“My Birth Is Your Birth”: Gossips, MeToo, and Feminist Speculation

Sometime in the mid-2010s, I joined a private Facebook group for women, trans, non-binary and gender-fluid creatives. The group is still active as a resource-sharing hub. Members brainstorm lists of readings and artists, post open calls, and offer professional advice. And they vent about the sexism and racism prevalent in the arts, despite the field’s progressive reputation.

An acquaintance of mine wrote a post in 2014 that stuck with me, gnawed at me. She detailed an incident of an “unnamed curator” sexually harassing her within minutes of meeting her for the first time. “Nothing makes you feel so unimportant as meeting someone who immediately thinks of you as a body,” she wrote.

The comment thread kicked off with a big ask: “Name names.” And she agreed, posting the offender’s name and bio.

Sympathy and thanks rolled in. Several people acknowledged that gender-based harassment is a systemic problem, lamenting how such despicable men seem to rise in stature, unchecked by the powers that be. One commenter offered solidarity: “It’s good to know them all so that we can help each other in good time.”

In 2016, I attended a daytime event hosted by this man. “Thank you for coming,” he said on my way out. After I introduced myself, he offered up a smile, with a remark like, “I couldn’t forget you.” As an art critic, I’m used to occasional phony flattery by curators. Still, the tone of his comment twisted my stomach. Later that day, I fell ill with food poisoning—maybe because I had recently traveled overseas, maybe because of some bad takeout I ate for lunch. If not for that Facebook post, I might have chalked up my gut reaction to the first signs of sickness. As it was, I had no desire to put myself in that man’s path any time soon.

One year later, the monumental exposé of film director Harvey Weinstein’s decades of abuse kicked off a worldwide conversation about sexual misconduct, consent, and power that persists to this day. In October 2017, actress Alyssa Milano resurrected the hashtag #MeToo as a way for people to speak out publicly about their experiences of harassment and assault. Activist Tarana Burke had begun the Me Too movement on the social media platform MySpace in 2006. A Harlem native, Burke crafted the message to encourage solidarity among survivors of rape and assault in underprivileged communities where resources were not readily available. #MeToo may have then been conceived as a healing call-in that centered women of color, but in 2017 it went viral. The sheer number of survivors disclosing their stories, many of whom had kept their abuse private, triggered a public reckoning. The movement has most prominently led to the career downfalls of politicians, journalists and Hollywood players, men whose private lives are expected to align with their public reputation. In late 2017, when the #MeToo movement gained traction in the art world, formal accusations of harassment poured in about the high-powered curator who had harassed my acquaintance three years earlier. He was formally dismissed from his major museum job as well as several freelance contracts with other institutions.

In a matter of only a few years, the commiseration once confined to private networks and online forums had escalated into a worldwide movement with far-reaching, very public consequences. What extraordinary conditions transformed these testimonies into believable speech acts? How had societies long known for stalling the judicial process on rape investigations, distorting the facts or full-out dismissing complaints of abuse, arrived at a moment of public accountability? What was the tipping point? Was it the high-stakes fame of Weinstein? Or was it the recent election of Donald Trump, who won the race for president despite staggering evidence of his history of sexual violence? Were the seeds planted in the recent US movement against campus sexual assault, brought to the art world’s attention by Emma Sulkowicz’s extraordinary Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight) (2014–15), in which she protested her rapist’s lack of accountability by lugging her dorm room mattress around Columbia University’s campus? Was it rooted in the primary civil rights and public health struggle of our time, the Black Lives Matter movement? The breadth and volume of the #MeToo response sprang from a number of tangled causes and conversations, most of which had been previously shared quietly or privately. In 2017, what had been gossip, whispers between friends or in Facebook groups, became news.

To untangle the threads of #MeToo, we need to start with a rudimentary question. Why did the word “gossip” receive a denigrating connotation in the first place, and how did this history serve to silence non-male speakers? The Italian Marxist-feminist writer Silvia Federici traces how the word completely changed its meaning over a relatively short period. During the transition in England from the Middle Ages to early modernism, as Federici explains, “A term commonly indicating a close female friend turned into one signifying idle, backbiting talk, that is, talk potentially sowing discord, the opposite of the solidarity that female friendship implies and generates.”[1]

The twisting of the word “gossip” coincides with economic and political transition that occurred from the 15th to the 17th centuries. Federici’s longstanding intellectual project has been to link this period, which she refers to as the rise of proto-capitalism, with systematized misogyny culminating in the witch trials of Europe and in the American Colonies. In the late Middle Ages, Federici argues, women held a great deal of social power. They were included in guilds. They accomplished difficult tasks—including coaching each other through birth—in collectives. Popular cultural forms of the late medieval period backhandedly recognized women’s social power through satire, including the stereotype of the domineering wife. For example, a guild-produced “mystery play,” part of the fifteenth-century Chester Cycle, depicted a woman who, preferring to drink with her gossip in a tavern, ignored her husband’s call to come aboard Noah’s Ark. She refused to join him until her friends were invited to come along. And in the final scene, to add injury to insult, she beats her husband![2]

This play’s gender-reversed roles for wife and husband is comically moralizing. But in the ensuing period of economic transformation, women’s power was actively suppressed. Various policies stripped women of their rights to own land and earn their own money. Women’s primary roles became tied to social reproduction—raising children to populate the work force. Social sanctions and legal measures arose to keep women isolated and in their (domestic) place. In 1547, during Elizabeth I’s reign in England, “a proclamation was issued forbidding women to meet together to babble and talk” and ordered husbands to “keep their wives in the house.”[3] A punishment known as the scold’s or gossip’s bridle—an iron-framed contraption of metal and leather fastened to a woman’s head that would rip her tongue if she tried to speak—was first recorded in Scotland in 1567. This public-humiliation ritual was sentenced to lower-class women, deemed “nags” or “scolds,” who were often accused of witchcraft, as well as disobedient wives. Until the eighteenth century, slaves in Virginia also received the cruel punishment.[4]

As witch trials consolidated as a juridical means of punishing unruly women, the word “gossip” came to have yet another meaning: women’s denunciation of other women. Even though these confessions were often forced, they were attributed to women’s duplicitous nature. Today, Federici explains, “it is women who ‘gossip,’ presumably having nothing better to do and having less access to real knowledge and information and a structural inability to construct factually based, rational discourses.” The meaning of gossip constitutes a “devaluation of women’s personality and work.”[5] Even when gossip has an understandable function, like protecting women, this cultural residue renders it a menacing force.

One of early Hollywood’s best-known gossip columnists, Hedda Hopper, had as divisive a reputation as gossip itself. As historian Jennifer Frost writes, even though journalism like hers had a profitable purpose in the film industry, and on the whole conveyed positive news, “the popular image of Hopper was that of a ‘vicious witch’ who engaged in ‘bare-nailed bitchery.’”[6] Portraying herself as the “voice of small-town America,” Hopper waged a conservative moral crusade against the excesses of Hollywood stars through her writing. At the height of her column’s syndication in the mid-1950s, her words reached approximately thirty-five million Americans daily (out of a total population of 160 million.) Her arch-rival Louella Parsons had a similarly large readership.

Hopper was an active Republican, both internally organizing the party in Los Angeles and publicly advocating for its local and national candidates. In her column, she opined in favor of Republican values and reported on her political activities, often blurring fact and fiction in her attempts to blacklist suspected film-industry communists. As Frost writes, although gossip was seen as private, gendered “women’s talk,” it “also had a public function […] As practiced by Hopper and her readers, Hollywood gossip became an arena for discussion and debate—‘a discursive political forum’—about significant and contested issues of public and private life and their intersections in twentieth-century America.”[7]

Hopper’s column became an important site for mainstreaming rightward-leaning politics in the 1940s and ‘50s. In her nativist zeal to cancel British actor Charlie Chaplin, an open Leftist, Hopper went to the extreme lengths. She mobilized public anger around Chaplin’s “moral turpitude,” including his relationships with much-younger women and rumors of casting-couch sexual liaisons. In 1943, she facilitated and broke the news of Joan Barry’s paternity suit against Chaplin, following their affair the year prior—when Barry was 22 and Chaplin 52. That same year, Chaplin married 18-year-old Oona O’Neill, stoking Hopper’s ire by giving the story to Louella Parsons. Although a blood test proved that Chaplin was not the father of Barry’s daughter Carol Ann, California courts ruled the genetic evidence inadmissible. In 1945, after two trials, Chaplin was declared Carol Ann Barry’s father and ordered to pay child support.

For years afterward, Hopper colluded with the FBI in an attempt to bring down Chaplin. She gathered information to indict him on charges related to the Mann Act, known as the white slavery act, for paying for Barry’s interstate train trip in 1942. After his acquittal, she continued to gather information about his personal life and publicized damning information about his links to communists. Hopper’s actions played a role in the U.S. Attorney General’s decision to revoke Chaplin’s re-entry permit while he was abroad in 1952, effectively banning him from the country. 

Make no mistake: Even if Hopper was interested in exposing problematic men and their abuse of young women, she was no feminist. From today’s perspective, feminism involves a set of political commitments to which Hopper did not subscribe, including collaboration with women, support of their sexual autonomy, and solidarity with related civil rights struggles. Hopper perpetuated racist and anti-Semitic microaggressions against Chaplin and other Hollywood figures. Rather than consistently supporting women, she used them as a cudgel to advance an anti-communist political agenda, or to further her own career. Joan Barry, for example, suffered from mental illness, which Hopper arguably exploited in her attempts to deliver justice. Hopper’s competition with Parsons also drove her to seek revenge through smear campaigns on Hollywood starlets. When Parsons scooped her on announcing the news of Ingrid Bergman’s pregnancy in 1950, Hopper—formerly Bergman’s supporter—condemned her for carrying a married man’s (Roberto Rossellini’s) child. Even so, her elevation of private matters to the court of public opinion merits a feminist analysis.

Hedda Hopper is not the only woman whose political extremism put her within arm’s reach of radicals on the other side. The feminist writer Andrea Dworkin, who vehemently opposed pornography as a “war on women”[8] directly responsible for rape, incest, and other forms of abuse, sought to forge an understanding with conservative women on this issue. A cofounder of Women Against Pornography—a group most famous for leading a Times Square march against sex shops in 1979—Dworkin turned toward legislative actions to hold the industry accountable. In 1983, she wrote the Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance with lawyer Catharine MacKinnon. The law sought to allow abused, injured or traumatized women to seek damages against pornographers in civil suits. (It gained some traction in Minneapolis and Indianapolis, but was never passed.) That same year, Dworkin published Right-Wing Women, a treatise unpacking the motivations of women aligned with the ultraconservative movement coming to power.

Dworkin begins the book by debunking “a rumor…a piece of gossip as it were, to the effect that women are ‘biologically conservative.’” She goes on to dispel the difference between how such gossip is received, along gendered lines: “While gossip among women is universally ridiculed as low and trivial, gossip among men, especially if it is about women, is called theory, or idea, or fact.”[9] Throughout the book, Dworkin characterizes misogyny as a shared attitude across the political spectrum, unleashing her frustration on the failed promises of the Left in the process. It could be a rhetorical strategy to court sympathy for the conservative set, but her anger also has some truth in it—after all, she suffered horrific abuse while married to a Dutch anarchist in the 1960s. One example of the false-binary comparison comes up in a chapter on the politics of intelligence. Here, Dworkin rationalizes the choices of women on the Right to accept traditional heteronormative roles, imagining how they might see the alternative as equally oppressive. “They know too that the Left has nothing better to offer: leftist men also want wives and whores; leftist men value whores too much and wives too little. Right-wing women are not wrong. They fear that the Left, in stressing impersonal sex and promiscuity as values, will make them more vulnerable to male sexual aggression, and that they will be despised for not liking it. They are not wrong.”[10] “Right-wing women are not wrong” becomes the passage’s melodic refrain. These women use their “animal” intelligence, she explains, to endure. In their world, the need for survival outstrips solidarity.

Dworkin’s prose is keen-eyed yet understandably dreary. When she was writing this book—during Ronald Reagan’s rise to power and first presidential term—she must have seen that the hard-won gains of the civil rights and feminist movements, of which she was an active participant, were on shaky ground. In the 1980s, a cultural backlash against feminism coincided with the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, the weakening of unions, and the abandonment of government assistance programs. As Emily Janakiram notes in a blog post, “the neoliberal project of the Reagan years displays marked parallels with the early capitalist period of European history that concerns [Silvia] Federici.”[11] The rhetoric of the Reagan years promoted competitive individualistic “bootstrapping” over any kind of shared responsibility for social uplift.

Even when women collaborate in their shared interests to expose abusers or other bad actors, other women can work against them, and even more women are left out entirely. Moira Donegan, who created the infamous “Shitty Media Men” Google spreadsheet in October 2017, has written about attempts to discredit it—and, by extension, Donegan herself.[12] Made public against Donegan’s intention, the Shitty Media Men list was criticized for its radical tactic: an anonymous, crowd-sourced and unapologetic account of abuse. Donegan’s role, too, was exposed against her will, when she learned that the journalist Katie Roiphe—an anti-feminist in disguise—planned to name her as the instigator in a piece for Harper’s.[13] Whisper networks, by their very nature, cannot operate with absolute horizontality; even with the best intents, they can reproduce conditions of inequity. As New York Times journalist Jenna Wortham wrote, she and other BIPOC colleagues were shocked to find that Shitty Media Men spreadsheet had not been circulated to them. “The list was F.T.B.T.—for them, by them—meaning, by white women about their experiences with the white men who made up a majority of the names on it,” Wortham explains. The exclusion resulted in its own kind of trauma. “Despite my working in New York media for 10 years, it was my first ‘whisper’ of any kind, a realization that felt almost as hurtful as reading the acts described on the list itself.”[14]

Three years after the explosive disclosures of #MeToo, two of the most lauded film narratives of 2020 address the topic of sexual assault from women’s perspectives. Both ostensibly move away from gratuitous depictions of rape or seeing confession as an endpoint—instead, they consider the journey of healing and the complicated possibilities of retribution. British writer/director Emerald Fennell’s feature film Promising Young Woman, set in the U.S., follows a woman on a quest for vengeance following the sexual assault and suicide of her best friend. Michaela Coel’s television series I May Destroy You, set in her native London and partly based on her own experience of being drugged and raped, covers a year’s aftermath after an assault. The show culminates in a multifaceted thought experiment about the possibilities of extrajudicial revenge.

In Promising Young Woman, we never see Nina, although the story is fundamentally hers. The victim of a rape in medical school, Nina takes her own life. Her best friend and avenging angel Cassie—a pointed reference to the mythological Cassandra—stands in for her. We learn almost immediately that Cassie (played by Carey Mulligan) has absorbed Nina’s pain while also wracked from the pain of her own loss. From the outset, Cassie is depicted as fundamentally alone. A spotlight in the opening scene illuminates her falling-over-drunk in a bar, perched alone at the center of a giant sea of a couch. A brutish group of drunk men soon take notice of her, and one pounces, offering to take her home. The first part of her vengeance scheme unfurls within minutes: Cassie regularly performs as wasted bait for men. When they try to assault her, assuming she is incapable of resisting their advances, she suddenly reveals herself to be completely sober.  

Nina’s assault is never reimagined on the screen, but Cassie replays versions of it throughout the film as she races toward self-immolation. Long before the film starts, she begins dabbling in self-sabotage. Once a promising young woman herself—the differences between herself and Nina slowly collapsing through the film—Cassie is a 30-year-old medical school dropout who lives with her parents, has no friends and no romantic prospects.

The plot kicks into gear with a meet-cute, when Ryan (Bo Burnham), a former medical school classmate, recognizes Cassie at her coffee shop job and asks her for a date. Her reacquaintance with Ryan kindles not (only) a sexual lust but a blood lust, as she soon learns from Ryan that Nina’s rapist Al is engaged to be married. Cassie systematically hunts down various characters responsible for Nina’s tragic decline, including women like classmate Madison McPhee (Alison Brie), who abandoned her friendship with Nina, and a medical school dean who refused to investigate the assault. Through semi-sadistic stunts, Cassie tricks these women into sympathy, causing them to realize they, or the women they love, could easily become victims, too. 

Cassie starts to hope for a happily-ever-after romance with Ryan, a possibility forestalled when she discovers late in the film that Ryan was complicit in Nina’s assault. Not content to wallow in heartbreak, Cassie uses him as a stepping stone to her final revenge. Cassie crashes rapist-Al’s bachelor party dressed as a psycho-clown version of a sexy nurse stripper. She drugs his friends and threatens him with a scalpel, only to have Al show his true colors and strangle her.[15] “Because Cassie’s revenge is isolating, empty, and endless, everything about her life hurtles her towards death,” writes Rebecca Liu, in Another Gaze, about this denouement. Indeed Cassie’s death is startling—an echo of Andrea Dworkin’s most dour, black-and-white pronouncements about men’s views of women as madonnas or chunks of meat. “In the claustrophobic maze of Promising Young Woman’s over-familiar symbols, there is freedom only in denial and destruction, in cutting off all ties between women survivors and a blemished, compromised life,”[16] Liu concludes.

The final scene, played out at the site of Al’s wedding, avenges Cassie’s death (and by proxy, Nina’s assault). A squadron of police arrest Al just before he can say “I do”—a chain of events orchestrated by Cassie, who predicted her own death and meticulously plotted her revenge from beyond her (nonexistent) grave. There’s bleak irony in Cassie’s death; writer/director Fennel’s decision to kill her heroine could be seen as a message that women are always seen as more sympathetic when dead than alive. But there’s not much hope for solidarity in this ending—particularly not in a moment of serious discussion about defunding the police, who unironically come to save the day.

In I May Destroy You, written by and starring Michaela Coel, justice is never served by law enforcement. This blunt fact reflects the political reality of many survivors of sexual assault, particularly Black women. (In England and Wales, in the year ending in March 2020, only 1,439 convictions were delivered for an estimated 139,000 rapes.) The series begins with Arabella (Coel) tracing the events of her rape, which occurred on a spontaneous evening out with friends. Needing to blow off some steam while stalled on a book project, the Twitter-sensation-turned-author meets her clique at a bar. She is drugged by a stranger—alternately named David and Patrick throughout the series—and assaulted in a bathroom. The early episodes show Coel slowly recovering her spotty memory of the event, trying to piece together how she ended up alone and vulnerable in the first place.

Arabella’s tight-knit group of friends, most of them Black British like her, become more than mere props or support structures. The story lines of Arabella’s best friends Terry (Werucha Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu), involving such topics as consensual group sex, the dismissal of sexual assault complaints by gay men, and trans identity, weave a multifaceted picture of solidarity and complicity. Coel’s BFFship with actress Terry at moments resembles the blood oath sworn by Cassie and Nina in Promising Young Woman. “My birth is your birth; my death is your death,” they repeat throughout the series, even in moments in which they may seem to betray one another. Yet these two women are unique individuals. Terry, rather than getting swept up in Arabella’s antics, often acts as a foil to pull Arabella back from the edge.

Of the many subplots, the enduring story remains Bella’s unsolved rape. The final episode imagines Arabella’s many potential scenarios of revenge, with Terry and Theo (a mutual school friend of theirs) as ride-or-die co-conspirators. Arabella and Terry await the rapist David at the bar. In one version of the scene, Theo and Arabella drug David, accidentally killing him; another dream sequence envisions David breaking down into tears; in yet another set-up, Arabella and David make love as a metaphorical act of forgiveness. We understand that the final scene—where Bella stays home with her quiet housemate Ben, instead of going to the bar—is the “truth” of this fictional tale. Bella transforms the other scenes—the hypothetical, gossipy what-ifs—into the meat of her book.

In works like Promising Young Woman and I May Destroy You, gossip’s traditional role as speculation gets upended. The simple fact of sexual assault is never in doubt, nor does it take a cadre of similar confessions for the assault survivors to recognize their own truth. But while writers Coel and Fennell treat sexual violence as a reality often ignored by people in positions of power, they stage their protagonists’ reckoning on the plane of fantasy. They envision a “gossip” in the historical sense, of a ring of supporters, as a kind of feminist utopia. In the ending of Promising Young Woman, fact and fiction mingle gratuitously. Heroine Cassie dies brutally, in real time, forcing viewers to absorb the real ugliness of violence against women. Vengeance arrives after her death, with the help or “collusion” of characters that Cassie has recruited to her/Nina’s side during the course of the film, including a repentant defense lawyer. I May Destroy You is, in part, a tale about friendship, but also about building a community of allies in the wake of a devastating personal trauma. Arabella’s rapist never receives a jail sentence, but she transforms her personal circumstance into art. As the #MeToo narrative rarely rises to the level of newsworthiness without an identifiable, usually famous male perpetrator, I May Destroy You is a beautifully audacious statement about what survivorship can look like on a survivor’s own terms. 

Still, the shaky legacy of #MeToo remains gossip’s ability to be capitalized and weaponized in partisan politics. Unlike the current racial justice movement’s work to gain support for defunding police departments, #MeToo has yet to build solidarity on a policy level.[17] Removing the context of their records, the cancellation scoreboard looks arbitrary when it comes to political figures accused of sexual misconduct—Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is in, former Democratic Senator Al Franken is out, President Joe Biden is in, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s status is to-be-determined—proving that, despite a worldwide effort to build solidarity for survivors, the power of exposure (gossip) remains outclassed by capitalist resources. In most instances, the more rooted the perpetrator is in “old boys’ clubs” (read: white patrician “gossips,” in the pre-modern sense of the word), the more likely he is to be protected. Whisper networks remain most effective when they are aligned with traditional avenues of truth and power, whether mainstream journalism or political representation. Elsewhere, the strategy of divide and conquer reigns. That’s all the more reason to look toward feminist art and media for envisioning new forms of gossips: alliances of support personnel and truth tellers—coalitions that span levels of fame, power, and glamour—false binaries removed between the fight for equitable white-collar wages and the rights of sex workers—supporting healing but aiming for accountability, then liberation.



[1] Silvia Federici, “On the Meaning of Gossip,” Witches, Witch-hunting and Women (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2018), 35.

[2] Federici, 36.

[3] Federici, 40.

[4] Federici, 39.

[5] Federici, 41.

[6] Jennifer Frost, “‘Good Riddance to Bad Company’: Hedda Hopper, Hollywood Gossip, and The Campaign Against Charlie Chaplin, 1940–1952,” Australasian Journal of American Studies, December 2007, Vol. 26, No. 2, 74–75.

[7] Frost, 75–76.

[8] She defines pornography as “the orchestrated destruction of women’s bodies and souls; rape, battery, incest, and prostitution animate it; dehumanization and sadism characterize it; it is war on women, serial assaults on dignity, identity, and human worth; it is tyranny.” Andrea Dworkin, “Introduction,” Pornography: Men Possessing Women (New York: Plume, 1989), xxvii.

[9] Andrea Dworkin, Right Wing Women (New York: Perigee, 1983), 13.

[10] Right Wing Women, 68.

[11] Emily Janakiram, “Gossip Girls,” Verso Books, April 2, 2019: https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4290-gossip-girls. In early 2021, Janakiram wrote about her experience as the first Verso employee to come forward with allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by a colleague. See “I was the first person to file a sexual harassment grievance at Verso Books. This is what happened,” Medium, https://ejanakir1128.medium.com/i-was-the-first-person-to-file-a-sexual-harassment-grievance-at-verso-books-this-is-what-happened-c8a878fb5fef

[12] Moira Donegan, “I Started the Media Men List,” The Cut, January 10, 2018, https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/moira-donegan-i-started-the-media-men-list.html

[13] Katie Roiphe, “The Other Whisper Network,” Harper’s Magazine, March 2018: https://harpers.org/archive/2018/03/the-other-whisper-network-2/

[14] Jenna Wortham, “We Were Left Out” (The Reckoning: Women and Power in the Workplace), New York Times Magazine, December 13, 2017: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/13/magazine/the-reckoning-women-and-power-in-the-workplace.html

[15] Fennell imagined a draft of the script where Cassie would carve Nina’s name into Al’s chest and cut off his penis. She never committed this scene to writing, saying, “Once she was in that room, once a weapon is introduced between a man and a woman, it just didn’t seem possible that it would go any other way…It just seemed too easy to say that she would carve Nina’s name into his body and cut his dick off, and then walk out of the cabin in slow motion smoking a cigarette. I wish she could because I wish all of us could. But it’s just not true.” From Anne Cohen, “Emerald Fennell Breaks Down Promising Young Woman’s Devastating Twist,” Refinery 29, December 25, 2020: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/12/10238043/promising-young-woman-ending-explainer-cassie-death

[16] Rebecca Liu, “‘Yes, Girls, We Love Your Corpses’: Emerald Fennell’s ‘Promising Young Woman’,” Another Gaze, April 22, 2021: https://www.anothergaze.com/yes-girls-love-corpses-emerald-fennells-promising-young-woman/

[17] According to POLITICO’s Elana Schor, “#MeToo never really coalesced around policy goals the way the post-George Floyd conversation has led to police-reform legislation.” See Katelyn Fossett, “The End of #MeToo? Not So Fast,” POLITICO, March 5, 2021: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/women-rule/2021/03/05/the-end-of-metoo-not-so-fast-492014