New Article: This Pussy Grabs back: Humour, Digital Affects and Women’s Protest

Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore / Anne Graefer / Allaina Kilby

The “affective” turn has enabled many scholars to theorise media representations not only as texts that can be distantly decoded but also as a matter of emotional attachments, intensities of feelings, synesthetic sensations, and embodied experiences. Yet, what has been less often theorized is how this affective meaningmaking is (re)shaped by the dynamic and interactive nature of social networking systems such as Facebook or Twitter. How do images and the affective qualities that “stick” to them, travel and transform through user engagement where “users grab images and technologies by which they are grabbed in return” (Paasonen, Carnal Resonance 178; Senft 2008). We aim to explore this question further through examples of humorous images from the January 2017 Women’s March, considered within the digital contexts of Facebook and Twitter. Social movement scholars argue that emotional engagement can be a powerful and positive motivating factor in getting people involved in political life, and we here suggest that these humorous images can move the reader in new critical directions, encouraging them to challenge systems of inequality and oppression in contemporary society.

Featured Image Credits: Lorie Shaull, 21 Jan. 2017, Wahington


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