In the wake of the MeToo movement, revelations of sexual assault and harassment continue to disrupt sexual politics across the globe. Reports of widespread misconduct—in workplaces from doctors’ offices to factory floors—precipitate firings, legal actions, street protests, and policy punditry.
Meenakshi Gigi Durham situates media culture as a place in which these broader social struggles are produced and reproduced. The media figures whose depravity sparked the #MeToo movement are symbols of the complexities of sexual desire and consent. Pop culture fuels controversies about rape culture; social media users have launched feminist resistance that turned to real-world activism; and investigative journalists have broken stories of assault, offering a platform for survivors to speak truth to patriarchal power. Arguing that the media are a linchpin in these events, Durham provides a feminist account of the interrelated contexts of media production, representation, and reception. She situates the media as the key site where the establishment of sexuality and social relations takes place, and traces the media's powerful role in both reifying and challenging rape culture.
This timely and stimulating book will be of interest to students and scholars of media, communication, gender studies, and sociology, as well as to anyone concerned by the current state of sexual politics.