The Deafening Silence of the 'Comfort Women': A Response Based on Lyotard and Irigaray

Lee, Constance Youngwon and Crowe, Jonathan (2015) The Deafening Silence of the 'Comfort Women': A Response Based on Lyotard and Irigaray. Asian Journal of Law and Society, 2 2: 339-356. doi:10.1017/als.2015.9

Author Lee, Constance Youngwon
Crowe, Jonathan
Title The Deafening Silence of the 'Comfort Women': A Response Based on Lyotard and Irigaray
Journal name Asian Journal of Law and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2052-9023
Publication date 2015-07-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/als.2015.9
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 2
Issue 2
Start page 339
End page 356
Total pages 18
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract This article reflects upon the continuing historical denialism concerning the Korean “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. We argue that the refusal of the Japanese government and others to squarely confront this wrong is made possible through the exploitation of a différend in Jean-François Lyotard’s sense of the term. The différend arises from a complex set of social, cultural, and legal sources, including patriarchal, colonial, and nationalistic constructions of the wrong and its victims. We seek to tentatively expose the nature of the différend by identifying these factors. We then sketch the beginnings of a possible response, drawing on Luce Irigaray’s strategy of emphasizing sexual difference and separation to pave the way for reciprocality between the sexes. The testimonies of the “comfort women” must be allowed to speak for themselves before a response can emerge based in other discourses.
Keyword "Comfort women"
Jean-Francois Lyotard
Luce Irigaray
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Fri, 09 Oct 2015, 15:37:53 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law