Introduction: Mediating gendered state violence



Portwood-Stacer L & Berridge S (2016) Introduction: Mediating gendered state violence. Feminist Media Studies, 16 (5), p. 918.

In examining the relationship between media and gendered forms of state violence, the essays collected here point to ways in which media can be both complicit in perpetuating systemic, gendered violence by the state against individuals, and potentially ameliorative in exposing patterns of neglect and abuse. Miranda Brady discusses how the silence of news media on the topic of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada replicates the violence of “benign neglect” long perpetrated by the state on Canada’s Indigenous people. Brady’s discussion of the portrayal of Indigenous people as less than “worthy” victims is echoed in Sherri Williams’ discussion of how cisgender and transgender black women receive disproportionately little media coverage when they are victims of violence. Both authors suggest that media’s failure to treat certain victims as worthy—through silence and through negative stereotyping of women of color—contributes to their continued targeting by police and neglect by government authorities. Both also suggest that other forms of media—independent film for Brady, social media for Williams—can remediate (in multiple senses of the word) the silence around state violence against women of color. The final essay, by Gilda Seddighi and Sarah Tafakori, also takes up the role of social media in spreading discourse about gendered violence, focusing on a hashtag and Facebook page that internationally publicized the oppression of Iranian women by their government. The authors bring up some of the issues that arise when campaigns for gender justice cross into new national contexts. Together the essays suggest that mediations of gendered state violence do not merely depict the reality of systemic racism and sexism, they also shape it.

Feminist Media Studies: Volume 16, Issue 5

Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online23/08/2016
Date accepted by journal23/08/2016

People (1)


Dr Susan Berridge

Dr Susan Berridge

Senior Lecturer, Communications, Media and Culture