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Covert Resistance to #MeToo: The Uptake of Social Change and Public Anxiety in the Men's Lifestyle Magazine Cover Genre

  • Mercedes Sarah Oxford College of Emory University
Keywords: First-Year Spotlight, Visual Rhetoric, Rhetorical Analysis


While the #MeToo social movement begun in 2017 raised awareness around sexual violence and its role in masculinity, its larger impact on masculine ideology is difficult to gauge. Employing an ideologically rich genre—the covers of men’s lifestyle magazines— and concepts from Rhetorical Genre Studies (RGS), this paper investigates #MeToo’s impact on the (re)production of masculinity in the genre, further considering the extent to which social movements and the resulting public anxiety can impact ideological (re)production in genres. Comparing covers from before and after #MeToo, this paper argues that patterns in the genre represent a sidestepping of the issues raised by #MeToo and a covert resistance to the movement rather than a fundamental shift in American masculinity.

Author Biography

Mercedes Sarah, Oxford College of Emory University

Mercedes Sarah is a History and Creative Writing double major and Emory University. After graduating in 2025, she plans to attend graduate school to explore further the intersections of social change, underrepresented history, and the capabilities of written expression.

How to Cite
SarahM. (2023). Covert Resistance to #MeToo: The Uptake of Social Change and Public Anxiety in the Men’s Lifestyle Magazine Cover Genre. Young Scholars in Writing, 20, 71-92. Retrieved from
Spotlight on First-Year Writing