“Why would a dead girl lie?”: Hannah Baker as Willful Child ‘come to voice’ in 13 Reasons Why
Keywords:13 Reasons Why, Sara Ahmed, bell hooks, métissage, young adult literature, willful child
This paper examines representations of hostile and benevolent sexism in the young adult novel 13 Reasons Why (Asher, 2007), and how the female protagonist, Hannah Baker, resisted such manifestations of rape culture. Hannah exercised such resistance by taking on a willful girl-child (Ahmed, 2014) subject position through the creation of her métissage of taped testimonial messages recorded for thirteen peers who in some way influenced her death by suicide. As such, her project enabled Hannah to ‘come to voice’ (hooks, 1994) particularly in response to three sexist characters – Tyler, Bryce, and part-time narrator, Clay.
Ahmed, S. (2017). Living a feminist life. Georgia: Duke University Press.
Ahmed, S. (2015). Introduction: Sexism - a problem with a name. New Formations, 86(86), 5- 13.
Ahmed, S. (2014). Willful subjects. Georgia: Duke University Press.
Ahmed, S. (2012). Whiteness and the general will: Diversity work as willful work. PhiloSOPHIA, 2(1), 1-20.
Ahrens, C. E. (2006). Being silenced: The impact of negative social reactions on the disclosure of rape. American Journal of Community Psychology, 38(3), 263-274.
Alvi, M. (2008). Europa. Newcastle: Bloodaxe Books.
Asher, J. (2007). 13 Reasons why. USA: Razorbill.
Becker, J. C. & Swim, J. K. (2011). Seeing the unseen: Attention to daily encounters with sexism as a way to reduce sexist beliefs. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35(2), 227-242.
Caruth, C. (1995). Trauma: Explorations in memory. Maryland: John Hopkins University Press.
del Guadalupe, M. & Yancy, G. (2009). Critical perspectives on bell hooks. New York, NY: 2009.
Expo ́sito, F., Herrera, M.C., & Moya, M. (2010). Don’t rock the boat: Women’s benevolent sexism predicts fears of marital violence. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 36-42.
Fraser, C. (2015). From “ladies first” to “asking for it”: Benevolent sexism in the maintenance of rape culture. California Law Review, 103(141), 141-203.
Glick et. al. (2000). Beyond prejudice as simple antipathy: Hostile and benevolent sexism across cultures. Journals of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(5), 763-775.
Glick, P. & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The ambivalent sexism inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(3), 491-512.
Hammond, M. D. & Overall, N. C. (2017). Dynamics within intimate relationships and the causes, consequences, and functions of sexist attitudes. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(2), 120-125.
Hasebe-Ludt, E., Chambers, C. M., & Leggo, C. (2009). Life writing and literary métissage as an ethos for our time. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to Transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York, NY: Routledge.
hooks, b. (2015). Talking back: Thinking feminist, thinking Black. New York, NY: Routledge. Lionnet, F. (1989). Autobiographical voices: Race, gender and self-portraiture. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Marshall, E. (2009). Girlhood, sexual violence, and agency in Francesca Lia Block’s “Wolf.” Children’s Literature in Education, 40(3), 217-234.
Mulvey, L. (1975). Visual pleasure and narrative cinema. Screen, 16(3), 6-18.
Ronnberg, A. & Martin, K. (2010). The book of symbols: Reflections on archetypal images. Cologne, Germany: TASCHEN.
Simpson, H. (2014). [Review of the book Willful subjects by Sara Ahmed]. College Literature, 43(4), 749-752.
Valenti, J. (2016). Sex object. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Valdivia, A. N. (2002). bell hooks: Ethics from the margins. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(4), 429-447.
Wunker, E. (2016). Notes from a feminist killjoy: Essays on everyday life. Toronto, On: BookThug.
Zuss, M. (1997). Strategies of representation: Autobiographical métissage and critical pragmatism. Educational Theory, 47(2), 163-180.