Dismantling Rape Culture
The Peacebuilding Power of ‘Me Too’
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after October 29, 2020
This book analyses rape culture through the lens of the ‘me too’ era. Drawing feminist theory into conversation with peace studies and improvisation theory, it advocates for peace-building opportunities to transform culture and for the improvisatory resources of ‘culture-jamming’ as a mechanism to dismantle rape culture.
The book's key argument is that cultural attitudes and behaviours can be shifted through introduction of disrupting narratives, so each chapter ends with a ‘culture-jammed’ re-telling of a traditional fairy tale. Chapter one traces an overlap of feminist theory and peace studies, arguing that rape culture is most fruitfully understood through the concept ‘structural violence.’ Chapter two investigates the gender scripts rape culture produces, considering a female counterpart to the concept ‘toxic masculinity’: ‘complicit femininity.’ Chapter three offers analysis of non-consensual sex and a history of consent education, culminating in an argument that we need to move beyond consent to conceptualise a robust ‘respectful mutuality.’ Chapter four’s history of sexual harassment in the workplace and the rise of #metoo argues that its global manifestations are a powerful peace-building initiative. Chapter five situates ‘me too’ within a culture-jamming history, using improvisation theory to show how this movement’s potential can shape cultural reconstruction.
This is a provocative and interventionist addition to feminist theory scholarship and is suitable for researchers and students in women's and gender studies, Feminist Theory, Sociology and Peace Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Interpreting Cultural Fairy Tales
- once upon a time … Rape Culture is Structural Violence
- a beautiful girl met a handsome prince … Toxic Masculinity and Complicit Femininity
- and it was love at first sight … The Spectrum of Problematic Sex
- until it wasn’t anymore … How ‘Me Too’ Came to Work
- and they all lived better than before … Culture-Jamming Our Way to a Better World
Tracey Nicholls lectures in Politics and International Relations at Massey University in Auckland (Aotearoa New Zealand). Previously she taught peace studies and gender studies in the Graduate School of International Peace Studies at Soka University (Japan), and philosophy at Lewis University, in the Chicago area of the United States. Her doctoral work, in philosophy at McGill University (Montréal, Canada), introduced her to improvisation studies and to the questions of political and ethical significance of improvised music that have shaped her research programme.
Her first monograph developed an ethics of improvisation, a conceptual frame that translates practices of improvising musicians into strategies for building more democratic political communities. Subsequent work in social and political philosophy, decolonisation theory, and feminist peace studies has contributed to discourses about privilege and marginalisation, most recently analysing social activism in the Black Lives Matter and ‘me too’ movements. Her own engagement with anti-rape activism has focused on mentoring student groups in their bystander-intervention training and consent-education efforts, and on developing anti-rape culture extracurricular programming. In bringing together these strands of work, this book’s exploration of improvised resistance (‘culture-jamming’) as a response to rape culture reveals ‘me too’ as a radical social change movement with peace-building possibilities.