Radical publisher Verso Books has released a free e-book in response to the #MeToo movement.
According to the publisher, "the powerful wave of rage fuelling #MeToo has finally refocused public attention on sexual harassment and sexual violence and starkly posed questions of power, of feminism, and of politics: Who gets to tell stories of sexual assault, and who gets to be heard? How impoverished is our language for describing the intersection of power, desire, and violence? What is the relationship between individual struggles and collective protest?"
In this collection of new and previously published writings, leading activists, feminists, scholars, and writers describe the shape of the problem, chart the forms refusal has taken, and outline possible solutions. They also describe the longer histories of organising 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".
Contributors include Tarana Burke and Elizabeth Adetiba, Lauren Berlant, Tithi Bhattacharya, Stephanie Coontz and Hope Reese, Estelle Freedman, Melissa Gira Grant, Linda Gordon, Jessie Kindig, Laura Kipnis, Victoria Law, Maricruz Ladino and Gabriel Thompson, Magally A. Miranda Alcázar, Liz Mason-Deese, Danielle McGuire, Larissa Pham, Alex N Press, Jane Ward, and Terrion L Williamson.
Kindig, an editor at Verso in New York, told The Bookseller that the publisher had a "very strong sense" that it wanted the book to be published quickly and to make it widely available, in order to be part of the "rapidly growing conversation" around sex, violence, and feminism.
"We’ve used this format in our other e-book Verso reports, in order to contribute and intervene in other quickly emerging political discussions: around Brexit, around Corbyn and the Labour Party, around cities and gentrification", said Kindig. "Making a book free in perpetuity is an act of solidarity, and is one small way that we try to be a resource for people thinking actively about the world."
Where Freedom Starts: Sex, Power, Violence, #MeToo is available from the Verso website.