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Palgrave Macmillan

#MeToo and the Politics of Social Change

  • Book
  • © 2019


  • Includes a foreword from Professor Walter DeKeseredy
  • Offers critical, rigorous, and accessible perspectives on #MeToo, from an internationally diverse set of contributors
  • Seeks to understand the limitations of the movement, including given that it emerged in the global North
  • Reflects on the ways that #MeToo ignited a renewed consciousness about sexual harassment and rape amongst women

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About this book

#MeToo has sparked a global re-emergence of sexual violence activism and politics. This edited collection uses the #MeToo movement as a starting point for interrogating contemporary debates in anti-sexual violence activism and justice-seeking. It draws together 19 accessible chapters from academics, practitioners, and sexual violence activists across the globe to provide diverse, critical, and nuanced perspectives on the broader implications of the movement. It taps into wider conversations about the nature, history, and complexities of anti-rape and anti-sexual harassment politics, including the limitations of the movement including in the global South. It features both internationally recognised and emerging academics from across the fields of criminology, media and communications, film studies, gender and queer studies, and law and will appeal broadly to the academic community, activists, and beyond.

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Table of contents (21 chapters)

  1. Whose Bodies Matter? #MeToo and the Politics of Inclusion

  2. Not All That Glitters Is Gold: #MeToo, the Entertainment Industry and Media Reporting

  3. Ethical Possibilities and the Future of Anti-sexual Violence Activism


“This collection makes an intervention into the theory and politics of sexual violence post #MeToo. Bringing together a range of different contributors and perspectives, it draws out some of the complexities surrounding the issue of sexual violence. Although the collection resists an over-arching message, the theme of inclusion/exclusion is prominent, and it includes a number of more marginalised voices. Overall, this book situates #MeToo and the feminist movement against sexual violence within broader questions about intersectionality, feminist activism and social change. Its final question, inspired by #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, is the right one: ‘where to from here?’” (Alison Phipps, Professor of Gender Studies, University of Sussex, UK)

“This timely collection offers a thrilling and insightful engagement with #MeToo as a media phenomenon and social movement. Asking difficult questions about who speaks, whose stories are heard, who defines what sexual violence is and whose experiences matter, Bianca Fileborn and Rachel Loney-Howes have brought together a wide range of incisive contributions to reflect on one of the most important topics of our age. This is an important collection that will shape scholarship in the field.” (Rosalind Gill, Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis, University of London, UK)

“This fresh, erudite and eclectic collection invites readers to meditate on sexual violence politics and activism within and beyond the #MeToo Movement. It explores debates about the significance of #MeToo within feminist history as well as digital activism and social movements more broadly. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about violence and inequality.” (Nicola Henry, Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow, Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT, Australia)

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

    Bianca Fileborn

  • University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

    Rachel Loney-Howes

About the editors

Bianca Fileborn is Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research examines the intersections of space/place, identity, culture and sexual violence, and justice responses to sexual violence. Dr. Fileborn was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award in 2019 to examine justice responses to street harassment. Other recent projects include an examination of safety and sexual violence at Australian music festivals, sexual violence in licensed venues, and LGBTIQ+ young people’s involvement in family violence. She is the author of Reclaiming The Night-Time Economy: Unwanted Sexual Attention in Pubs and Clubs (Palgrave Macmillan). 

Rachel Loney-Howes is Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Health and Society at the University of Wollongong, Australia. A critical socio-legal studies scholar, her research explores the nature, history, and scope of anti-rape activism, with a particular focus on the relationship between activism, support services, and law reform.  

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