Sexual Offences Law and Epistemologies


In the second event of the event series ‚Meet the FJDG Conveners’, Marlies Hofmann will facilitate a discussion on the Sexual Offences Law and Epistemologies. The main question of the evening will be: “What is the role of the law in shaping victims’ perceptions of their own experiences?” This question builds on the idea that the perception of certain experiences of sexual violence change with their criminalization and before such, may, in some cases, not be understood as violence at all. The discussion will draw on recent examples of discourses around non-consensual condom removal and up skirting, but could also be applied to marital rape or sexual harassment. Miranda Fricker and her account of ‘Hermeneutical Injustice’ describes gaps in the shared resource of meaning for certain experiences. Is the law a hermeneutical resource that provides shared meaning? Feminist discourses have long defended on ‘consciousness raising’ as important feminist methodology – does/can the law play a role? Could the law wrong victims in their capacity as knowers by not criminalizing certain forms of sexual assault? Attendees are invited to think through these ideas together, discuss them and create visions for the role of the law in knowledge production.


Please join us to discuss. Anyone is welcome to participate. No affiliation with the University of Oxford, nor prior knowledge of any sort is required. However, we invite you to look at the resources linked below. There is a range of academic articles and shorter Youtube videos that should allow anyone, even if you have little resources available, to start thinking about the topic. CW: Even if not central, the discussion may involve the discussion of certain forms of not yet or only recently recognized forms of sexual violence.


Link to join:




An introductory scene into the topic from the series ‘I May Destroy You’ (Michaela Coel, 2020)


Watch: (Little time: Episode 5 Min 2-4 and 7:30-8; some time: Episode 5 Min 0-9; more time: Episodes 4 and 5)


Theoretical Underpinnings: Hermeneutical Injustice


Watch: (especially until min 3)


Read: Hermeneutical Injustice (Ch 7) in ‘Epistemic Injustice’ (Miranda Fricker, 2007):,contains,epistemic%20injustice


Read: Sexual Subjectivity (Chapter 4) in ‘Rape and Resistance’ (Linda Martín Alcoff, 2018)


Non-Consensual Condom Removal


Read: Brodksy, 2017:,contains,Brodsky%20Alexandra%20non-consensual&offset=0Upskirting


Watch: What is Upskirting:


Watch: Why the law had to change (touching upon law as communication):