This keyword essay explores the political value and the limitations of the #MeToo movement. While the debates around #MeToo have largely centered on the politics of law and language, this essay suggests that buried in these debates lies a more fundamental set of questions about the apprehension of political agency in the present neoliberal moment. Along the way, the essay works to disentangle two interrelated yet distinct dimensions of #MeToo: first, as an intervention in corporate and institutional cultures where women are systematically susceptible to abuse; second, as a dystopian commentary on the psychic life of gender today.
Keyword 1: #MeToo
eva cherniavsky is the Andrew R. Hilen Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Washington. She teaches and publishes in the areas of u.s. literature, visual media, and critical theory. Her most recent book, Neocitizenship: Political Culture after Democracy (New York University Press, 2017), explores the shifting practices and imaginaries of citizenship in the present moment through the optic of popular culture.