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Questioning Society’s long history of Villainizing Women

Questioning Society’s long history of Villainizing Women

by Yash Saboo May 10 2018, 5:10 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 49 secs

Amanda Knox knows all too well what it’s like to be made into a villain. The 30-year-old writer-activist's years of headline-making began in 2007, when she was arrested on suspicion of murdering her roommate, British exchange student Meredith Kercher, while both were studying abroad in Perugia, Italy.

Knox, then a 20-year-old college student, steadfastly maintained her innocence. Despite that, she was swept up in a maelstrom of assumption, innuendo and speculation, fuelled largely by prosecutors and the British and Italian press, who cast her as the central character of “Foxy Knoxy” in a tale of a sex game gone wrong.

Eventually, the truth won out: After Knox spent four years in an Italian prison, an appeals court overturned her initial murder conviction. She and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, also accused in Kercher’s slaying, were retried and again found guilty but were ultimately set free when Italy’s highest court threw out their convictions in 2015.

Source : Today_Show

Now, Knox has decided to build a career speaking out against injustices in the media, especially against women. So, she has teamed up with Broadly, VICE Media’s gender and LGBT-focused channel, to debut The Scarlet Letter Reports, an unscripted series, hosted by Amanda Knox that examines the gendered nature of public shaming.

Guests on Amanda’s show include Anita Sarkeesian, Amber Rose, Daisy Coleman, Brett Rossi and Mischa Barton. In each episode, “Amanda takes an in-depth look at the lives of these women, how they coped with uninvited scrutiny, and how they’re living today after having their most personal details made public.” Which is a perfect subject for Amanda to cover since during her trial every single aspect of her character was laid bare, including her diary.

“In The Scarlet Letter Reports, I seek to offer women the chance to reclaim their own narratives. Having just barely survived my own character assassination as Foxy Knoxy, I know what it’s like to be thrust into the spotlight, where tabloids and social media devour women for entertainment, whether it’s unflattering photos of cellulite or salacious murder accusations,” says Knox. “This series is my chance to offer women who have been shamed like me the compassion and context that they deserved from day one.”

"In the midst of shooting this series, #MeToo exploded; we saw survivors begin to hold powerful men accountable for their actions on a massive scale, and this reinforced for me the notion that my story was not just loosely connected to those of the women I was interviewing, but a direct result of the same societal forces that allowed these other women’s traumas to occur," she says.

In the article she wrote for Broadly, Knox addresses her own privilege as a white woman being an advocate for wrongful conviction but makes it clear that her focus on this series is to address “society’s long history of villainizing women and particularly our sexuality.” Of the guests she has announced so far one of them, Amber Rose, is a WoC I hope that Knox will use her voice as a way to bring in more WoC and trans women. However, by providing this space for women (an all-female space), Knox has attempted to flip the narrative once and for all.

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