The MeToo Hashtag and the Movement: Victim-Survivorhood, Agency, and Sexual Violence in South Asia

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Nidhi Shrivastava/Sacred Heart University

In her recent essay, Anandita Pan (2023) explores how the #MeToo movement reproduces casteist, classist, and sexist hierarchies. While she persuasively argues about the problem of enforcing a singular identity to the rape victim-survivor, her emphasis on the latent Brahaminsim of the movement not only diminishes the significance of the marginalized women speaking up, as we see in the case of the founder of the MeToo, Tarana Burke’s Unbound (2021) or the many instances of resistance from marginalized South Asian women who have been rendered Surplus in their respective nation-states whether it is Dalit women, women from Northeast India, women who experienced gendered violence during the 1947 Partition, Iranian women speaking against sexual predators, or women who experience inter-generational trauma of rape in the diaspora. What instances of change do we see when these people/groups speak up and voice their concerns? In our proposed session, we examine the complex negotiation that takes place in contextualizing #MeToo in South Asia and the Diaspora by interrogating changing definitions of victimhood and agency.

Chair: Dr. Robin Field

Co-organizers: Dr. Nidhi Shrivastava,  Dr. Ruma Singha, and Dr. Billie Thoidingjam Guarino

Please submit abstracts to the following link by September 30th, 2023: