9780262044721

Who's Laughing Now?

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780262044721

  • ISBN10:

    0262044722

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-11-17
  • Publisher: Mit Pr

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Summary

Exploring feminist social media tactics that use humor as a form of resistance to misogyny, the affective dynamics of shame, shaming, and shamelessness.

Online sexism, hate, and harassment aim to silence women through shaming and fear. In Who's Laughing Now? Jenny Sundén and Susanna Paasonen examine a somewhat counterintuitive form of resistance: humor. Sundén and Paasonen argue that feminist social media tactics that use humor, laughter, and a sense of the absurd to answer name-calling, offensive language, and unsolicited dick pics can rewire the affective circuits of sexual shame and acts of shaming.

Using laughter as both a theme and a methodological tool, Sundén and Paasonen explore examples of the subversive deployment of humor that range from @assholesonline to the Tumblr “Congrats, you have an all-male panel!” They consider the distribution and redistribution of shame, discuss Hannah Gadsby's Nanette, and describe tactical retweeting and commenting (as practiced by Stormy Daniels, among others). They explore the appropriation of terms meant to hurt and insult—for example, self-proclaimed Finnish “tolerance whores”—and what effect this rerouting of labels may have. They are interested not in lulz (amusement at another's expense)—not in what laughter pins down, limits, or suppresses but rather in what grows with and in it. The contagiousness of laughter drives the emergence of networked forms of feminism, bringing people together (although it may also create rifts). Sundén and Paasonen break new ground in exploring the intersection of networked feminism, humor, and affect, arguing for the political necessity of inappropriate laughter.

Author Biography

Jenny Sundén is Professor of Gender Studies at Södertörn University in Sweden.

Susanna Paasonen is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Turku in Finland. She is the coauthor of NSF: Sex, Humor, and Risk in Social Media (MIT Press).

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