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, I 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 constructed through community-regulated and community-generated labeling techniques. Tumblr encourages counter-cultures (and labeling practices) to not merely form but also to flourish because of its distinctive affordances tagging that is including web log formatting. This informative article examines not merely just exactly exactly how these affordances form usage and, afterwards, 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. Furthermore, building upon online identification scholarship by Bargh, McKenna, and Fitzsimons and Tiidenberg, this short article talks about real self and nonbinary gender and intimate orientation labeling as types of identification construction which allows LGBTQIA distinguishing people a way for nuanced information of emotions and desires. Nevertheless, not even close to perfect, these labeling methods will also be grounded in hegemonic female/male, feminine/masculine binary discourse. In a Foucauldian sense, bloggers build discourse within current energy structures that ignore or erase LGBTQIA as intimate “abnormalities. ” Though it ‘s almost impractical to completely break from the principal discourse, these labeling methods may be a helpful kick off point for conversations about genders and sexualities that lie not in the hegemonic binary.

Sex will not follow from sex into the feeling that just what sex you “are” determines what sort of sex you will “have. ” We you will need to talk in ordinary methods about these issues, saying our sex, disclosing our sex, but we have been, quite accidentally, swept up in ontological thickets and quandaries that are epistemological. Have always been we a sex in the end? And significant link do we “have” a sex?

Therefore, therefore confused about sex now. Let’s just utilize he/him or they/them pronouns for the time being. Cool? Cool.

Labeling sex was a section of the online experience since individuals started talking to strangers in forums and asking them a/s/l (age/sex/location). Social network internet sites (SNSs) such as for example Twitter require users to enter a sex and often ask with their orientation that is sexual when a profile. On the web, there is certainly a chance for users to generate more nuanced labels on their own than just “male” or “female” and “straight” or “gay, ” and also the not likely, significantly quirky, environment of Tumblr has furnished fertile ground just for this particular terminological evolution. LGBTQIA—lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual—Tumblr bloggers have actually, into the semi-publicity of the Tumblr blog sites, possessed a turn in expanding general public discourse of nonbinary genders and intimate orientations (NBG&SO). More specifically, general public labeling of genders and sexualities and sharing of data concerning nonbinary genders and sexualities via Tumblr is important in distressing hegemonic 1 notions of this female/male, feminine/masculine gender binary aswell as hegemonic conceptions of heterosexual once the “default” sexuality.

Tumblr as a definite Discursive Area

Before delving in to the information and conversation, we will quickly explain Tumblr’s functionality, concentrating on the terminology and portions of Tumblr blog sites examined right here. Users that are knowledgeable about more conventional blogging platforms such as for instance 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 that it really is a flow of posts 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 chance to build a residential area by using other users and monitoring whom follows you” (Tiidenberg, 2013, p. 176). It must be noted, but, that Tumblr is unlike other SNSs for the reason that the individual profile isn’t the middle for 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 doesn’t provide these exact exact same affordances. Instead, identification construction on Tumblr does occur through a variety of bios, “About Me” pages, blogs, and tags on those articles.

About me personally pages and bio containers act like pages on other SNSs, even though information included there is certainly totally as much as the users as there isn’t any form that is preset fill in. The things I have always been calling a bio package, Tumblr calls a web log description and it is designed to include information that is general your blog. In practice, Tumblr bloggers make use of the “blog description” to share with you details about by themselves. Periodically, bloggers share extra information to their About Me pages. About me personally pages aren’t an inclusion that is standard many Tumblelog (a person Tumblr blog) themes (history color/image, font style/color/type, cursor design, etc. ) and needs to be added as yet another web web page to your Tumblelog. An about Me page is not formatted, and users are not prompted to include any particular information like a bio box. Frequently, 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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Published Dec-2015
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