#MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism

  • Karen BoyleEmail author


This chapter introduces the key concerns of #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism by establishing the longer history of Anglo-American feminist activism, theory and interdisciplinary research on which it draws. It provides an account of the development of #MeToo in the wake of the reports relating to Harvey Weinstein, but argues for the importance of distinguishing between the hashtag and the wider, and continuing, history of “Me Too” as a movement. This chapter additionally clarifies how the term feminism is used in this book, explores the implications of the focus on the celebrity (alleged) perpetrator and explains the use of the phrase victim/survivor. It concludes by offering an outline of the chapters to follow.


#MeToo Harvey Weinstein Feminism Activism Feminist media studies Digital feminism 


  1. Amnesty International. 2018. Toxic Twitter – A Toxic Place for Women, March. Accessed 25 April 2019.
  2. Banet-Weiser, Sarah. 2018. Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny. Durham: Duke.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bevacqua, Maria. 2000. Rape on the Public Agenda: Feminism and the Politics of Sexual Assault. Boston: Northeastern University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Black Women’s Blueprint. 2011. An open letter from Black women to SlutWalk organizers. Reprinted in: Huffington Post, 27 September 2011. Accessed 22 January 2019.
  5. Boyle, Karen. 2019. What’s in a name? Theorising the inter-relationships of gender and violence. Feminist Theory 20 (1): 19–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bronstein, Carolyn. 2011. Battling Pornography: The American Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement, 1976–1986. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bryan, Beverley, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scarfe. 2018. The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain. Second Edition. London & New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  8. Burke, Tarana. 2018. Me Too is a movement, not a moment. Ted Talk, November. Accessed 22 January 2019.
  9. Burke, Tarana. n.d. The inception. Me Too. Accessed 2 April 2019.
  10. Cameron, Deborah. 2017. On being explicit. Language: A Feminist Guide (Blog). 19 December Accessed 20 May 2019.
  11. Collins, Patricia Hill and Sirma Bilge. 2016. Intersectionality. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  12. Crenshaw, Kimberlé Williams. 1989. Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: a Black feminist critique of anti-discrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and anti-racist politics. The University of Chicago Legal Forum 140: 139–167.Google Scholar
  13. Crenshaw, Kimberlé Williams. 1991. Mapping the margins: intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review 43: 1241–1299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dow, Bonnie J. 2014. Watching Women’s Liberation 1970: Feminism’s Pivotal Year on the Network News. Urbana, Chicago, Springfield: University of Illinois Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Evans, Elizabeth. 2015. The Politics of Third Wave Feminisms. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Farrow, Ronan. 2017a. From aggressive overtures to sexual assault: Harvey Weinstein’s accusers tell their stories. New Yorker, 10 October.Google Scholar
  17. Farrow, Ronan. 2017b. Harvey Weinstein’s army of spies. New Yorker, 6 November.Google Scholar
  18. Flores, Emily. 2018. The #MeToo movement hasn’t been inclusive of the disability community. Teen Vogue, 24 April. Accessed 24 February 2019.
  19. Fournier, Jess. 2017. #MeToo: don’t make trans and queer survivors a footnote. Feministing, 31 October. Accessed 26 February 2019.
  20. Freeman, Jo. (n.d.) The tyranny of structurelessness. Accessed 26 February 2019.
  21. Gill, Rosalind and Shani Orgad. 2018. The shifting terrain of sex and power: from the “sexualization of culture” to #MeToo. Sexualities, 21 (8): 1313–1324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Graham, Helen, Ann Kaloski, Ali Neilson and Emma Robertson. eds. 2003. The Feminist Seventies. York: Raw Nerve Books.Google Scholar
  23. Harrison, Rebecca. 2018. Fuck the canon (or, how do you solve a problem like Von Trier): Teaching, screening and writing about cinema in the age of #MeToo. Mai: Feminism and Visual Culture, November 9:, Accessed 25 April 2019.
  24. Hemmings, Clare. 2011. Why Stories Matter: The Political Grammar of Feminist Theory. Durham and London: Duke.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. hooks, bell. 2000. Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
  26. Jordan, Jan. 2004. The Word of a Woman? Police, Rape and Belief. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kantor, Jodi and Megan Twohey. 2017. Harvey Weinstein paid off sexual harassment accusers for decades. New York Times, 5 October.Google Scholar
  28. Kelly, Liz. 1988. Surviving Sexual Violence. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  29. Kelly, Liz, Sheila Burton and Linda Regan. 1996. Beyond victim or survivor: sexual violence, identity and feminist theory and practice. In Sexualizing the Social: Power and the Organization of Sexuality, eds. Lisa Adkins and Vicki Merchant, 77–101. Basingstoke: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lawton, Georgina. 2017. #MeToo is here to stay. Guardian, 28 October.Google Scholar
  31. MacKinnon, Catharine. 2018. #MeToo has done what the law could not. New York Times, 4 February.Google Scholar
  32. Manne, Kate. 2018. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Mariscal, Judith, Gloria Mayne, Urvashi Aneja and Alina Sorgner. 2019. Bridging the gender digital gap. Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal 13 (9): 1–12.Google Scholar
  34. McGowan, Rose. 2018. Brave. London: HQ.Google Scholar
  35. Megarry, Jessica. 2018. Under the watchful eyes of men: Theorising the implications of male surveillance practices for feminist activism on social media. Feminist Media Studies 18 (6): 1070–1085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mendes, Kaitlynn. 2011. Feminism in the News: Representations of the Women’s Movement Since the 1960s. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mendes, Kaitlynn. 2015. SlutWalk: Feminist Activism and the Media. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  38. Mendes, Kaitlynn, Jessica Ringrose and Jessalynn Keller. 2019. Digital Feminist Activism: Girls and Women Fight Back Against Rape Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Merriam-Webster. 2017. Merriam-Webster’s 2017 words of the year. Accessed 25 February 2019.
  40. Moss, Rachel. 2018. If you found #MeToo triggering, this new mental health advice may help. HuffPost (UK), 6 March. Accessed 10 June 2019.
  41. Muller, Justyna. 2018. Self-care techniques for women impacted by exposure to sexual violence media coverage. (Guidelines.) Mental Health Foundation/Rape Crisis England and Wales/Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds. 5 March. Accessed 10 June 2019.
  42. Munro, Ealasaid. 2013. Feminism: a fourth wave? Political Insight 4 (2): 22–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Phillips, Nickie D. 2017. Beyond Blurred Lines: Rape Culture in Popular Media. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  44. Rivers, Nicola. 2017. Postfeminism(s) and the Arrival of the Fourth Wave: Turning Tides. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rottenberg, Catherine. 2018. The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism. London & New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rowley, Liz. 2018. The architect of #MeToo says the movement has lost its way. The Cut, 23 October. Accessed 10 June 2019.
  47. Royal, Kathryn. 2019. “It’s Like Wallpaper”: Victim-blaming, Sexual Violence and the Media. Unpublished PhD thesis: University of Durham.Google Scholar
  48. Seales, Rebecca. 2018. What has #MeToo actually changed? BBC News, 12 May. Accessed 10 June 2019.
  49. Serisier, Tanya. 2018. Speaking Out: Feminism, Rape and Narrative Politics. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sheehan, Rebecca J. 2016. “If we had more like her we would no longer be the unheard majority”: Germaine Greer’s reception in the United States. Australian Feminist Studies 31 (87): 62–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shrew. 1970. Bourgeois press. Shrew 1: 1–3.Google Scholar
  52. Skeggs, Beverley. 1997. Formations of Class and Gender: Becoming Respectable. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  53. Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. ed. 2017. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Chicago: Haymarket Books.Google Scholar
  54. Tufnell Park Women’s Liberation Workshop. 1970. Final word on the media. Shrew 1: 4–5.Google Scholar
  55. Wafula Strike, Anne. 2018. Disabled women see #MeToo and think: what about us? Guardian, 8 March.Google Scholar
  56. Waterhouse-Watson, Deb. 2012. Framing the victim: sexual assault and Australian footballers on television. Australian Feminist Studies 27 (71): 55–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williamson, Terrion L. 2018. What does that make you? Public narration and the serial murders of Black women. In Where Freedom Starts: Sex, Power, Violence, #MeToo, A Verso Report: 42–48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HumanitiesUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations