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Safety valves for mediated female rage in the #MeToo era

Gill, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-2715-1867 and Orgad, S. (2019). Safety valves for mediated female rage in the #MeToo era. Feminist Media Studies,

Abstract

In political discourse, popular and media culture, female rage is “having a moment.” More and more women are getting publicly and unapologetically angry, particularly in relation to sexual violence, but also in reaction to other forms of sexism, racism and injustice. Yet, it is also clear that the release of female anger in public culture is uneven ---- in terms of class, race, age, sexuality, disability --- and that powerful mechanisms continue long legacies of pathologizing this anger, situating it as a problem with a woman’s body, her hormones or her mental state. Rage is thus simultaneously “an instrument of patriarchy as well as a potential feminist resource… operating both for and against feminism: visceral, transgressive, galvanizing, and socially constructed” (Signs 2018).

In the following short essay, we are interested in the ways in which female anger may become legible as feminist rage, and, conversely, in how the possibilities of rage are undone. We analyse ways in which female rage is allowed to enter the mediated public sphere and in which it is simultaneously contained and disavowed. We start by briefly locating the current expressions of female rage in media and culture within the history of female rage and its prohibition in public. We then present our empirical analysis of one of the early #MeToo ‘flashpoints’ (Sarah Banet-Weiser 2018a) of female rage: the mediation of Hollywood actress Uma Thurman’s anger about sexual violence and coercion.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article to be published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Media Studies on 2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rfms20/current.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/22077
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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