes sexual assault and rarely hear about the idea of consent. My friend revealed to me that the talk about consent at her high school helped her immensely. It is no secret that society (especially the police force) has difficulties here with their prejudices and capability in believing evidence, looking for evidence, or even hearing the evidence (more on epistemic justice later). There are many issues with our judicial system and how rape accusations are processed and accepted by society.
Fricker touches on this in her chapter, commenting on the “virtuous hearer” (171). She writes that in dialogue with the speaker, the listener can provide a pro-active environment, where what you don’t say can do more than what you say, for example. Upon reading this, I have reflected on my experience with my friend and am glad that I had listened. It is with instances like these, that I recognize that believing and affirming are among the most important characteristics to display when listening to those that have been sexually assaulted.
Before you go…
I’d love if you’d share the article on Facebook/TWITTER if you want your friends to benefit from it in some way at all.
I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective. Cheers and until next time,