Fuck Abuse, Kill Power: Against the Root Causes of Sexual Harassment and Assault
The past year has seen a wave of revelations about powerful people—nearly all men—perpetrating sexual violence against those beneath them. The #MeToo moment has provided a platform for countless courageous survivors.
Yet although some men have been made to face consequences for the harm they have done, we are far from being able to solve the problem of male sexual violence. Focusing on the wrongdoings of specific men tends to exceptionalize them, as if their actions took place in a vacuum.
This is consistent with the mechanisms of a criminal justice system focused on individual guilt and a reformist politics premised on the idea that the existing government and market economy would serve us perfectly if only the right people were in power.
But with the bad behavior of so many men coming to light, we have to consider the possibility that these are not exceptions at all—that these attacks are the inevitable, systemic result of this social order. Is there a way to treat the cause as well as the symptoms?
Trigger warning for descriptions of sexual violence.
Virtually all recent mainstream coverage has treated sexual harassment and assault as an issue distinct from capitalism and hierarchy. When writers admit that capitalism and hierarchy play some role, they imply that what is harmful about these systems can be fixed through reform. Continue reading Fuck Abuse, Kill Power: Cutting the Roots of Sexual Attacks →
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