Home is where the hate is: gender, race, class and the domestic abuse plotline in fiction and on screen

Article


Garrett, R. 2023. Home is where the hate is: gender, race, class and the domestic abuse plotline in fiction and on screen. Feminist Media Studies. 23 (8), pp. 4170-4186. https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2022.2155861
AuthorsGarrett, R.
Abstract

The article examines the representation of domestic violence in the novel and screen versions of The Girl on the Train and series 1 and 2 of Big Little Lies. It argues that in the last five years there has been a boom in depictions of domestic abuse, ranging from radio and soap operas, such as The Archers and Eastenders, to the “glossy” screen productions examined in the article. This reflects fourth-wave feminist interest in hidden forms of gendered violence and the extension to existing laws on intimate partner abuse in the US and UK. This article argues that, while the popular female-authored domestic crime novels that The Girl on the Train and Big Little Lies are based on highlight economic disadvantage and patriarchal privilege as factors determining domestic abuse, the screen adaptations veer towards an emphasis on individual couple dynamics and victim-blaming. It focuses particularly on sexism and racism in the second series of Big Little Lies. Written by veteran Hollywood screenwriter David E. Kelley along with high-profile white female stars, the series shifts emphasis away from gendered violence and towards intergenerational female conflict by blaming domestic violence on two older female figures, one of them an African-American woman.

KeywordsDomestic Abuse; Hollywood; fourth-wave feminism; race
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Journal citation23 (8), pp. 4170-4186
ISSN1468-0777
Year2023
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2022.2155861
Publication dates
Online11 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Dec 2022
Deposited19 Jul 2023
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8w404

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