He Said/She Said: Truth-Telling and #MeToo

  • Leigh Gilmore Wellesley College

Abstract


"He Said/She Said: Truth-Telling and #MeToo" analyses how the conversation about sexual violence changed when millions of women worldwide raised their voices to say “Me Too.” It historicizes the #MeToo movement within feminist activism in communities of colour around sexual assault advocacy and in relation to Anita Hill's testimony in 1991 that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her. The #MeToo moment offers a clear representation of the scale of sexual violence and presents a vivid example of the power of testimony to conjure a scene of witness through the power of truth-telling. Leigh Gilmore argues that truth-telling is dynamic and that survivor speech in the form of #MeToo has disrupted the routine minimization of women's accounts of harm into the "He said/She said" pattern.

Author Information

Leigh Gilmore, Wellesley College

Leigh Gilmore is the author of Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives (Columbia UP 2017); The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony (Cornell UP 2001); Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Women’s Self-Representation (Cornell UP 1994); and a co-editor of Autobiography and Postmodernism (U Mass P 1994). Her articles on life writing, feminist theory, law, trauma, testimony, and graphic narrative appear in SIGNS, Feminist Studies, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Biography, a/b: Auto/biography Studies, Profession, Prose Studies, Law & Literature, and American Imago, among others, and in numerous collections. Along with Elizabeth Marshall, she is co-author of Girls in Crisis: Girlhoods and Social Justice in Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (Fordham UP forthcoming). She has been Professor of English at The Ohio State University and Dorothy Cruikshank Backstrand Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at Scripps College, and has held visiting appointments at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Northeastern University, Harvard Divinity School, and Brown University. She is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College. She writes for the online journalism platform The Conversation and has appeared as a guest analyst on sexual harassment and the #MeToo campaign on the PBS News Hour, National Public Radio, and Boston Globe, among other outlets.

Published
18-Dec-2017
How to Cite
Gilmore, Leigh. 2017. FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & The Arts, no. 25 (December). Accessed April 19, 2018. http://www.forumjournal.org/article/view/2559.
Section
Guest Articles