Ed Vega's "Spanish Roulette" is about retaliation to preserve honor after a rape. The story is about Sixto, a peace-loving Spanish poet. Lino, a local gang member and drug dealer, rapes Sixto’s sister Mandy. Sixto discusses the situation with his roommate Willie. If Sixto retaliates, he will lose his peaceful soul and any reason for living. He feels if he does not retaliate, he might as well be dead. The police and courts cannot resolve the issue. The family must retaliate to preserve their honor. Retaliation deters future victimization. The honor culture Sixto lives in demands revenge for his sister’s rape and for her loss of chastity.
“The Role of Gender and Ethnicity in Perceptions of Rape and Its Aftereffects” by L Schneider and "The Two Faces Of Revenge: Moral Responsibility and The Culture Of Honor" by Tamler. Sommers help me better understand in “Spanish Roulette” how, in a Spanish honor culture, rape is personal not police business, rape stains the honor of both family and the victim and how retaliation is thought to be required to avoid further victimization.
Rape is a crime of power, violence, and gratifications. Brownmiller tells us, "Public opinion perceives various motives (e.g., power, violence, sexual gratification) as underlying bases for rape (e.g., Brownmiller 1975; Donat and D’ Emilio 1992)" (Schneider 410). In "Spanish Roulette", power is the motivation...
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Lira, L. R., Koss, M. P., & Russo, N. F. (1999). Mexican American women’s definitions of rape and sexual abuse. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 21, 236–265.
Merida K (2006) In or out of the game? Washington Post. December 31
Nisbett R, Cohen D (1996) Culture of honor. Westview Press
Schneider L, Mori L, Lambert P, Wong A. The Role of Gender and Ethnicity in Perceptions of Rape and Its Aftereffects. Sex Roles [serial on the Internet]. (2009, Mar), [cited March 16, 2014]; 60(5/6): 410-421. Available from: SocINDEX with Full Text.
Sommers, Tamler. "The Two Faces Of Revenge: Moral Responsibility And The Culture Of Honor." Biology & Philosophy 24.1 (2009): 35-50. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
Vega, Ed “Spanish Roulette” Reading Literature and Writing Argument. Ed. James, Missy and Merickel, Alan P. 5th ed. Boston: Longman, 2013. 417-423. Print.
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