EXPERIENTIAL NARRATIVES OF RAPE AND TORTURE

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

Many Guatemalan women suffered extreme sexual violence during the latter half of the twentieth century. Learning of this violence can evoke hatred in persons who love and respect women—hatred for the men who perpetrated the violence and also for other men around the world who victimize women in this way. Hatred is a common response to a perceived evil, and it might in some cases be a fitting response, but it is important to subject one's emotions to critical moral reflection. A key task of ethics is to encourage persons to cultivate good habits of being moved. This essay analyzes the way in which two different texts manage, through the skillful presentation of experiential narratives, to help readers acknowledge the hatred they might feel, but also to think twice about the hatred to which they consent.

Keywords: REMHI; Rigoberta MenchĂș; hatred of evil; narrative and ethics; violence against women in Guatemala; virtue and emotion

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9795.2009.00414.x

Affiliations: Associate Professor of Religion and EthicsDepartment of Religious Studies314 Gilmore HallThe University of IowaIowa City, IA 52242-1376319.335.2172, Email: diana-cates@uiowa.edu

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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