Revisiting Choice and Victimization: A Commentary on Bay-Cheng’s Agency Matrix

Revisiting Choice and Victimization: A Commentary on Bay-Cheng’s Agency Matrix This commentary explores questions raised by Bay-Cheng’s “Agency Matrix” regarding girls’ and young women’s sexual agency. Focusing primarily on victimization and agency, I explore past attempts in the field to understand victim’s agency from my own work (Lamb, 1996) and the work of Janoff-Bulman and Frieze (1983) in the 80s and 90s to more recent work directly addressing girls’ sexual expression and its relationship to empowerment in the U.S. In this essay I also address problems inherent in feminist conceptualizations of girls and young women as both agents and responders to cultural forces including their own victimization. I explore the idea that the uber-responsibility we see in girls and women around their own victimization is a moral standpoint that is exploitable in a neoliberal and sexist society. Like Bay-Cheng I discuss the neoliberal agenda and how in a neoliberal context vulnerability becomes a problem and stands in the way of solidarity with other victims. In the end, I propose feminists explore how to rescue ideals around responsibility and choice without buying into neoliberalism, and sexism. I propose we may need to bend towards girls’ and young women’s conceptualization of agency with the goal of helping victims take appropriate responsibility without excusing the perpetrator. Sex Roles Springer Journals

Revisiting Choice and Victimization: A Commentary on Bay-Cheng’s Agency Matrix

Sex Roles , Volume 73 (8) – Jun 20, 2015

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Springer US
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
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