Re-defining Gendered Harm and Institutions under Colonialism: #MeToo in Australia

Taylor and Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Feminist Studies, 2020, 35, (105), pp. 244-260
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Law's imaginary and logics are notoriously limited in their ways of thinking through and adjudicating sexual violence. The #MeToo movement is in large part a public, extra-legal response to the inadequacies of liberal law in responding to sexual violence. #MeToo has purportedly interrogated liberal institutions and the operation of gender within them. In particular, #MeToo has shown that gendered harm is a normalised part of the operation of liberal institutions. But more needs to be done within #MeToo to interrogate these concepts and to decolonise #MeToo. We need to decolonise and historicise the concepts of ‘gendered harm' and ‘institutions’ in order to understand how these have failed and, at times, even been weaponized against Indigenous women. This article provides a reading of Australian liberal institutions and recent historical processes with a view to showing how these institutions need to be interpreted in view of a decolonial praxis of #MeToo.
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