The powerful wave of rage fueling #MeToo has finally refocused public attention on sexual harassment and sexual violence and starkly posed questions of power, of feminism, and of politics. How do we define violence? How do we discuss and experience sex? Who gets to tell stories of sexual assault, and who gets to be heard? How impoverished is our language for describing the intersection of power, desire, and violence? What is the relationship between individual struggles and collective protest? What do we do with the abusers? In short, this moment has recalled a much older question: how do we get free?
In this collection of new and previously published writings, leading activists, feminists, scholars, and writers describe the shape of the problem, chart the forms refusal has taken, and outline possible solutions. Importantly, they also describe the longer histories of organizing against sexual violence that the #MeToo moment obscures—among working women, women of color, undocumented women, imprisoned women, poor women, among those who don’t conform to traditional gender roles—and discern from these practices a freedom that is more than notional, but embodied and uncompromising.
Contributors include Tarana Burke and Elizabeth Adetiba, Lauren Berlant, Tithi Bhattacharya, Stephanie Coontz and Hope Reese, Estelle Freedman, Melissa Gira Grant, Linda Gordon, Jessie Kindig, Laura Kipnis, Victoria Law, Maricruz Ladino and Gabriel Thompson, Magally A. Miranda Alcázar, Liz Mason-Deese, Danielle McGuire, Larissa Pham, Alex N. Press, Jane Ward, and Terrion L. Williamson.