Men talking, writing and imaging violence/violation offline/online: (Dis)continuities Offline and Online

Jeff Hearn, Matthew Hall, Ruth Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


How to represent violence—that is, talk about, write about, and image violence—without reproducing violence/violation is a challenge. Violence can be presented, re-presented, and represented in many ways, and through diverse narratives. In this article we analyze the narratives of those using violence, either when subsequently talking about the violence or in doing violation itself. Thus, we write on violence and violation, and we explore how men’s violence and violation are talked of, written, and imaged by men, even while they may well not be aware that they are enacting violence/violation. We attend to some of the continuities and discontinuities in men’s narratives between those talking about their use of immediate, direct physical violence/violation, especially against women, and those doing various forms of digital violence/violation through writing violence/violation. In the latter case, two examples are foregrounded: first, what is popularly known as “revenge pornography,” that is, nonconsensual sharing and distribution of sexual images and texts; and second, “upskirting,” that is, nonconsensual taking of photographs and videos of (usually) women’s bodies and clothing. We draw on or analyze these practices through understandings of men, masculinities, and variable masculinist narratives. The final part of the article compares the three examples and considers their implications, the overlaps and blurrings between offline physical violence and digital violence/violation, and future challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalStoryworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)23-48
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 10.2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 514,1 Sociology
  • imaging
  • writing
  • talking
  • violence against women
  • violation
  • online
  • men

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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