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Online Anti-Rape Activism: Exploring the Politics of the Personal in the Age of Digital Media

Rachel Loney-Howes
University of Wollongong, Australia

Product Details
17 Aug 2020
Emerald Publishing Limited
184 pages - 152 x 229mm
Emerald Studies in Criminology, Feminism and Social Change
The ebook edition of this title is Open Access, thanks to Knowledge Unlatched funding, and freely available to read online. 

Online Anti-Rape Activism examines the nature, use and scope of online spaces for anti-rape activism. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with activists from around the world, survey data from participants in these spaces, and a content analysis of social media pages, weblogs and websites, this book explores the complexities, contradictions, possibilities and politics that underscore the ways these online spaces are engaged with, regulated and their potential to contribute to social change.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, this book offers a critical commentary on the limitations and potentials of online anti-rape campaigning. It provides a foundation for understanding the emergence of #MeToo and sheds light on the complex history associated with keeping rape on the public agenda and the enduring tension between the personal and the political within feminist activism.

The interdisciplinary and international approach makes this book suitable for a broad audience, including academics, students and activists working in the fields of gender and women’s studies, media studies, politics, sociology and criminology worldwide.
Chapter 1. Introduction: Rape on the Public Agenda
Chapter 2. The Contours and Critiques of Anti-Rape Activism: A Brief History
Chapter 3. Consciousness-raising and Networked Anti-Rape Counter Publics
Chapter 4. Shifting the Rape Script
Chapter 5. The Politics of Recognition and Representation
Chapter 6. Justice Practices in Digital Spaces
Chapter 7. Conclusion: The Future of Anti-Rape Activism

Rachel Loney-Howes is a Lecturer in Criminology, in the School of Health and Society at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her work explores the use of digital media for anti-sexual violence activism, including mapping the digital footprint of the #MeToo movement in collaboration with other leading international scholars. Alongside Dr Bianca Fileborn, she is the co-editor of the collected edition: #MeToo and the Politics of Social Change.
"Dr Loney-Howes' thoughtful and thought-provoking work on digital feminist activism around sexual violence is sorely needed. Where most accounts focus on prominent moments and famous hashtags, this book offers the voices and perspectives of activists who are working far from the spotlight to support survivors, raise consciousness and change minds. Based on careful and extensive empirical work, it offers reflections on the strengths and limitations of this activism that will be useful for anyone interested in contemporary feminism, sexual violence or digital organizing. The book is impressive in its scope, placing contemporary activism in a historical context of feminist organizing on sexual violence, and offering unique insights into the extraordinary work that goes into trying to change sexual cultures and achieve justice for survivors of sexual violence." - Tanya Serisier, Senior Lecturer, Department of Criminology, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

"In the wake of mainstream movements such as #MeToo, this timely book showcases the important contribution of anti-rape activist initiatives which came before, paving its way. Drawing from eight case studies and ten years' research of digital anti-rape activism from around the world, this rigorously researched book highlights the importance of listening and recognition when it comes to rape testimonies, and the power that speaking and listening hold for finding healing, solace and the search for justice. For anyone interested in the role that digital technologies can and have played in online anti-rape activism, this book is a must-read. Highlighting the important work activists and survivors have done to bring (and keep) sexual violence at the forefront of public and political agendas, Loney-Howes leaves readers in no doubt about the usefulness of online spaces and tools for furthering anti-rape politics." - Kaitlynn Mendes, University of Leicester, UK

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