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Asking for It: Rape Myths, Satire, and Feminist Lacunae

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dc.contributor.author Greene, Viveca S.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-02-28T13:21:50Z
dc.date.available 2020-02-28T13:21:50Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.issn doi/pdfplus/10.1086/705005
dc.identifier.uri https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus
dc.identifier.uri http://awdflibrary.org:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/983
dc.description.abstract How we talk about sexual assault matters. Language and framing help construct our understanding of any issue, but particularly one as fraught as sexual violence. At any given time, wildly different frameworks of any culturally contested topic compete with one another. Following revelations of years of sexual assault by film producer Harvey Weinstein, the outpouring of allegations against other powerful men and the flood of #MeToo testimonials have helped to at least temporarily shift the mainstream conversation a little closer to a feminist frame. The public spectacle around sexual harassment may have finally demonstrated to many onlookers that there is indeed a systemic problem—though that assumption is vehemently disputed in some circles. One area in which this concern is particularly visible is in the world of comedy and performance. Changing industry practices, including the fragmentation of media outlets and the development of narrowcasting (aiming television programming at small niche audience groups, as opposed to the previous “broadcast” model), have led to a greater number of high-profile female comedians and producers. With that shift has come new perspectives, and with them an interest in exposing rape culture, as performers are moving past offensive jokes about rape that target victims and instead are drawing attention to the systemic forces that encourage sexual violence. Rape culture refers to societal norms that promote stereotypes about rape and rape survivors, as well as other “cultural practices ... that excuse or otherwise tolerate sexual violence” (Ridgeway 2014). The concept has become a flash point for conservatives—and in particular adherents of the alt-right—who are often “inspired and defined by a discourse of anxiety about traditional white masculinity, which is seen as being artificially but powerfully ‘degenerated,’ with catastrophic consequences for the nation” (Kelly 2017, 69). Unabashedly outspoken female performers, especially those of color, often find themselves the objects of vitriolic online attacks simply for having a platform and particularly when they address structures of power en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Chicago university Press en_US
dc.subject Feminist en_US
dc.subject Rape en_US
dc.subject Sexual assault en_US
dc.subject Power en_US
dc.title Asking for It: Rape Myths, Satire, and Feminist Lacunae en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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