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    Beyond speaking out: #metoo and the limits of narrative politics

    Serisier, Tanya (2023) Beyond speaking out: #metoo and the limits of narrative politics. In: Gleeson, K. and Russell, Y. (eds.) New Directions in Sexual Violence Research. Routledge. ISBN 9781032051468. (In Press)

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    Since the late 1960s, ‘speaking out’ has formed a central aspect of feminist mobilisations against rape. Feminist anti-rape politics has been characterised not only by the production and dissemination of survivor narratives, but by a belief in their transformative potential, that ‘breaking the silence’ could, ultimately, ‘end the violence’. As I have argued elsewhere, this politics has been simultaneously transformative and limited, operating both to enable women’s narratives and to restrict what stories can be told, how and the uses to which they can be put (Serisier, 2018). In this chapter, I focus primarily on speaking out in the social media age, arguing that feminist hashtag campaigns such as #MeToo might be taken to represent the peak of speaking out’s potential and of its limits. I therefore use twitter hashtag campaigns to ask about the potential for a different form of narrative politics and even for the need to move beyond a politics grounded in stories of suffering. I argue that survivor narratives remain potent political tools, but the uses to which they are put requires further thought. Drawing on the insights of activists such as Tarana Burke who have called for a move beyond ‘me too’ to the ‘work’ of sexual violence I examine the role for survivor narratives in this work, arguing that a feminist politics against rape must work creatively with both the narrative and the political strengths of survivor movements and discourse.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Tanya Serisier
    Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2023 15:56
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:17


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