Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Silencing and Forced Marriage March 28, 2008

A deeply depressing story.  12 year old Ruksana complained to UK police when her parents said they were going to force her into an unwanted marriage. They came to her house to discuss it with the whole family, and told her not to worry– thus alerting her parents that she had talked to the police, whereupon they moved her elsewhere. She complained again, with a similar response, and eventually was forced into a marriage, forced out of education, and raped. As she says:

“White kids can call Childline and they get listened to – but for Asian children it’s thought of as wrong to complain.” 

Ruksana is, however, hopeful (let’s hope she’s right):

Because of the publicity about forced marriages I think they would take you a bit more seriously now. 

For the nerds among you, there’s arguably both locutionary and perlocutionary silencing going on indicated in Ruksana’s first quote. Asians don’t think they should complain (locutionary), and they aren’t taken seriously when they do (perlocutionary). Depending your views on felicity conditions for complaining, there may also be illocutionary silencing going on. For a quick intro to these silencing issues, see here. (Thanks, Jender-Parents!)

 

 
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