A THEORETICAL APPROACH TO THE CONCEPT OF FEMICIDE/FEMINICIDE
Lujan Pinelo, A.
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The concept of “femicide” was first formulated in 1992 by Jill Radford and Diana Russell; nonetheless, it has not been widely discussed in feminist philosophical arenas, and this situation has led to a narrow understanding and/or misunderstanding of it. For example, it is often mistakenly applied to a phenomenon assumed to occur “only in third world countries”. Thus, on the one hand, with this work I aim to contribute to the discussion on this concept from a feminist theoretical perspective using mainly a feminist new materialist methodology. And, on the other hand, with it I aim to contribute to dismantling the idea that theory and praxis constitute a mutually exclusive dichotomy. I follow Elizabeth Grosz’s understanding of feminist philosophy as the creation of new concepts relevant to understanding women, femininity, and social subordination more generally. Therefore I argue, firstly, why femicide/feminicide–a term that aims to give a name to a gendered phenomenon of killing, thus avoiding the gender neutrality of the term “homicide”–is a concept and noteworthy to feminist theory and activism. Thus understood, using a cartographical methodology, I make a mapping and situate the concept of femicide/feminicide in diverse geographies. Afterwards I critically analyze the components of this concept with the aim of not just problematizing it in itself but also showing its relationship to other concepts and debates such as the one on sex versus gender. The last part of my investigation shows, through the concept of femicide/feminicide, the active and necessary relationship of philosophy in the practical sphere, doing this via an analysis of the concept in two cases of legislation, one local (Oaxaca) and the other transnational (International Criminal Court).