The Saint Mary's Rape Chant

A Discourse Analysis of Media Coverage

in Girlhood Studies
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  • 1 Saint Mary's University, Canada lyndsay.anderson@smu.ca
  • 2 Mount St Vincent University, Canada marnina.gonick@msvu.ca
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Abstract

In September 2013 student leaders at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, used a chant about the rape of underage girls as part of an Orientation Week activity for new students. The incident garnered national and international media coverage. In this article, we analyze and critique a selection of Canadian media articles published in the weeks after the rape chant was used. We draw on feminist analysis of post-feminism and the sexualization of youth cultures to show how, in their struggle to make sense of the incident, the media critique reiterates harmful discourses of youth, gender and sexuality while undermining deeper understanding of rape culture.

Contributor Notes

Lyndsay Anderson (ORCID:0000-0003-3146-4126) is the Assistant Director, Student Culture and Experience at Saint Mary's University. She has worked in various areas of Student Affairs and Services, including residence life, student conduct, and sexualized violence support and prevention. Her research interests include gender and media, language, and discursive methods. Email: Lyndsay.Anderson@smu.ca

Marnina Gonick (ORCID:0000-0001-5801-7030) is Professor of Education/Women and Gender Studies at Mount St Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Feminist Media Studies; Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research; and Children's Literature Association Quarterly. Her research interests include girlhood studies, feminist methodologies, and arts-based research. Email: Marnina.Gonick@msvu.ca

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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