#MeToo and the prospects of political change (Soundings 71, Spring 2019)

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Publication date: April 1, 2019

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This article looks at the context for the current mainstreaming of feminism, noting that some aspects of the current feminist ‘renaissance’ are troubling: neoliberal strands of feminism tend to be unmoored from key terms such as equality, justice and emancipation, and to be individually focused.

This article looks at the context for the current mainstreaming of feminism, noting that some aspects of the current feminist ‘renaissance’ are troubling: neoliberal strands of feminism tend to be unmoored from key terms such as equality, justice and emancipation, and to be individually focused. #MeToo shares some of these characteristics, particularly in its individualism and in the overwhelming media attention given to its celebrity endorsers, while ignoring its black founder Tarana Burke. However, as well as the ‘me’ there is also a ‘too’ in the movement, which suggests some notion of collectivity, and there is no doubt that #MeToo has led to more attention being paid to sexual harassment, and has potentially contributed to a transformation in mainstream common sense about what is acceptable behaviour. After all, as political theorists and activists have been arguing for a very long time, visibility is a necessary part of resistance, and this issue is now certainly more visible.

DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.71.03.2019More from