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Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives
 

Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives (Hardback)

By Gilmore, Leigh

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In 1991, Anita Hill brought testimony and scandal into America's living rooms during televised Senate confirmation hearings in which she detailed the sexual harassment she had suffered at the hands of Clarence Thomas. The male Senate Judiciary Committee refused to take Hill serio...usly, and the veracity of Hill's claims were sullied in the mainstream media. Hill was defamed as a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty, and Thomas was confirmed. The tainting of Hill and her testimony are part of a larger social history in which women find themselves caught up in a system that refuses to believe what they say. The Anita Hill case shows how a tainted witness is not who someone is, but what someone can become. Tainted Witness elucidates how persistent and pernicious patterns of doubt attach to women who bring forward accounts of sexual and racial violence. Reactions to Anita Hill's testimony as well as Rigoberta Mench 's account of genocide in Guatemala, contemporary memoirs that chronicle experiences of gendered and racialized violence, and news stories like Nafissatou Diallo's claim that Dominique Strauss-Kahn raped her, demonstrate the reflexive processes of judgment that discredit women's complex accounts of harm, both in legal courts and courts of public opinion. The accelerated tempo of scandal is crucial to tainting women witnesses. The rush to judgment encourages framing testimonial conflicts in terms of who is telling the truth and who is lying, with the presumption that this is an adequate and meaningful testimonial test. Such a framing, however, prevents witnesses from providing adequate context for their testimony and especially elides histories of slavery and colonialism. Leigh Gilmore examines what happens when women's testimony is discredited, but also traces the circulation of testimony beyond the frame of scandal and its capacity to bear witness anew.
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ISBN 9780231177146
Released NZ 15 Jan 2017
Publisher Columbia University Press
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Language English (translated from: English)
Series Gender and Culture Series
Availability
Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780231177146
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks
Publisher Columbia University Press
Imprint Columbia University Press
Released 15 Jan 2017
Publication Country United States United States
Format Hardback
Language English
Translated from English
Author(s) By Gilmore, Leigh
Series Gender and Culture Series
Category Award Winning
Literary Studies: General
Women's Studies
Feminism
English law: gender law
Courts & Procedure
Criminal Law
Number of Pages 240
Dimensions Width: 152mm
Height: 229mm
Spine: 23mm
Dewey Code 347.066082
Weight 454g
Interest Age 19+ years
Reading Age 19+ years
Library of Congress Witnesses - Social aspects - United States, Trials - Social aspects - United States, Truthfulness and falsehood - Social aspects - United States, Sex discrimination in criminal justice administration - United States, Sexism - United States
NBS Text Gender Studies / Gay & Lesbian Studies
ONIX Text Professional and scholarly;College/higher education

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