Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

Hypocritizing Human Rights: The Culturalization of Gendered Violence

Thu, August 31, 10:00 to 11:30am, Parc 55, Market Street


Transnational movements for women's rights and LGBT rights have worked hard at framing gendered violence as a human rights issue and putting it on the international agenda. While much success has been garnered from this approach, much work remains in regard to developing truly inclusive understandings and practices of human rights for these groups. One challenge has been the co-option and culturalization of anti-violence messages, whereby marginalized groups are targeted as the primary perpetrators of abuse. In these instances, gendered violence is pathologized as a characteristic of particular cultures as a means of justifying exclusionary policies. Immigrant communities, in particular, have been accused of violating equality norms by political actors pursuing restrictive migration practices. Not incidentally, many of the political groups utilizing these othering strategies are themselves dismissive if not antagonistic to women and LGBTQ rights policy. Such tactics are effective not only in furthering xenophobic policy goals, but also in undermining anti-violence efforts. While such efforts are not new, they are becoming more prevalent with the rise of nationalistic populism in Europe and the United States with significant implications for the direction of domestic and foreign security policies. This paper critically examines examples of this phenomenon in contemporary political discourse and explores the problematic implications for human rights in policy and practice.