#metoogreece: A feminist view on language, togetherness and the nation-state

Category: Theories

how :// do we speak #feminism?// new global challenges special issue FKW no. 70, winter 2021/22

Valia Papastamou, Kostas Stasinopoulos, Marianna Stefanitsi, Ioanna Zouli and Elpida Karaba (#centrefeministmedia)

In late 2020, Greek Olympic medalist Sofia Bekatorou made public her experience of rape by a member of the Hellenic Sailing Federation. Following the accusation, the hashtag #metinsofia (withsofia) appeared gaining widespread support and inspiring more women to declare their own experiences of sexual harassment and violence.

The hashtag quickly connected to the existing language, hashtag and international movement of #MeToo, leading to more revelations and a public outrage for a predatory, everyday phenomenon that is systematically silenced. In its demand for collective action, justice and information sharing #metoogreece emerged to augment the testimonies of the victims to a particular locality.

Following criticism of inadequate action and accusations of scandal implications, the Greek

government launched metoogreece.gr as an online platform that denounces sexual violence,

encouraging victims to share their experiences. By adopting #metoogreece as the official name of its response, the state can be strategically seen as an ally, by exploiting metoogreece as a hashtag, a networked, mechanism for collective action and a justice-seeking methodology.

Problematising the development of the main MeToo-related hashtags, this text provides a feminist critique of the situated context of the MeToo movement in Greece and claims of togetherness. It specifically explores the challenges of appropriating the networked language in a nascent and localised development of a wider movement in a neoliberal turn. By deconstructing the coded promises of unity of a global, digital vocabulary, and its mutations, this text builds on the practice of the on-going relational archive of the Centre of New Media and Feminist Public Practices.