Sadistic scopophilia in contemporary rape culture: I Spit On Your Grave (2010) and the practice of “media rape"

Mantziari, Despoina (2018) Sadistic scopophilia in contemporary rape culture: I Spit On Your Grave (2010) and the practice of “media rape". Feminist Media Studies, 18 (3). pp. 397-410. ISSN 1468-0777

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This article revisits earlier theorisations of cinematic voyeurism and gender-based violence in considering the cross-media connections between cinema and non-consensual pornography online. In particular, it looks at how the remake of a significant rape-revenge film, I Spit On Your Grave (1978/2010), explores the role of technology in the perpetuation of female victimisation. By making a visible connection between the female character’s physical rape and the violation of her subjectivity performed through filming her without her consent, the film raises a larger social/media issue, which I call media rape. In offering a theorisation of this phenomenon, the article analyses the operation of the website, which distributes non-consensual photos of women. The comparison between these two texts promotes an understanding of the visual and discursive continuities between cinema and online spaces in relation to media rape and rape culture more generally. At a time when the distinction between the creators of and audiences for media content is less straightforward within the context of online media, sadistic scopophilia needs to be reconsidered in relation to medium specificity. Although it is already problematic in the cinematic context, when it extends to online media sadistic scopophilia becomes a human rights violation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Media rape; film; sadistic scopophilia; misogyny; rape-revenge
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Despoina Mantziari
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 11:41
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2019 12:28

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