Risk of Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in the Construction of Gender-Neutral Toilets: A Discourse Analysis of Comments on YouTube Videos

Colliver, Ben and Coyle, Adrian (2020) Risk of Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in the Construction of Gender-Neutral Toilets: A Discourse Analysis of Comments on YouTube Videos. Journal of Gender Based Violence, 4 (2). ISSN 2398-6808

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Abstract

This paper considers how the risk of sexual violence against women and girls is topicalized in social media interaction about ‘gender-neutral toilets’. In particular, it examines how versions of the category of ‘transgender people’ are assigned a key role within the construction of sexual violence risk. A discursive analysis is presented of 1756 online comments in response to 10 YouTube videos relating to gender-neutral toilets. The analysis focuses on one theme entitled ‘Gender-neutral toilets as a site of sexual danger’ and its constituent sub-themes. The phenomenon of gender-neutral toilets was responded to with a limited set of gendered tropes that constructed and positioned stakeholders in culturally recognisable ways. Women and children were constructed as vulnerable to sexual violence, at risk from men (including versions of ‘transgender women’) and in need of protection. This transformed a debate over public space into a question of morality. The analysis contributes to existing literature by focusing on the discursive features involved in the construction of risk, and the implications of these constructions in minimizing the need to address social structures that position transgender people as legitimate targets of violence.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1332/239868020X15894511554617
Date: 8 June 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender-neutral, transgender, discourse analysis, sexual violence
Subjects: L300 Sociology
Z999 UNSPECIFIED SUBJECT
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Ben Colliver
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 06:04
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 15:36
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9231

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