Gendered sexual violence and the shameful figures : a glimpse into the social narratives within the Me Too movement in Aotearoa New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
This thesis seeks to understand how gendered sexual violence and shame are interconnected, using a feminist standpoint epistemology and contextual narrative methodology that weaves the author's personal and professional narratives through an analysis of contemporary feminist social movements and allows her to map the social narratives within #MeToo NZ and broader institutions within Aotearoa. By focusing on two critical areas of feminist theory, enactment of sexual violence and embodiment of shame, a cartographic compass of gendered sexual violence and shame is produced to show how the spaces are interwoven and result in harmful and hidden shameful figures for women who have been sexually victimised. Using this compass, #MeToo NZ media responses are mapped through the lens of enactment and embodiment. The telling listening and writing circling through the movement are discussed. What emerged were hidden figures of shame in the commodification of women's stories of pain. The narrative of this thesis intends to evoke conversations that enable the use of embodiment/enactment and this compass to change the way we respond to gendered sexual violence personally, professionally, institutionally and through the use of media and social activist movements such as #Me Too NZ. A challenge to move beyond the sharing and marketing of women's pain, to acknowledge the embodied shame, and to find a way for women who have experienced sexual violence to exit the compass is proposed.