Although it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless tirade of moral and political outrage, corporate greed, sex scandals, gun violence, and more, these societal crises have not simply spontane- ously arisen in response to a mere few contemporary problems. Rather, today’s moral panics represent an aggregate of borrowed histories lay- ered on for centuries upon centuries. While these current moral panics may seem like a very contemporary problem, they draw from a long history of collective panicking. Often these anxieties are disguised as myth or folklore, retold as stories that catapult these anxieties across cultures, languages, and popular media. Indeed, the so-called “normal,” defined by those in power, has marginalized anything deemed threat- ening to societal values and interests (for example, homosexuality, women’s sexuality) and has transmitted those anxieties onto the avail- able “deviant” bodies.
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