Reconciling contradictory feminism Law & Order : Special Victims Unit and the queers who love it

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Hicks, Helen Logan

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a locus of the production of feminist anti- rape discourse as well as messages promoting carceral justice. These contradictory ideologies are somehow reconciled by queer viewers of the show. I use interdisciplinary methods and a variety of feminist and queer theories to investigate this peculiar reconciliation. First, I analyze the narrative of an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit through a queer critical lens of reading media. Then I examine the fans and the industry players of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in the context of the show’s problematic messaging. The conversation between the contradictions of the show and the populations who are fans of the show but who also suffer under the same conditions I criticize in my narrative analysis is important to the larger feminist conversations about rape culture, capitalist media enterprise, and queer and feminist self-identification and community building.


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