Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr

Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr

Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr

Abstract

In this essay, We examine lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) Tumblr bloggers’ bio bins and “About Me” pages to demonstrate the methods sex and orientation that is sexual are built through community-regulated and community-generated labeling techniques. Tumblr encourages counter-cultures (and labeling practices) to not just form but also to flourish because of its distinctive affordances including tagging and weblog formatting. This short article examines not merely just just how these affordances form usage and, later, identification construction on Tumblr but in addition the real ways that Tumblr bloggers have actually embraced affordances to generate community-accepted conventions of identification construction. Also, building upon online identification scholarship by Bargh, McKenna, and Fitzsimons and Tiidenberg, this short article covers real self and nonbinary gender and intimate orientation labeling as types of identification construction enabling LGBTQIA pinpointing people a way for nuanced explanations of emotions and desires. But, definately not perfect, these labeling methods will also be grounded in hegemonic female/male, feminine/masculine binary discourse. In a Foucauldian feeling, bloggers build discourse within existing energy structures that ignore or erase LGBTQIA as intimate “abnormalities. ” These labeling practices can be a useful starting point for conversations about genders and sexualities that lie outside of the hegemonic binary although it is nearly impossible to fully break away from the dominant discourse.

Sex will not follow from sex when you look at the feeling that just just what sex you “are” determines what type of sex you will “have. ” We attempt to talk in ordinary methods about these things, saying our sex, disclosing our sex, but we have been, quite accidentally, swept up in ontological thickets and epistemological quandaries. Am I a gender most likely? And do we “have” a sex?

Therefore, so confused about sex at this time. Let’s just use he/him or they/them pronouns for the time being. Cool? Cool.

Labeling sex was part of the online experience since individuals started talking to strangers in forums and asking them a/s/l (age/sex/location). Social network sites (SNSs) such as for example Twitter require users to enter a sex and often ask for his or her intimate orientation when making a profile. Online, there clearly was a chance for users to produce more nuanced labels on their own than merely “male” or “female” and “straight” or “gay, ” and also the not likely, somewhat quirky, environment of Tumblr has supplied fertile ground just for this kind of terminological evolution. LGBTQIA—lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual—Tumblr bloggers have actually, into the semi-publicity of these Tumblr blog sites, had a hand in expanding general public discourse of nonbinary genders and intimate orientations (NBG&SO). More especially, general public labeling of genders and sexualities and sharing of data concerning nonbinary genders and sexualities via Tumblr is important in annoying hegemonic 1 notions for the female/male, feminine/masculine gender binary aswell as hegemonic conceptions of heterosexual whilst the “default” sexuality.

Tumblr as a definite Discursive Area

Before delving in to the information and conversation, we shall shortly explain Tumblr’s functionality, centering on the terminology and portions of Tumblr blog sites examined right right here. Users that are knowledgeable about more blogging that is traditional such as for example Blogger or WordPress could find Tumblr’s functionality and community techniques confusing. The Tumblr dashboard, the webpage, functions much like the “News Feed” in Twitter for the reason horney housewives that it really is a blast of articles from blog sites a person follows. Therefore, Tumblr functions as an intersection of running a blog and SNSs. The SNS-like functionality of Tumblr provides “an possibility to build a residential district by using other users and monitoring whom follows you” (Tiidenberg, 2013, p. 176). It ought to be noted, but, that Tumblr is unlike other SNSs for the reason that the individual profile isn’t the center associated with the platform (Renninger, 2015). While in SNSs such as for instance Facebook, users build a profile which includes information on by themselves such as for instance age, sex/gender, location, passions, and academic back ground, Tumblr will not provide these exact exact same affordances. Rather, identity construction on Tumblr does occur through a mix of bios, “About Me” pages, blogs, and tags on those posts.

About me personally pages and bio bins resemble pages on other SNSs, even though information included there was totally as much as the users as there isn’t any preset kind to complete. The things I have always been calling a bio package, Tumblr calls a weblog description and it is designed to include general details about your blog. In practice, Tumblr bloggers utilize the “blog description” to share with you information regarding by themselves. Periodically, bloggers share extra information to their About Me pages. About me personally pages aren’t a standard addition in many Tumblelog (a person Tumblr we we blog) themes (back ground color/image, font style/color/type, cursor design, etc. ) and should be added as yet another web page into the Tumblelog. An about Me page is not formatted, and users are not prompted to include any particular information like a bio box. Most often, however, users share their likes and dislikes (films, music, tv shows, etc. ), and, when it comes to some LGBTQIA bloggers, their gender and sexual orientation.

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