Philosophy Society Presents: Louise Richardson-Self
2 September, 2016
Social Sciences Class Room 161 at UWA (SSCI 161)
"Who Can Be A Victim of Hate Speech? Locating Women in the Philosophical Literature"
In Philosophy, an extensive amount of ink has been spilled on the topic of hate speech: what is it? (Why) is it wrong? And, how does it harm? The paradigmatic case studies used to animate such questions are based on race, religion, and sexual orientation. But what about women? Can they be targets of hate speech? While a lot has been said about pornography as a form of hate speech targeting women, there is a surprising lacuna in the literature. Women are not analysed as a group in the same way that traditional Outsider groups are. My paper is motivated by two questions in response to this lacuna: why have women failed to be studied as a specific group that is targeted by hate speech beyond the scope of pornography? And, is hateful speech directed at women harmful in the same way as hate speech targeting other groups? While I can only offer speculative answers in response to the first question, I will suggest that some effects of hate speech toward women are in a significant sense different to the effects on more traditional groups. For this reason, (further) explicit study of women as targets of hate speech is imperative. Such research will enable us to better understand the nuanced processes of Othering and realities of inequitable lived experience that all Outsiders face.