Why Love Kills: Power, Gender Dichotomy, and Romantic Femicide.

Item Type Journal paper

This article conceptually investigates a type of gender murder, “romantic femicide.” I understand this as the extreme form of violence that occurs as a result of men's incapacity to cope with their (female) partners’ autonomy and power. The incapacity is not merely an individual pathology but is rather rooted in the dynamic of recognition characterizing love under structural conditions of gender dichotomy. After having sketched out the current discussion about femicide and its shortcomings, I argue for the hypothesis in three steps. First, I draw on a feminist theory of recognition in order to outline a nonviolent form of love. Lovers of this sort would depend on their partners and, at the same time, try to affirm their independence of them. Second, I show how such an interdependence bond would entail a dynamic of mutual empowerment. Third, I argue that love becomes a relation of domination as result of gender dichotomy. The dichotomization of two gender identities, “man” and “woman,” splits the interdependence bond in a way that allows only man's unilateral exercise of power and makes mutual empowerment impossible. Violence might be required for maintaining the dynamic of dominance; finally, romantic femicide may result from the unsustainability of such a structure.

Authors Gregoratto, Federica
Journal or Publication Title Hypatia : a journal of feminist philosophy
Language English
Subjects social sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)
Refereed Yes
Date 2017
Publisher Indiana Univ. Press
Place of Publication Bloomington, Ind.
Volume 32
Number 1
Page Range 135-151
Number of Pages 16
ISSN 0887-5367
ISSN-Digital 1527-2001
Publisher DOI 10.1111/hypa.12308
Contact Email Address federica.gregoratto@unisg.ch
Depositing User Barbara Jungclaus-Renner
Date Deposited 23 Sep 2017 19:21
Last Modified 06 Jul 2018 12:23
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/251888


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Gregoratto, Federica (2017) Why Love Kills: Power, Gender Dichotomy, and Romantic Femicide. Hypatia : a journal of feminist philosophy, 32 (1). 135-151. ISSN 0887-5367


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