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Challenging women’s vulnerability: feminist representations of rape in Sexto Sentido, a Nicaraguan soap opera for social change

  • Linguistics
  • Political Science


This paper considers explanations of rape related to perceptions of women’svulnerability and of men’s violence and strength as problematic, because of thelimitations they impose on women’s agency. Under the framework of poststructuralistfeminist politics of rape and politics of representation, it analyseshow to bring about change, in relation to these beliefs, at the level ofdiscourses. The principal justification to focus on the production of discoursesrests on the argument that ideas of women’s vulnerability and men’s strengthparticipate in constructing discourses that legitimise and normalise rape. Thesereflections are then used to look at the experience of “Sexto Sentido,†aNicaraguan feminist telenovela, produced to incite stimulating criticalreflection and debate on different oppressive relations of power. Morespecifically, this study discursively analyses how this soap opera challengesdominant discourses on masculinity, femininity and rape in Nicaragua. Overall,the paper critically discusses the potentialities and challenges of fostering socialchange through discourses.

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