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On being ugly in public: The politics of the grotesque in naked protests

On being ugly in public: The politics of the grotesque in naked protests

Fanghanel, Alexandra ORCID: 0000-0002-4041-561X (2019) On being ugly in public: The politics of the grotesque in naked protests. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. ISSN 0887-5367 (Print), 1527-2001 (Online) (In Press)

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Abstract

Sexualised naked protest using young and attractive women’s bodies have long featured in the repertoire of protesting interventions in public space. Anti-rape feminist groups and non-human animal rights activist groups, in particular, have mobilised these bodies to attract attention to their causes. Contemporary debates have suggested that these sorts of protest are objectionable, and that they are entwined with contemporary rape culture. This paper complicates these accounts by considering what happens when the naked body is presented as a grotesquery in the service of these apparently emancipatory politics.

Analysing two instances of naked protest as case studies, this paper examines what happens to naked protest when the bodies protesting are ‘ugly’ or are rendered so. The analysis suggests that naked protest featuring bodies which are ‘ugly’ harbours the possibility to mobilise a transgressive politics beyond contemporary rape culture. This paper has implications for better understanding how to mobilise protest in a way that is transgressive and bold without further enshrining rape culture as the normative background against which they take place.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Feminism, Protest, Grotesquery, Ugliness, Public space, Sexuality
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Crime, Law and (In) Security
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 15:47
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24873

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