A Rhetorical Zeitgeist
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This edited collection on #MeToo activism challenges the overwhelming whiteness and straightness of #MeToo discourse and coverage. Using intersectional and decolonial frameworks and historical, archival, organizational, and legal methods, these essays offer a rich exploration of #MeToo to understand how activism around sexualized violence reproduce and harm a wide variety of people.
The swift and powerful arrival of #MeToo as a compilation of complaints about sexual misconduct (especially in the workplace) has created pressure to dive deeper into the history of sexual assault and abuse in the United States. #MeToo: A Rhetorical Zeitgeist answers the call for more complicated analyses of systemic sexual harassment and abuse with essays that are deeply concerned with the whiteness and heterosexuality of #MeToo coverage and media framing to understand how and why #MeToo began to capture the public’s attention in 2017 against the backdrop of Donald J. Trump’s presidential administration.
These essays offer the first comprehensive study of the rhetorical politics of #MeToo. They tackle the complexities of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and rape beyond white celebrity discourse to understand: how both violence and #MeToo activism affect transgender people; how #MeToo fails Black male victims of assault and rape; how Indian-American masculinity and comedy skirt sexual accountability; how the legal and affective precedent in the Supreme Court during the Kavanaugh hearings amplified concerns about sexual assault and rape; decolonial approaches to resisting sexualized violence from indigenous peoples; and narratives about assault from within the higher ed community.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Women's Studies in Communication.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The #MeToo Moment: A Rhetorical Zeitgeist
Lisa M. Corrigan
1. (Trans)forming #MeToo: Toward a Networked Response to Gender Violence
V. Jo Hsu
2. Expendables for Whom: Terry Crews and the Erasure of Black Male Victims of Sexual Assault and Rape
Tommy J. Curry
3. #AzizAnsariToo?: Desi Masculinity in America and Performing Funny Cute
4. Anger’s Volumes: Rhetorics of Amplification and Aggregation in #MeToo
5. "Our Bodies Are Not Terra Nullius": Building a Decolonial Feminist Resistance to Gendered Violence
Ashley Noel Mack and Tiara R. Na’puti
6. Isolating Structures of Sexual Harassment in Crowdsourced Data on Higher Education
Tiffany A. Dykstra-DeVette and Carlos Tarin
Lisa M. Corrigan is Professor of Communication and Director of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Arkansas, USA. She is the author of: Prison Power: How Prison Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation (2016) and Black Feelings: Race and Affect in the Long Sixties (2020). She also co-hosts a popular podcast with Laura Weiderhaft called Lean Back: Critical Feminist Conversations.