Bergoffen's Article

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Title

Bergoffen's Article

Article Item Type Metadata

Author

Debra Bergoffen

Title

Un)gendering Vulnerability: Re-scripting the Meaning of Male-Male Rape

Abstract

The testimonies of men raped by men in Uganda indicate that the meaning of rape as an aggression that enforces the gendering of women as vulnerable and therefore dependent on men’s protection needs to be reformulated to account for the fact that being raped transforms a man into a woman. In describing their humiliation, these men reveal that gendered masculinity is grounded in a flight from vulnerability that depends on the presence of vulnerable/rapeable victim bodies. Their words teach us that as long as men’s illicit identity as autonomous and invulnerable is illegitimately secured by stigmatizing vulnerability, heterosexual and male-male rape will be used to denigrate women and men alike. They indicate that the antidote to the scourge of rape lies in delegitimizing gender systems that victimize vulnerability and in creating cultural norms that recognize vulnerability as inherent in the interdependence and dignity of the human condition.

Volume

Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2014

Pages

164-175

Files

Collection

Citation

“Bergoffen's Article,” Symposium, accessed August 8, 2020, http://www.artsrn.ualberta.ca/symposium/items/show/376.

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