Addressing intersectionality in the #MeToo movement - A case study of women’s mobilization under the #MeToo movement in the postcolonial context of South Africa

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: The #MeToo movement united women around the globe in the fight against sexual violence.However, the #MeToo movement has been criticized for solely adopting a gender-based approach by neglecting the intersections of gender, race and class. Moreover there is increasing evidence suggesting that there is an asymmetrical power relation between women of color and white women within digital transnational movements, as demonstrated through the #MeToo movement. Therefore,the aim of this research is to explore how the transnational #MeToo movement was adopted by local women’s movements in South Africa from a postcolonial intersectional perspective. By doing so, the intention is to explore what opportunities, barriers and dilemmas affect the possibilities for South African women to mobilize under the #MeToo movement. The research is a case study of South Africa and has a qualitative approach. Two sets of actors were interviewed consisting of eight NGOrepresentatives and seven activists from the women’s movement. The material has been analyzed in relation to previous research on transnational norm adoption and postcolonial feminism. The findings are mixed. On the one hand, the #MeToo norm mobilized women in South Africa, indicating that the intersections of gender, class and race did not hinder women from mobilizing. On the other hand, the #MeToo norm failed to address the intersections of gender, class and race, hindering women from mobilizing. The aspect that was considered to constitute the main barrier for women’s mobilization was class, followed by race. On that account, the partial adoption of the #MeToo norm reveals adivision within the women’s movement.

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