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Domestic violence beyond representation: finding a feminist subject in the Allison Baden-Clay murder case

Version 3 2024-05-21, 03:27
Version 2 2024-04-30, 04:02
Version 1 2018-12-11, 14:36
journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-30, 04:02 authored by J Little
Allison Baden-Clay’s 2012 murder by her husband, Gerard, was the tragic end of years of living with his abuse. It was also one of Australia’s most high-profile news stories over the four years it took for Gerard Baden-Clay to exhaust his legal avenues for appeal. As feminist media scholars argue, the media representation of one victim standing for all is itself contradictory and ideologically invested. This paper explores the representation of this murdered “wife and mother” as a process of gendered subject construction that exceeds media and legal definitions. I argue for a return to this representational subject as a way of accounting for gender ideological work in discourse and beyond. My concern is with Allison’s loss of choice, before and after death, in how her circumstances were disclosed, and how her story shifted from “female tragedy” to her legacy as a “face of family violence.” Following Teresa de Lauretis 1987, I also consider how finding a feminist subject in the margins of stories about this high-profile case can account for the unrepresentability of different forms of loss, and women’s multiple experiences of violence.

History

Journal

Feminist Media Studies

Volume

20

Pagination

1-17

Location

Abingdon, Eng

ISSN

1468-0777

eISSN

1471-5902

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Issue

1

Publisher

ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD