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  • IntroductionMapping Gendered Violence—Contemplating Conflict and Crisis in Contemporary Societal Struggles
  • Anastasia Christou

While the current local and global crises may be triggering a new wave of domestic and societal violence, this special issue of Frontiers seeks to explore institutional, structural, and gendered forms of violence as well as instances of the silenced "Other" within the modern nation-state, globalization, and respective ideologies of hegemony and power. In the process of silencing and othering, a framing of practices and conditions that further shape inequalities and marginalizations emerges. The proliferation of nationalist accounts and discourses of supremacy in many contemporary societies underscores the contingency of understanding the extent to which gendered and state violence continue to multiply. By examining these modalities, this themed special issue proposes fresh critiques, reimaginations, and new visions of understanding gendered violence in societal relations while opening a dialogue about agency, social justice, and social ties in addressing reactive trends, critical trajectories, political projects, and activist solidarities.

We aim to explore gendered violence and society through diachronic, comparative, ethnographic and historically grounded contributions that examine the connections of socio-cultural, political, and economic crises to violence. Thus this special issue incorporates critical, theoretically informed, and empirically grounded contributions that explore diverse approaches, case studies, conceptual framings, critiques, deconstructions, and discourses of gendered violence and society in an interdisciplinary manner.

The contributors engage with a multidimensionality of gendered violence themes and explore issues of violence and society through feminist and intersectional approaches. In examining gendered violence, society, and social justice, contributors reflect the diversity and complexity of concepts through contributions that seek to problematize, deconstruct, dismantle, critique, subvert, contest, and articulate phenomena of gendered violence through robust feminist and intersectional analyses as they also focus on marginalized voices and excluded groups. [End Page vii]

The aim in this special issue is to provide a critical and reflective platform for a global discussion on gendered violence, including interdisciplinary scholars, researchers, practitioners, activists, and artists. Mapping as a conceptualization has been central in understanding the global scale and the logics of gendered violence and by extension the social geographies of the larger situatedness of the individual and collective experiences, including sexualized and racialized ones. The collection showcases the diversities of impact, methods, insights, approaches, and experiences of gendered violence. The special issue starts with the article by Alexandre Baril on revenge porn, sexual violence, and intimate images of trans* people in the media. Baril's paper offers an embodied, feminist, transactivist, and autoethnographic lens into painful issues of the public distribution of unauthorized intimate images. While arguing the need to reconceptualize consent to the distribution of intimate images, the article advances feminist understandings of sexual consent, offering a coherent articulation of how media invasion of trans* people's privacy can be rendered as a potential form of sexual violence, thereby making the necessary invitation for the development of a media ethics sensitive to marginalized groups, a call of urgency. At the same time, such an approach should recognize the extraordinary circumstances in which many trans* people find themselves, thus placing both their sense of embodiment and identification in a context of hyper-visibility, hence the added need for extended ethical conceptualizations of consent to intimate images in the public sphere.

The discourses of "unspeakability" and associated power dynamics in terms of rape and the hegemonic "scripts" governing the ways rape trauma can be articulated constitute an important subject that Rachel Loney-Howes addresses in her article on "Shifting the Rape Script." She explores the cultural and clinical constructions of trauma in unveiling the normative constraints shaping the unspeakability of rape, while discussing online spaces that enable the "coming out" of rape victims as spaces appropriated for "peer- to-peer witnessing." At the same time there are a number of constraints and pressures that online activities and victim-survivors engaging with such platforms have to cope with, thus extending new paradoxes of disruption, intervention, and trolling to their post-rape survival lives. As such, a new pathologization and institutionalization of trauma emerges and becomes embedded as codified perceptions of "what" and "how" speakable trauma is legitimated in the public (digital) sphere. Online anti-rape activism communities are thus not devoid...


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pp. vii-xii
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