Hunting Girls: Sexual Violence from the Hunger Games to Campus Rape

Author(s): Kelly Oliver

Feminism/Women's Studies

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games), Bella Swan (Twilight), Tris Prior (Divergent), and other strong and resourceful characters have decimated the fairytale archetype of the helpless girl waiting to be rescued. Giving as good as they get, these young women access reserves of aggression to liberate themselves-but who truly benefits? By meeting violence with violence, are women turning victimization into entertainment? Are they playing out old fantasies, institutionalizing their abuse? In Hunting Girls, Kelly Oliver examines popular culture's fixation on representing young women as predators and prey and the implication that violence-especially sexual violence-is an inevitable, perhaps even celebrated, part of a woman's maturity. In such films as Kick-Ass (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Maleficent (2014), power, control, and danger drive the story, but traditional relationships of care constrict the narrative, and even the protagonist's love interest adds to her suffering.
To underscore the threat of these depictions, Oliver locates their manifestation of violent sex in the growing prevalence of campus rape, the valorization of woman's lack of consent, and the new urgency to implement affirmative consent apps and policies.


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Hunting Girls is an original and useful book by one of the most renowned, respected, influential and accomplished feminist philosophers of our generation. Through her analysis of real-life college rape cases and wildly popular films, Oliver defines an emerging area of study. -- Chlo Taylor, University of Alberta Oliver's brilliant analysis of how young girls' path to womanhood is filled with beating, battery, abuse and sexual assault is shocking and timely. Oliver's meticulously researched volume moves back and forth between myths and fairy tales linked to rape, contemporary films, TV shows and ads featuring violence to girls, along with studying rape culture, and ambiguities of "consent," on college campuses. It is essential reading, showing that women may not have liberated themselves after all. -- E. Ann Kaplan, Stony Brook University

Kelly Oliver is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Her many books include Earth and World: Philosophy After the Apollo Missions; Knock Me Up, Knock Me Down: Images of Pregnancy in Hollywood Film; Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human; and Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex, and the Media.

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Girls as TrophiesCreepshots of Unconscious GirlsParty RapeViolence Toward Girls from The Hunger Games to Fifty Shades1. A Princess Is Being Beaten and RapedThe Rape of Sleeping BeautyA Princess Is Being DruggedSleeping Beauty's Waking NightmareFifty Shades of Consent2. Rape as Spectator Sport and Creepshot Entertainment"No Means Yes" and Nonconsensual SexAffirmative Consent Apps for CellphonesRetaliation for Reporting and Perpetrators Claiming Victimhood"Dead GirlsRecording Not Reporting: "Pictures don't lie" (even if women do)Social Media and the Denigration of Women3. Girls as Predators and PreyFrom Princess to HuntressHanna: The Little MermaidThe Hunger Games' Katniss: CinderellaTwilight's Bella: Beauty and the BeastDivergent's Beatrice: Awaking Sleeping BeautyConclusion: The New Artemis, Title IX, and Taking Responsibility for Sexual AssaultNotesWorks CitedIndex

General Fields

  • : 9780231178365
  • : Columbia University Press
  • : Columbia University Press
  • : June 2016
  • : United States
  • : May 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Kelly Oliver
  • : Hardback
  • : 305.4201
  • : 224
  • : 24 black & white illustrations