me too

Read This Free Book Compiling Powerful Leftist & WoC Writing On #MeToo

In the wake of important conversations around sexual harassment and sexual violence being had following the #MeToo movement, leftist publishing house Verso is offering for free an e-book entitled Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo, a collection of powerful and intersectional takes on power, feminism, and politics.

The book is an important intervention in a conversation that, in the mainstream, even “liberal” media, has become distracted relitigating regressive questions of what constitutes consent and whether women ask for it and diluted in its impact by the transphobia of one of its key initial instigators. On this website, we’ve tried our best to steer the conversation in other directions instead: discussing the centrality of trans and queer survivors; the links between sexual freedom and sexual violence; the movement building following #MeToo; the links between gender violence and white supremacy; and the necessity of expanding the effects of #MeToo to encompass working class and marginalized women.

It’s this vein of conversation Where Freedom Starts picks up on and delves into. In Verso’s own words, the authors in the book “describe the longer histories of organizing against sexual violence that the #MeToo moment obscures—among working women, women of color, undocumented women, imprisoned women, poor women, among those who don’t conform to traditional gender roles—and discern from these practices a freedom that is more than notional, but embodied and uncompromising.”

The book features a really incredible diversity of authors and topics. Tarana Burke, the Black woman who pioneered #MeToo long before Hollywood did, writes with Elizabeth Adetiba from the Nation, on how #MeToo should center marginalized communities. African American studies professor and scholar Terrion Williamson writes about public narratives about the murders of Black women.  Anarchist activist Victoria Law, who has written extensively about prison abolition and carceral feminism, writes about the fight against sexual assault that occurs behind bars: a debate reinvigorated after Judge Rosemarie Aquilina seemed to promote prison rape in her comments made to serial sexual assaulter Larry Nasser at his sentencing. Activist and scholar Tithi Bhattacharya writes about unions and working-class movements post #MeToo, a theme also followed up on by anther working class activist and survivor, Maricruz Ladino. Immigration activist Magally Alcazár talks about how immigrant labour organizing is what made a movement like #MeToo possible, while queer author and activist Jane Ward writes movingly on queer women in the #MeToo movement, and the way in which queer people are often viewed as predatory, problematizing the simple predator/victim heteronormative approach to sexual violence.

The women behind this book are forceful, powerful, and fiercely intelligent, and give us crucial and timely food for thought in the current time, as we all ruminate about how to move forward and respond to ubiquitous sexual violence. Download it here — and check out Verso’s other publications on feminism, gender, sex and power here.

Header image via Buzzfeed.


Meg is a law student in California. She's interested in law and politics, intersectional feminism, criminal justice, human rights, freedom of the press, the law and feminism, and the politics of South Asia.

Meg is a law student in California. She's interested in law and gender, race and criminal justice, human rights, cats, and sports.

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