Sexual Innocence in Crisis-Justice Movements: A Political Theology
ENTICEMENTS: QUEER LEGAL STUDIES (Brenda Cossman & Joseph Fischel NYU Press, Forthcoming)
17 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021 Last revised: 11 Oct 2021
Date Written: April 13, 2021
In September 2020 two seemingly unrelated articles appeared in the mainstream press. The first, entitled How Shouting, Finger-Waving Girls Became Our Conscience, examines the rise of female adolescents, such as Greta Thunberg, to the role of social justice orators. The other, entitled QAnon Goes to Washington, tells the story of the rise of QAnon following (millions of followers in the U.S. and elsewhere) and documents the entry of QAnon believers into political positions of power. Greta Thunberg has become an international symbol of purity, justice, outrage, and generational innocence; QAnon, a bizarre conspiracy theory about an evil cabal of pedophilia rings run by Hillary Clinton and others, gained worldwide recognition especially after the U.S. Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021. The public images and representations of both Thunberg and QAnon, I argue, while possibly forgettable in the bigger scheme of U.S. history and politics, manifest a disturbing reliance of crisis-driven social justice movements on the right (QAnon) and left (Thunberg) on Christian theology and myths about human sexuality.
Keywords: QAnon, Greta Thunberg, Political Theology, Climate Justice, Sexual Innocence, Apocalypse, Conspiracy Theories
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