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Legitimising a Feminist Agenda: The #metoo petitions in Sweden 2017–2018

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During 2017 and 2018, the #metoo hashtag united a global movement against sexual abuse and harassment. In Sweden, a large portion of the attention was given to the voices of working women, who organised and wrote petitions that were published in news media. Previous research has found that media reports of sexual abuse often focus on singular stories, rather than describing the underlying structural problems, and that the problem is often framed as an individual rather than structural problem. This article accounts for a qualitative content analysis of the first 28 published #metoo petitions in Sweden, with the goal of understanding how these framed the issue. In contrast to previous research, this study shows how the petitions established a coherent feminist explanatory framework that placed the problems on a structural level by focusing on work environments and framing demands in terms of general and perfectly reasonable human rights.