Fury, pain, resentment … and fierceness
Configurations of con/destructive affective activism in women’s organising
in Intimacy and injury
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June Jordan’s simultaneously poignant lament and re-assertion of asserting a (gendered) self into existence in Poem about my Rights is a reminder of affect’s ideological and political capacity. This function of affect to both interrupt and disrupt hegemonies of inequalities calls attention to its constructive deployment in #MeToo within the South African context. And yet, how particular affective attachments and identifications are governed from within – in ways that not only reproduce heteronormative hegemonies, but in effect, let power off the hook – cannot be ignored. The chapter is concerned with these con(de)structive roles in the deployment of certain affect-positions that are selectively attached to particular bodies within the South African context. For example, how homophobic fury as well as embodied (gendered) pain becomes functional in sustaining passionate attachments and divisions in the fight against gender-based violence. Negation of trans, lesbian and gay experiences of gender violence from within some spaces of the #MeToo movement within this context thus deploys affective technologies of governance that do the work of erasure through indictment. The chapter makes these arguments of the con(de)structive capacity of affective activism with the use of case examples from South Africa. These modes of affective technologies must be grappled with if we are to fully engage the broader governmental logics of gendered violence in society.

Intimacy and injury

In the wake of #MeToo in India and South Africa

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