Authors

Laurel S. Downie '18, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2018

Department

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Abstract

Using the sociological theory of collective action frames and scholarship on the anti-sexual violence movement, the analysis discusses multiple frames (rights frames, counter frames, and injustice frames) used by Women Organized Against Rape (W.O.A.R). It shows that in correspondence with public officials, W.O.A.R used rights frames to advocate for reform. Meanwhile, in responses to media outlets and in their own publication, WOARpath, W.O.A.R used counter frames to deconstruct rape culture. The final two sections of the paper place this analysis in conversation with prominent critiques of the anti-sexual violence movement: its lack of intersectionality and emphasis on victimization and vulnerability. W.O.A.R’s activist methods and rhetoric reveal a disregard for how race complicates the issue of sexual violence. However, W.O.A.R’s use of victimization and vulnerability rhetoric is limited to correspondence with public officials. In WOARpath , W.O.A.R subverted victim frames through war motifs and calls for self-defense.

Comments

Written as a senior capstone paper for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

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