Collaboration of Alexa Gregoris and Shavon Simpson
- Alexa Gregoris:
Alinia, Minoo. "On Black Feminist Thought : Thinking Oppression and Resistance through Intersectional Paradigm." Ethnic & Racial Studies, vol. 38, no. 13, 15 Oct. 2015, pp. 2334-2340. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/01419870.2015.1058492.
Minoo Alinia is the Associate Professor of Sociology at Hugo Valentin Centre at Uppsala University in Sweden and currently teaching at the University's National Centre for Studies of Men's Violence Against Women. Within this article Alinia presents Patricia Hill Collins’s intersectionality concept, the oppression-resistance relationship, and the politics of empowerment. Alinia outlines the development of ‘Black feminist thought’ through the dynamics of black women’s daily struggles. It is stated that this feminist thought is not only important in its contributions to social theories and method, but also in its utility for social justice movements. It utilizes intersectional analysis to highlight the relationships between structural, symbolic and everyday features of domination, throughout individual and/or collective struggles in numerous domains of social life. Within my own project on the intersectional gap within the #MeToo movement, I felt it was important to have a greater understanding of black feminism (or black feminist thought) in order to obtain a greater understanding of what aspects are missing in the movement for these specific women of colour – as the movement is not yet equally beneficial to women of colour. The knowledge of black feminist thought is integral in the progression of social justice movements if they wish to move forward intersectionally.
Black Lives Matter. “HerStory.” Black Lives Matter, blacklivesmatter.com/about/herstory/.
Black Lives Matter published “Herstory” as an information source for their social movement for racial equality. In 2013 Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi produced the “black-centered” political movement called #BlackLivesMatter in response to the unjust murder of Trayvon Martin. The goal of the movement is to support the growth of new Black leaders, while creating a network of empowerment for the black community; an “ideological and political intervention” within a society that systematically and intentionally targets black lives. In organizing and building local power, Black Lives Matter holds a place in society that allows the conversation about state-sanctioned violence to be heard. In terms of my own project on social media justice and movements, #BlackLivesMatter is one of the largest, most well-known, and highly discussed (for and against) movements currently. In order to understand why people are for and against the deployment of social media movements one must look at both sides, such a #BlackLivesMatter which have utilized such a platform (TWITTER to combat the greater issue of racial inequality – demonstrating the power social media can have when met with a greater purpose.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé. “Why Intersectionality Can't Wait.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 Sept. 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/09/24/why-intersectionality-cant-wait/?utm_term=.dd1a85009964.
Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality as the executive director of the African American Policy Forum and a law professor at Columbia University and the University of California. Within her publication in The Washington Post, she states that the term intersectionality was an attempt to make feminism, anti-racist activism, and anti-discrimination law “do what they should”, which by her definition means they should highlight the multitude of ways in which gender and racial prejudice are experienced so that issues are made easier to discuss and comprehend. Crenshaw describes the term as a way of thinking about identity in relation to power, however something is lost from this understanding if women of colour, and marginalized groups, are silenced and not given a place to hold. The visibility of many individuals within groups that claim them as members, often fail to represent them properly within the intersections of discrimination – all those who face vulnerability. Crenshaw states that we do not have the “luxury of building social movements that are not intersectional, nor can we believe we are doing intersectional work just by saying words”, in order for intersectionality to succeed we must not only check our own privilege, but also continue to raise awareness to bring the vulnerable into view and question the structures of power which allow such discrimination to prosper. Within the creation of my own project the need to look at intersectionality became evident, as I look at the #MeToo movement for sexual assault justice/awareness for women and victims alike. When looking at a large scale (primarily) women’s issue, I feel it is important to look at the intersectionality of the movement and of those affected, as it should not be generalized to all women – each experience is as multifaceted as the person affected by it.
Deckha, Maneesha. "Is Culture Taboo? Feminism, Intersectionality, and Culture Talk in Law." Canadian Journal of Women & the Law, vol. 16, no. 1, June 2004, pp. 14-53. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cja&AN=16552805&site=ehost-live.
Within this article Maneesha considers whether intersectional feminists should welcome the introduction of cultural claims into law – and if so, to what extent. Maneesha discusses how the concept of culture “presents a gendered paradox of particular concern for feminists committed to intersectionality.” The concept of culture highlights the normative gender roles that feminists aim to resist within women’s rights, but culture also acts as a defense for women within minority cultures to use against the standings of majoritarian cultures (values and laws). When one prescribes to the intersecting of gender and cultural oppression, respecting culture and multiculturalism is deemed both harmful and good for women. Maneesha claims that a commitment to ‘intersectional analysis’ requires feminists to be responsive to cultural rights, only when such responsiveness would not intentionally or foreseeably worsen the condition of vulnerable members of cultural minorities. For the purposes of my own project I believe this topic to be one of importance, as we encourage intersectionality and the aid of those privileged-feminists to benefit others. However, when is it right to cross the intersections of oppression? And how can one branch out to aid others without stepping on anyone’s toes or unintentionally making the situation worse? #MeToo was set forth to rightfully aid women in regards to sexual assault and harassment, but in doing so has left a gap intersetionally for women of color – in trying to branch to aid ‘all women’ existing voices got extinguished.
Ferber, Abby L. "The Culture of Privilege: Color-Blindness, Postfeminism, and Christonormativity." Journal of Social Issues, vol. 68, no. 1, Mar. 2012, pp. 63-77. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2011.01736.x.
Abby L. Ferber is a Professor of Sociology, and Women’s and Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado Colorado Springs (USCC). Through this article Ferber argues that the color-blind racism ideology is part of a “broader, overarching ideology of 'oppression blindness.'” Ferber states that color-blind racism is seen as an ideology which overlaps with and strengthens systems of inequality, when utilizing an intersectional framework for understanding white privilege. Ferber asserts that each discourse; color-blindness, post-feminism, and christonormativity, should be approached as one component in a larger framework that work together to reinforce and preserve the culture of privilege. In order to move forward with our podcast I feel it is important to look at the aspects of the ideology that hold back and propel social justice movements. Being color-blind to racism means being blind to oppression, neither of which will advance any form of intersectionally inclusive values and rights. It seems that MeToo has been blind to color, as well as lower income people, in publicizing and aiding victims – the ideology of “color-blindness” contributed to the gap within this movement.
France, Lisa Respers. “How Jessica Chastain Got Octavia Spencer Five Times the Pay.” CNN, Cable News Network, 26 Jan. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/01/26/entertainment/octavia -spencer-jessica-chastain-pay/index.html.
Lisa Respers France is the Senior writer for CNN Digital/ CNNMoney's Media and Entertainment team. France outlines the unfolding of events pertaining to Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain and the production of their upcoming comedy film enterprise. Spencer made an appearance on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's "Women Breaking Barriers" panel at the Sundance Film Festival and recollected a story about how her co-star stepped up to help her make more on a new film. In a discussion between Spencer and Chastain, the topic of about the lack of pay equality between men and women came up. Spencer however, also put forth the fact that women of color make far less than white women, so if a discussion about pay equity is to take place, then women of color have to be brought to the table. Chastain was unaware of the magnitude of the issue, and pledged to Spencer that she will make sure she gets the pay she deserves. Chastain and Spencer tied their contracts together, signed as ‘favoured nations, and in turn made 5 times more than they had asked for. Spencer praises Chastain for not just talking about pay disparity in Hollywood, but actually doing something about it. In terms of our Me Too podcast this story aids as an anecdotal story of how to use privilege to aid others. Women of color have not been given equal rights, value, or opportunity in the eye of society, and it is the responsibility of those with privilege to share the rights we have been given from birth; not earned.
Gilbert, Sophie. “The Movement of #MeToo.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 16 Oct. 2017, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/10/the-movement-of-metoo/542979/.
Sophie Gilbert; a staff culture writer of The Atlantic, published “The Movement of #MeToo” 24 hours after the posting of the tweet that initiated the social movement in discussion. #MeToo was started by actress Alyssa Milano on October 15th, 2017 as she encouraged those who have been effected by sexual harassment and/or assault to tweet “#MeToo” as a public demonstration of the prominence of the issue at hand. The key purpose of the hashtag is to give people insight into the magnitude of the problem, as the behavior of sexual assault perpetrators is deemed all too common across various industries. Gilbert touches on the cost of silence; as victims of sexual assault have been made to feel as though their experiences should not be brought to light – #MeToo transforms this silence into a movement. Within my own project regarding social justice movements through social media platforms it necessary to focus in specific movements. In order to understand the effect a movement such as #MeToo has on society I must first look at sources such as Gilbert’s in order to grasp a greater insight on its origins and purpose to move forward.
Harnois, Catherine E. and Mosi Ifatunji. "Gendered Measures, Gendered Models: Toward an Intersectional Analysis of Interpersonal Racial Discrimination." Ethnic & Racial Studies, vol. 34, no. 6, June 2011, pp. 1006-1028. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/01419870.2010.516836.
In this paper Catherine E. Harnois and Mosi Ifatunji argue that interpersonal racial discrimination should be understood as a potentially gendered phenomenon, as they make reference to black and multiracial feminist theories. Harnois and Ifatunji point out that while some discriminatory practices that are directed at both men and women of the black community, some forms of racial discrimination affect men more than women and others affect women more. There are still other forms that remain gender-specific. Their literature review shows that most survey research has utilized information about racial discrimination that fails to account differences in gender. They in turn present the importance of gender for understanding and analysing interpersonal racial discrimination and “hope to advance the development of an intersectional approach to racial discrimination.” In order to understand discrimination I think it is important to have insight into which issues affect which groups the most in order to break down prejudice and provide the most aid where necessary; whether it be gender or racially biased.
Keller, Jessalynn, et al. “Speaking ‘Unspeakable Things’: Documenting Digital Feminist Responses to Rape Culture.” Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 27, no. 1, 2016, pp. 22–36., doi:10.1080/09589236.2016.1211511.
“Speaking ‘Unspeakable Things’: Documenting Digital Feminist Responses to Rape Culture” is published in the Journal of Gender Studies (2018) by Jessalynn Keller from the School of Art, Media and American Studies (university of east Anglia, Norwich, UK), Kaitlynn Mendes from the department of Media and Communication (university of Leicester, Leicester, UK) and Jessica Ringrose from UCL institute of education, London, UK. The article examines the methods in which females of all ages are using digital media platforms to challenge experiences of rape culture in their everyday lives such as; street harassment, sexual assault, and the policing of the body and clothing in school settings. Through utilizing case studies the article asks: “What experiences of harassment, misogyny and rape culture are girls and women responding to? How are girls and women using digital media technologies to document experiences of sexual violence, harassment, and sexism? And, why are girls and women choosing to mobilize digital media technologies in such a way?” They detail the range of social media platform utility to make experiences visible and argue that digital mediation enables new connections to reset their boundaries. Within my own project it is important to look into the ways in which women are using social media to unable their own change, just as the #MeToo movement is attempting to create advancements for all women with differing experiences. The creator if #MeToo never intended it to be a social media movement, but how has this medium altered and improved its efforts?
Pepin, Joanna Rae. "Nobody’s Business? White Male Privilege in Media Coverage of Intimate Partner Violence." Sociological Spectrum, vol. 36, no. 3, May 2016, pp. 123-141. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/02732173.2015.1108886.
Joanna Rae Pepin is from the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland. Pepin demonstrates that portrayals of celebrities committing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are “ideal for understanding the association between gender and racial privilege in representations of social problems.” Race can be analyzed as a significant component, with celebrity perpetrators. Using 330 news articles about 66 celebrities Pepin found that reporting consistent with male privilege sanctions male violence against women, opposed to the treatment of Black men which adopts a racialized interpretation that pathologizes Black men – black men's IPV is more often criminalized. Pepin asserts that by presenting such violence as an ‘escalation of mutual conflict’ and excusing it due to modifying circumstances, White male violence is justified 2 and a half times more often than Black men's IPV. This conclusion contributes to the sociological understandings of racial privilege within the social construction. Although within this podcast we are not looking into the race of the accused and/or perpetrators at hand, Pepin does demonstrate a prime example of how the media dictates not only the representation of different races but actions that dictate people’s lives. Media coverage of women’s MeToo stories have been heavily publicized; most of which coming from white women in a position of power, what is that to say about the communities of women that are more vulnerable, under-represented, or misrepresented all together?
Scarduzio, Jennifer A., et al. “Coping and Sexual Harassment: How Victims Cope across Multiple Settings.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 47, no. 2, 2017, pp. 327–340., doi:10.1007/s10508-017-1065-7.
This article discusses the increasing complexity of the ways in which sexual harassment occurs in its presence both online and face-to-face. When sexual harassment occurs across various settings to the same victim, the boundaries are blurred and the victim’s experiences can become complicated. Cyberspace-set or online sexual harassment not only adds to the complexity of victim experiences, but also current research understandings and the legal dimensions. The current study qualitatively examines 3 kinds of coping strategies employed by sexual harassment victims across multiple settings; problem-focused, active emotion-focused, and passive emotion-focused. Through utilizing various coping strategies victims can make sense of their experiences of sexual harassment and/or assault. The findings of said study reveals that coping is a “complex, cyclical process” and that victims shift between multiple types of coping techniques over the course of their individual experiences. In use of my project I think it is important to answer how are women who are sharing their personal #MeToo stories on social media coping with the publicity of their experiences? And what happens after such stories are posted? – The risk for backlash (online harassment) is increased, as well as the need to cope with the circumstances of their experiences moving forward. Social media changes the concepts and mediums of healing and documenting experiences.
SexAssault.ca. “Sexual Assault Criminal Process, Canada.” Sexual Assault Criminal Law, Rape Shield, Evidence, and Sentencing in Canada, www.sexassault.ca/criminalprocess.htm.
SexAssault.ca has published a statement regarding the criminal processing of sexual assault in Canada, and defined sexual assault in terms of the Canadian criminal code, as well as consent, sentencing, evidence in trial, and ‘rape shield’. It states that one of the most difficult things for a victim to decide is whether or not to report the crime to police authorities, as it is the decision of the Provincial Crown Prosecutor to press charges. The victim is considered a witness to the crime itself. In defining these terms and gaining a greater understanding of sexual assault from the legal perspective, the conversation about the rights of victims is broadened. The definitions as presented by the criminal code are very closed-ended, and do not allow for the discussion of individual experiences needed for the purposes of the podcast. However, I think it is important to be aware of the laws and principles put forth to protect the victims being discussed and the definitions at their most strict form.
Weiss, Bari. “The Limits of 'Believe All Women'.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/opinion/metoo-sexual-harassment-believe-women.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Opinion&action=keypress®ion=FixedLeft&pgtype=article.
Bari Weiss is the staff editor and journalist for the New York Times. Within her publication:“The Limits of 'Believe All Women'”, Weiss outlines the transformation of women’s voices if society in light of the #MeToo movement and problems associated within the new ideals being set forth. Weiss starts off by stating that demonizing and disbelieving women has been the planet-wide policy; historically and into current days, as male voices have rung true above any female’s – but that is no longer the case. Due to the stories that have been brought to light and the veil over sexual assault in the entertainment industry being lifted, the phrase “believe all women” has been used liberally, but this mantra is simultaneously creating new problems in addition to solving older ones. Weiss states that there are limits when relying on “believe all women” as an organizing political principle, as this can rapidly transform into an ideology that will not serve women. “Believe all women” limits womanhood and lumps highly diverse experiences into one (the experience of all women will not represent most women just because it is a shared gender) and suggests that women's claims can't stand up to interrogation. In trying to make a clam to believe all women a window is opened to discredit many women’s true stories with one lie. Rather than blinding believing every story at face value simple because of the gender of the teller, Weiss suggests “trust but verify” as a better policy within the movement – allow women to first and foremost be treated as people and granted logical belief. In terms of my project regarding #MeToo and intersectional feminism, I think it is important to look at not only the strengths of the movement but its limitations. In recognizing the gaps within a social justice movement it becomes easier to see the improvements that need to be made and the impact (negative and positive) that it may have.
Wooten, Sara Carrigan. “Revealing a Hidden Curriculum of Black Women’s Erasure in Sexual Violence Prevention Policy.” Gender and Education, vol. 29, no. 3, 2016, pp. 405–417., doi:10.1080/09540253.2016.1225012.
Sara Carrigan Wooten, is from the School of Education at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Within her article she aims to challenge the framework of sexual violence prevention within higher education in which the objective is met by “centering Black women’s experiences of sexual violence within a prevention and response policy framework.” Wooten puts forth the multiple research studies regarding the experiences of sexual assault for black women, which still exist in the literature despite a national context committed to white supremacy. Wooten looks into the use of ‘hidden curriculum’ and how it communicates, through the educational process, unstated values, norms and judgments. She highlights the use of ‘race-neutral’ language which silences the voices of colored female victims, and the need for race-conscious assault policy as “women are the broad target audience for rape and sexual assault prevention education.” She asserts that the discourse about sexual violence is lacking cultural distinctions and historical specificity. Although this information may not be directly integrated into my own podcast, I feel it is necessary to look at how the education is being formulated for women of color, while simultaneously trying to educate myself as much as possible on the topic. When women of color are not even being recognized in the education/prevention of sexual violence, it validates the oppressive mentality of society – they are not represented to the full extent of white women within the Me Too movement, because society has deemed that to be acceptable.
- Shavon Simpson:
Brown, Damita. Tarana Burke and the 'Me Too' movement: A case for intersectional solidarity. Press-Citizen. Press-Citizen. Web. Nov. 16, 2017. https://www.press-citizen.com/story/opinion/contributors/writers-group/2017/11/16/tarana-burke-and-me-too-movement-case-intersectional-solidarity/872540001/
Speaking on intersectionality, this article highlights some of the points in which I wanted to discuss throughout the podcast and in the concluding questions. It talks about Taranna Burke and how her movement was largely ignored by mainstream media but when Alyssa Milano tweeted using the hashtag me too, she did not acknowledge Tarana as being the originator of the movement. It mentions a few magazines and other media sources that attempted to correct this oversight, such as Ebony and The Guardian, while showing us the value of an intersectional approach. By doing so, this demonstrated how our social position greatly impacts and influences your ability to be heard. Brown also writes addresses the fact that consistency is important when showing your support. She talks about intersectionality being the force that brings all women—people of color and/or class—into the discussion and sharpening our awareness that it might not be as present as we think it is in feminist movements.
Burke, Tarana. “#MeToo was started for black and brown women and girls. They’re still being ignored.” The Washington Post, The Washington Post, Nov 9, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/11/09/the-waitress-who-works-in-the-diner-needs-to-know-that-the-issue-of-sexual-harassment-is-about-her-too/?utm_term=.807ee0f7cd74
Tarana Burke voices her opinions on her founded movement #MeToo and wonders if women of color have even heard of the movement and know that it also is for them too. She states that black women have been screaming about famous predators that allegedly prey on black girls for over a decade but no justice has been served. She quotes actress Jane Fonda who, in an interview, says that it feels like something has shifted and it’s too bad that it’s probably because of the many women assaulted by Harvey Weinstein are famous and white and well known. Tarana presents statistics from the Department of Justice, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and high school sexual violence reports that all state the percentages of races that are most likely to be sexually assaulted and/or have been sexually assaulted. She then partially concludes her article by acknowledging the fact that history has shown that of if marginalized voices aren’t centered in movements, they tend to be no more than footnotes. Tarana’s opinion is valid and arguably the most important voice in this topic, seeing that she started the movement, and offers for content to discuss and invoke an argument.
Enford R.D., Hunt S.A. (1995) Dramaturgy and Social Movements: The Social Construction and Communication of Power. In: Lyman S.M. (eds) Social Movements. Main Trends of the Modern World. Palgrave Macmillan, London
Robert D. Benford takes a look at how social movements define, redefine and articulate power within themselves via the four techniques given: Scripting, staging, (3) performing, and (4) interpreting. The dramatic technique, Scripting, refers to the development of a set of directions that define the scene, identify actors and outline expected behavior. He states that the 'dramaturgy' of social movements has additional utility in that it inspires a somewhat different genre of research questions than suggested by other perspective. The more thematically consistent a movement’s dramatic techniques appear to audiences the more likely they will consider the movement a legitimate contender for power. To further understand social movements and their effectiveness, view them from this point of view strikes insight and asks questions. At first they may only seem as nothing more than a movement but with the dramatic techniques that may or may not appear, the movement can then be considered as a contender for power. With the #me too movement being recognized, these dramatic techniques will finally appear more clearly to the audience.
Government of Canada. Sexual Harassment. Canada.ca, Jan 24, 2016. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/labour-standards/reports/sexual-harassment.html
This section of the Canada Labour Code establishes an employee’s right to employment free of sexual harassment and requires employers to take positive action to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. It details, it defines what sexual harassment is (any conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee) and the employer’s responsibilities to prevent sexual harassment. Every employer must issue a policy on sexual harassment and some of the items that must be included are that the definition of sexual harassment is the same as the one in the code, a statement informing employees of their rights to make a complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act, etc. One of the most common cases of sexual harassment is in the workforce, which was a point that Tarana Burke makes and exploring the precautions taken to prevent this helps to understand just how severe this issue is, especially knowing that the employees have the right to employment free harassment and yet still experience harassment.
Kay, Barbra. “The #MeToo court of public opinion needs some ground rules, fast.” National Post, Jan 30, 2018 http://nationalpost.com/opinion/barbara-kay-the-metoo-court-of-public-opinion-needs-some-ground-rules-fast,
Barbara Kay begins her piece by briefly talking about New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio, and his wife Chirlane McCray and the first time they met in 1991. In the article, Barbra gives a recount from McCray who described her now husband as “sweetly persistent” but “always respectful” when the two were beginning to talk, though Bill’s persistence made McCray feel uncomfortable. Barbara points out that this same behaviour seen in today’s time can end with a “happy-ever-after for one guy” and “public humiliation and sudden career death for another”. She then purposes that there are rules in the public court such as ending anonymous charges and dealing with non-criminal charges based entirely on subjective feelings of discomfort and how these allegations should be tabled within days or not at all. She states that it is “unfair to give women the advantage of retrospective trauma for an “awkward situation” while punishing men for their lack of retrospective cultural clairvoyance.” This specific article builds upon the alternative argument I was looking into for the #MeToo movement where some individuals may feel like it’s turning into some sort of, quote-on-quote, “witch hunt”.
Matthews, Shanelle. “[OPINION] Why the Movement for Black Lives Is Using the Media to Build Empathy.” Colorlines, 6 Sept. 2017, www.colorlines.com/articles/opinion-why-movement-black-lives-using-media-build-empathy.
Shanelle Mathews; black lives matter global communities director and Channel Black founder has created a program in the beginning of 2017 to increase the number of black people seen as experts in their occupations, specifically reporters, analysts and pundits, so that they may create a more empathetic report for the black communities that feel as if their stories aren’t justifiable being told to create empathy for them. She states that, from personal experience herself, the communities are being silenced from the way white male informants perceive their story. To hear about certain issues that impact those who are a part of this community from someone who can’t relate to the problem can be disheartening only because the lack of empathy is evident. Her goal is to reduce bias from these reports and stop the silencing of people so then people may soon begin to understand where they are coming from in regards to their struggles in their communities. I essentially want to understand and analyze how the black community feels about how the media presents their story to the world.
Nash, J. Re-thinking intersectionality. Feminist Review (2008) 89: 1. https://philpapers.org/archive/NASRI.pdf
Jennifer Nash’s article is essentially centered on four unresolved questions about the intersectionality theory. These questions revolve around the lack of a clearly defined intersectional methodology, the use of black women as prototypical intersectional subjects, the ambiguity inherent to the definition of intersectionality, and the coherence between intersectionality and lived experiences of multiple identities. She states that intersectionality invites scholars to come to terms with the history/legacy of exclusions of multiple marginalized subjects from feminist and anti-racist work (3). She highlights a few points discussing how there needs to be a deepening of feminist and anti-racial conversations, while explaining how black women’s experiences are used as a theoretical wedge designed to demonstrate the shortcomings of feminist and anti-racial work. Our podcast looks at Me Too and if it is intersectionalized. In Jennifer’s article, she states that if intersectionality is an anti-exclusion tool designed to describe ‘the multiplier effect’, or the ‘lifelong spirit injury of black women’, then it is necessary that both feminist theory and anti-racist work develop a conceptualization of identity that captures the ways in which race, gender, sexuality, and class, among other categories, are produced through each other, which is essentially, I find, what Taranna Burke is getting at in terms of her point of view on the Me Too movement.
Purtill, Corinne. “MeToo Hijacked black women’s work on race and gender equality.” QuartzatWork, 6 Dec. 2017, https://work.qz.com/1147950/metoo-hijacked-black-womens-work-on-race-and-gender-equality/
Quartz at work published Corinne Purtill’s article discussing how she believes that the #MeToo movement has stolen the hard work that women of color have been doing towards race and gender equality. She states that the justified outrage around sexual harassment has eclipsed the discussion on race while borrowing its language. She also comments on how many writers, activists and scholars have worked tirelessly to highlight racist and sexist experiences while navigating a biased system set against them. Her article declares that the #MeToo movement started ten years prior to the Harvey Weinstein incident and was named by a black writer and activist named Tarana Burke. This article helps explain the correlation between the #MeToo movement and intersectionality; an aspect that I should be explored in order to avoid biased opinions.
Reynolds, Emily. How men can show solidarity with the #MeToo movement. The Guardian. Feb 23, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/23/men-show-solidarity-metoo-movement-advice
Emily Reynolds begins her article by recapping what occurred during the Golden Globes. Majority of the stars would wear black and would walk the red carpet with either a white rose in hand or a white rose pin. Emily then goes on to state that men should be supporting the movement and lists a few suggestions on how they can show how much they truly care about getting the message of Me Too across. A few of her suggestions include: calling out another guy that makes sexist remarks, re-examining your own behaviour and whether or not you make sexist remarks, ask women questions and make sure you know if they are comfortable or not, and also donate money to the various causes such as Rape Crisis and Sisters Uncut. These suggestions invoke on the steps needed to take forward to help prevent sexual harassment and poses as final questions that could possibly conclude the podcast. They provide a partial solution to the Me Too movement, yet Taranna Burke’s questions may still need some answers.
SACHA, “Statistics”. http://sacha.ca/resources/statistics
These are a few statistics about sexual assault cases in Canada every year. There are approximately 460,000 sexual assaults in Canada each year. Out of every 1000 sexual assaults, 33 are reported to the police, 29 are recorded as a crime, 12 have charges laid, 6 are prosecuted, 3 lead to conviction and 997 assailants walk free. One in three women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime while one in six men will experience the same thing. 39% of adult Canadian women report having at least one experience of sexual assault since the age of 16 and an astonishing one in three Canadians understand what sexual consent means. In 99% of sexual assaults, the perpetrator is male. Women with disabilities are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted. These are just a few of the statistics that really stand out the most and, when informed, could open up a new discussion and new opinions on the subject matter. More specifically, if these statistics happen each year, why is it that the #MeToo movement is so grand today versus when Tarana Burke started it to fight against sexual harassment back in 2006?
Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., & Holder, A. M. B. (2008). Racial microaggressions in the life experience of Black Americans. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39(3), 329-336. http://prfc-gr.org/wp-content/uploads/Microaggressions-Black-Americans-PDF-Research_General-resource_18.pdf
Derald Wing Sue, Christina M. Capodilupo, and Aisha M. B. Holder have collectively written an article about racial microagression in the life experience of black Americans. They acknowledge the fact that these microagressions cause psychological distress among black Americans. They list out five domains that represent the way in which black Americans spoke about microagressions. The domains are Incident Domain, Perception Domain, Reaction Domain and Interpretation Domain. Most of the domains contain sub headings that further explain what each domain stands for. For example, In the Incident Domain, they identify verbal situations as being one of the examples of the domain. They describe verbal situations as direct and indirect comments towards the individual with the example of someone being questioned about her hair. Not only does this article shine light on the microagression incidents and situation that black Americans experience, it also highlights just how much they impact the psychological well being of these people. Tarana Burke poses this slight opposition on the Me Too movement with the suggestion that it has ignored the microagressions that black Americans while also revealing the history of said microagressions.
Svetlana Stankovic . ‘We have worked hard for this moment’: four feminist discuss #MeTo. The guardian. The guardian. Web, Mar. 2, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/03/we-have-worked-hard-for-this-moment-four-feminists-discuss-metoo
The following is an article addressing mixed feelings of rage and triumph over the stories about harassment across all demographics via me too by the writer, Svetlana Stankovic, and the four feminist being interviewed. These women have come together to discuss how the #metoo movement has helped the reshaping of the understanding of feminist movements. The four women are Mandy Len Catron, Nakkiah Lui, Anne Summers and Rebecca Walker, two of which are not Caucasian. Each woman describes different aspects of the #metoo movement such as experiencing the movement first hand, consent and even intersectionality. The intersectionality section was of particular interest because it is one of the key terms that are driving our discussion but also because Nakkiah Lui, the woman that spoke about this aspect, explained it quite well. She said that intersectionality is crucial, especially with feminism, because of the need to look at the culture. It also supports our position and thoughts that intersectionality needs to be defined and talked about.
Westwood, Rosemary. “Why some women can’t get behind #MeToo- but wouldn’t dare admit it.” Chatelaine, 16 Jan. 2018, http://www.chatelaine.com/news/metoo-backlash/
Not all women feel like they can stand with the #MeToo movement and have felt like they can’t voice their opinions without being dubbed as “anit-woman”. In Rosemary’s article, she states the opinions of those who don’t feel as if they can stand behind the #MeToo movement because it seems to overly sensitive. The 46-year old program manager named Angie states that the movement feels very white and worries that the affectionate behaviour common in Trinidad, where she was born, would be viewed as out and out harassment. In a panel discussion featuring Ryerson University’s Yamikana Msosa she states that the movement will eventually bottom out like past hashtag movements. To avoid a general consensus that all women are for the #MeToo movement, seeing how some women are against it will more understandable debate versus an opinion from a male who is against the movement.
Znaimer, Libby. “Opinion: The Effects of the #MeToo Movement." Zoomer, 10 Jan. 2018, www.everythingzoomer.com/general/2018/01/10/metoo-movement/
Libby Znaimer’s published article first discusses her own personal experience with men degrading her, from her first full-time job when the photo editor kept insisting that she pose nude, to when she had to pose with the Olympic ski-star that touched her inappropriately. The #MeToo movement inspired her to talk about her experience, as well as many others after the Harvey Weinstein scandal. A-list celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow were some of the women she named. Though she was thrilled to see so many brave women openly talk about their harassment, she personally feels that it isn’t enforcing the necessary change. Much like myself, I had questions as well, both in which Libby and I share: Are those that use the hashtag motivated to make the change? She argues that nowadays we want less freedom; looking for more protection from violence. She questions whether or not it teaches the younger generation to take a stand against unwanted attention. Looking briefly at the effects of the #MeToo movement will answer or begin to answer parts of my initial questions.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein has been at the center of sexaul assault and harassment allegations in Hollywood since early October. In the aftermath of his ongoing accusations - and the other perpetrators to follow him, our media driven society has been turned upside down. October 15th 2017, just 10 days after the first of the Weinstein accusations, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted encouraging all those affected by sexual harassment and assault to tweet using the hashtag MeToo. Within 24 hours of the post, the hashtag had been used half a million times. Soon the uproar of #MeToo was across all social media platforms, with high publicity, and stories of powerful women within the entertainment industry scattered across the news. The silence had been broken - and no one could have been more shocked than Tarana Burke by the magnitude of #MeToo.
Although #MeToo was adapted to twitter as a social media justice movement by Alyssa Milano, the creation of the Me Too movement is credited to Tarana Burke who has been fighting to aid victims of sexual assault and harassment - out of the limelight, for over 2 decades (since 2006) as a outreach program for women of color.
Emma Brockes; NY-based writer for The Guardian, presents the opinions of Burke on #MeToo as a social media movement within her piece Me Too founder Tarana Burke: ‘You have to use your privilege to serve other people’. Brockes states that Burke’s initial reaction to the use of her slogan on social media wasn’t good. She had no real taste for social media, so when she heard the news she couldn’t help but feel that this is going to be a quote-on-quote “fucking disaster.”
Burke was fearful that social media is not a safe space to share stories of sexual violence, as all victims may not be served equally by the publicity. However she does not believe #MeToo is an overcorrection, as alternative sources may believe some men will be overly punished for minor transgressions, questioning if #MeToo is a ‘witch-hunt’. The de-stigmatization of #MeToo proposes a greater gain than the potential risks or the outlived alternative - to do nothing. Burke still supports the use of the hashtag, but feels that we need to talk about why we’re using it and what happens after.
The hashtag has raised her to be the figurehead of the movement at large, giving her the privilege to be a voice for an international audience. Burke feels that having privilege is not inherently a bad thing; it depends on how you use it that matters - you have the responsibility to use it in service of others.
We need to go beyond any social media platforms. As Brockes points out, some steps to move forward include confidence building and establishing the difference between self-esteem and self-worth; women of all colour should feel worthy just for existing. Thanks to these efforts women are pursuing actions against grievances that may have formally been dismissed. #MeToo has unveiled the magnitude of those who have suffered with sexual assault and harassment in silence. As a social issue that predominantly affects women, #MeToo has publically opened the gateway for females to put an end to the shame, fear, and secrecy as victims to make a call for change.
Burke sheds light on the lack of intersectionality within the #MeToo social media movement, a gap we feel has more to say in shaping #MeToo. As a feminist driven movement the focus has been turned towards the stories of upper class actresses in the limelight, but what about those non-publicized? Does #MeToo really aid those most affected? - women of colour, transwomen, the lower class. What does the movement say about society’s view of all women? Is #MeToo becoming the revolution it was meant to be or a quote-on-quote ‘witch-hunt’? The silence has been broken, but there’s still more work to be done in this fight.