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 specific article, We examine lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) Tumblr bloggers’ bio bins and “About Me” pages showing 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 merely form but also to flourish because of its distinctive affordances including tagging and web log formatting. This informative article examines not merely 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 produce community-accepted conventions of identification construction. Also, building upon online identification scholarship by Bargh, McKenna, and Fitzsimons and Tiidenberg, this short article talks about self that is true nonbinary sex and intimate orientation labeling as types of identification construction which allows LGBTQIA determining people an approach for nuanced information of emotions and desires. Nonetheless, definately not perfect, these labeling practices will also be grounded in hegemonic female/male, feminine/masculine discourse that is binary. In a Foucauldian feeling, bloggers build discourse within current power 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 within the feeling that just what sex you “are” determines what type of sex you will “have. ” We make an effort to talk in ordinary means about these issues, stating our sex, disclosing our sex, but our company is, quite unintentionally, swept up in ontological thickets and epistemological quandaries. Am I a sex most likely? And do we “have” a sex?

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

Labeling gender happens to be a section of the experience that is online individuals started talking to strangers in chat rooms and asking them a/s/l (age/sex/location). Social media internet sites (SNSs) such as for example Twitter require users to enter a sex and quite often ask for his or her intimate orientation when making a profile. On the net, there clearly was the opportunity for users to generate more nuanced labels on their own than just “male” or “female” and “straight” or “gay, ” as well as the not likely, significantly quirky, environment of Tumblr has provided fertile ground just for this sort of terminological evolution. LGBTQIA—lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex naked male models, and asexual—Tumblr bloggers have actually, when you look at 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 especially, 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 associated with the female/male, feminine/masculine gender binary aswell as hegemonic conceptions of heterosexual since the “default” sexuality.

Tumblr as a definite Discursive Area

Before delving in to the information and conversation, we will shortly explain Tumblr’s functionality, concentrating on the terminology and portions of Tumblr blog sites examined right right here. Users who’re knowledgeable about more blogging that is traditional such as for instance Blogger or WordPress could find Tumblr’s functionality and community techniques confusing. The Tumblr dashboard, the true webpage, functions much like the “News Feed” in Twitter in 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, nonetheless, that Tumblr is unlike other SNSs for the reason that an individual profile isn’t the guts associated with the platform (Renninger, 2015). While in SNSs such as for instance Facebook, users build a profile which includes details about on their own such as for example age, sex/gender, location, passions, and background that is educational Tumblr doesn’t provide these exact exact same affordances. Rather, identification construction on Tumblr happens through a mix of bios, “About Me” pages, blogs, and tags on those posts.

About me personally pages and bio containers act like pages on other SNSs, even though information included there was totally as much as the users as there’s absolutely no form that is preset fill out. The things I have always been calling a bio package, Tumblr calls a web log description and it is designed to include basic details about your blog. Used, Tumblr bloggers utilize the “blog description” to share with you information on on their own. Sometimes, 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 we blog) themes (history color/image, font style/color/type, cursor design, etc. ) and needs to be added as an extra web page towards the 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, shows, etc. ), and, into the case of some LGBTQIA bloggers, their gender and orientation that is sexual.