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Metoo as sextortion: Approaching testimonies from metoo through a corruption lens
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för tema, Tema Genus. Linköpings universitet, Filosofiska fakulteten.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-5895-1840
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2020 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Enbart muntlig presentation (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, approx. 50 metoo hashtags were circulated and published during 2017 and 2018.Experiences of sexual harassment were shared and made visible to an extent hitherto unimagined.

The metoo hashtags in Sweden were centred around professional affiliations. While some of thehashtags represent the private sector and cultural sphere, many also concerned public authorities,the judicial system and public sector such as health care and education. So far, testimonies frommetoo have mainly been addressed as sexual harassment, that is, as violations work environment.

Many of the testimonies in metoo include aspects of “this for that”, quid pro quo. This is particularlyrelevant for the metoo hashtags concerning government authorities and the public sector. Therewere examples of testimonies about judges and prosecutors demanding sex for judicial favours,police officers and senior physicians offering jobs to female colleagues in exchange for sex, patientssexually abused to obtain medical certificates, and university professors passing students’ exams inexchange for sex.

These are not only testimonies of sexual harassment in the workplace. They are also examples of theabuse of an entrusted position of authority for personal benefit. This is a form of corruption.

The ‘currency’ of corruption is not always money or material benefits but may also include arequest/force to involve someone in services of different kinds. The specific form of corruption thatincludes requesting sexual acts is named sextortion (IAWJ 2017). Sextortion is defined as: “the abuseof power to obtain a sexual benefit or advantage. Sextortion is a form of corruption in which sex,rather than money, is the currency of the bribe” (ibid.: 19). Internationally, sextortion has beenstudied to some extent in sectors such as education (‘sex for grades’) (Morley 2011), migration,healthcare (Transparency International 2016) and the water sector ( UNDP-SIWI 2017 ). The authors ofthis presentation are currently carrying out a project on sextortion in development aid, with casestudies from Tanzania and Colombia. However, sextortion has never been studied in the Swedishcontext.

In this presentation, we ask: what are the implications of approaching the testimonies from metoothrough a corruption lens, as compared to analysing them in terms of sexual harassment? Forinstance, if approached as corruption, issues of consent are not necessarily relevant (‘bribes’ are notevaluated as legitimate if offered ‘voluntarily’). The focus is rather on the misuse of an entrustedposition for personal gain. Approaching these testimonies as a form of corruption (sextortion), maypotentially open for new ways to prosecute them: as crimes of corruption (as compared to sexualharassment and abuse within the regulatory framework of work environment). However, there arealso inherent risks in approaching these testimonies as examples of corruption. Depending on thejudicial framework of the context, victims of sextortion may be treated as complicit of a crime, as‘bribe givers’. Therefore, an analysis of sextortion must be particularly sensitive to the powerimbalance inherent in situations of sextortion.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2020.
Nationell ämneskategori
Genusstudier
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-171239OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-171239DiVA, id: diva2:1500222
Konferens
Long-term global perspectives on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace: Policy and practice International conference at The Museum of Work, Norrköping, Sweden 8-10 March 2020
Tillgänglig från: 2020-11-11 Skapad: 2020-11-11 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-11-19Bibliografiskt granskad

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