Of "sluts" and "arseholes": antagonistic desire and the production of sexual vigilance

Alexandra Fanghanel, Jason Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines a contemporary antagonism in gendered safety discourses—the imperative to be free in public space against the obligation to be safe and “properly” feminine. We argue that this produces (and is produced by) contemporary rape culture, which might be contested through recourse to an agonistic ethic. Using qualitative interview data, we examine how participants contest victim-blaming discourses, while limiting how far they will accept the female body’s right to occupy public space. This article has significant implications for approaching social justice, in particular justice for women and their right to occupy public space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-360
JournalFeminist Criminology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2015


  • sexual violence
  • agonism
  • safety


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