Stacy vandenberg reddit

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Online anonymous forums are valued as spaces of open participation which facilitate multiple expressions of identity. In this paper I unmask how memes perpetuate existing gender power structures in spaces where users are only known by pseudonyms. Using a cross-section of Advice Animal memes submitted to this forum, the study examines the uneven distribution of power in representations of gender and feminists.

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I find that while women are highly sexualised, obsessive, and clingy, male characters are a default central character, used to express stacy vandenberg reddit ideals of behaivour. The main contribution of the article is highlighting the gendered nature of memes, and call attention to the unequal representation in pseudonymous space. The widespread use of networked technologies has shifted how individuals interact with and understand each other. As these technologies have permeated society, they have enabled and driven changes in the public and private spheres Milner, ; Ross and Rivers, From political protest, to interpersonal communication and relationships, the Internet has been a strong influence on contemporary life.

On this frontier of technology, a form of communication that has frequently been trivialised are memes. Far from trivial, memes have been used to communicate political resistance Davis, et al. Memes are a central feature of online networks.

In characterising memes as communication, there are four essential elements. First, there must be a reference or central message that is understood, and relatable by a commonly shared experience or group knowledge. The form of the message can not simply be relegated to that exact combination of image and text Miltner, Secondly, memes must evolve.

They cannot be static but should be adopted and remixed by a community that embrace them Shifman, Finally, memes are defined by their virality and spread. If the proto-meme such as an captioned image does not reach a level of popularity a shared understanding it is has not succeeded, and does not resonate with a culture or community Wiggins and Bowers, Popularity and understanding, however, does not default to progressive and inclusive principles.

Rather, the simplification of the characters of memes can rely on normative power structures, ultimately spreading stereotypical representations. Following the typical format of an image macro meme they are pictures with a white fill, Impact font, caption that is intended to be humorous and relatable. With still just under eight million active users after 10 years in existence, it is stacy vandenberg reddit unique opportunity to study an established and dedicated community centred around memes. Whilst this is just one instance of a dedicated meme community, Reddit is a platform that prizes original content OC and is a nexus of content generation that is shared across multiple social networking sites Massanari, After all, for memes to defy their typically ephemeral nature the character must resonate strongly.

As memes and specifically Advice Animals are shared and seen by millions of users, they reproduce an understanding of identity. As the central figure is personified, gender becomes a crucial characteristic used to define stereotypical traits and expectations.

To understand how an established meme genre functions, and how gender is understood in anonymity, this study looks to unpack how gender normativity and power structures are propagated in memes. By conducting a visual and textual analysis of content and comments surrounding Advice Animal memes in the space they were created, this project shows that memes are gendered objects. By detailing the considerable and durable representations of masculinity and femininity in the Advice Animals meme genre, this paper not only makes a case for a gendered lens in analysing user-generated content but shows how they can radicalise gendered power structures.

I conclude that claims to open participation in pseudonymity is challenged by stereotypes that mark the spaces as masculine, white and nerdy. Prior to outlining the theoretical foundation of the paper, I will first introduce the site of study — Reddit.

Image-based memes are commonly shared through the social networking platform Reddit Massanari, ; Milner, ; Miltner and Highfield, ; Vickery, At the end ofReddit had over million monthly active users, making it as popular as Twitter, yet Reddit users spend an average of three times longer engaging with content than Twitter users Reddit, Reddit claims a diverse userbase including a 47 percent female population.

A user or redditor can subscribe and unsubscribe from subreddits to customise their landing. Interests on the platform are wide and varied, but for Massanari they typically revolve around stereotypical geek sensibilities, such as videogames, anime or Dungeons and Dragons. The popularity of any post to a subreddit is represented by its score, a figure calculated by the of upvotes likes minus the of downvotes dislikes. The higher the score the more the popular content is, the more visible it is on the subreddit and the platform. Reddit is pseudonymous, meaning that user profiles contain no personal or identifying information beyond a pseudonym, which is chosen by the user, and their posting and commenting history.

Looking to gender across platforms, anonymous online stacy vandenberg reddit are seen to be hostile and unwelcoming to anyone who does not identify as male Hogan, ; Mantilla, ; Phillips, Sexualisation and objectification are far more common in anonymous spaces, when social stigma can be detached from online actions van der Nagel and Frith, Whilst there has been a measure of critical engagement with this idea across pseudonymous and anonymous forums, this is not the prevailing voice.

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The following comment has been widely referenced since it was first posted in March From this perspective, embodied femininity in preferential and unfair treatment because of chivalry and feminist campaigns. Pseudonymous spaces supposedly enable a disembodied identity, yet a refusal to disclose gender — or claims to genderlessness — can be met with hostility Butler, ; Turkle, As the physical markers of gender are invisible in pseudonymity, male-centricity is amplified to male-by-default in these environments, perpetuating and stabilising feminine stereotypes [ 7 ] Tanczer, By referencing a juvenile status that is often sexualised, such discourse regulates power relations and representations of identity.

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The discourse of male-by-default is pervasive across pseudonymous spaces. The male gaze predominates on anonymous forums like 4chan and Reddit, both of which have rightly earned a reputation for misogyny Milner, ; Phillips, They are prone to gender antagonism, with explicit identification as female is often met with hostile argument, when outside of female-only spaces Milner, Massanari shows that the male gaze on Reddit discursively excludes women and people of colour, marginalising many voices. The process of recreating this stereotype stacy vandenberg reddit the objectifiable woman constitutes what Nakamura denotes as a cybertype, reflecting how the Internet shapes and reshapes perceptions of identity.

She argues that historic power relations are crucial to the defining of cybertypes, often determined by stereotypes that exist off-line, but that the defining attributes of the off-line stereotype are amplified as the characteristics are translated online Nakamura, Consequently, representations of identity online can radicalise stereotypes that already exist off-line. Humour is a crucial feature of socialisation on Reddit.

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This claim of humour means that belligerent, provocative or prejudicial discourse faces only limited social sanction on pseudonymous spaces Mantilla, Gender is a key component of humour, although not always a positive one. In gendered humour groupness is therefore created through shared understandings and a common language. In stacy vandenberg reddit creation Ryan and Kanjorski cite how masculine humour will often take the form of rape jokes, and that sexist humour correlates with an acceptance of sexual aggression and assault.

Such joking is prevalent in studies of Advice Animals memes, and counter to ideals of homosociality and the satirical rejection of hypermasculinity Maloney, et al. Similarly, in her analysis of the Confession Bear Advice Animal, Vickery points to how the practice of remixing and the pseudonymous production of memetic content facilitates the transgression of social boundaries. Such practises often involve statements that are homophobic, racist, sexist or that celebrate sexual assault. In this sense, memes are speech acts, that are multimodal in their use of images and text to communicate jokes that mask a sanctioned opinion or an exercise of power Grundlingh, Such taboo discourses are much less common between women online, rather, women engaging in public sexual innuendo is largely regarded as inappropriate Kanai, ; Potts, The approach on these studies has been to look at commonalities within a particular Advice Animal meme, and not make comparisons across the genre.

Overall, humour on Reddit, and in memes in general, can maintain symbolic and cultural boundaries, with the more aggressive forms of this humour often being sexually hostile.

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Memes thus allow for typically norm-breaking jokes to shared and communicated. As stereotypes and gender become a central tenant of online joking, those who critique these memes are dismissed as SJWs. This negative portrayal of feminists can be attributed to a so-called postfeminist climate, where feminism is stacy vandenberg reddit seen as irrelevant as equality has been achieved McRobbie, For Shifman and Lemish postfeminist humour is defined by several traits: 1 gender differences, not hierarchies; 2 both men and women are targeted i.

This final element of humour resonates with many depictions of women in popular narratives Prentice and Carranza, However, in their study of sexist, feminist and postfeminist humour in online joking, Shifman and Lemish found that there is not a change in the way that men are women are perceived in jokes about sex. Thus, whilst postfeminism portrays feminists as humourless in both visual Massanari and Chess, and textual Worth, et al. Therefore, as one asserts a critique to postfeminist humour it is likely that they be labelled a feminist killjoy and SJW.

This overview of the literature indicates that while scholarship has theorised that pseudonymous spaces are male dominated, and that memes have been shown to often express sexist tenets, no work has explicitly examined how gender identity is represented across multiple memes. As objects intended to be shared, memes represent a collective understanding of normative identity and a creative process of communication. To fully understand the phenomenon at hand, this study required an approach that incorporated the reception of and engagement with popular Advice Animal memes and their representations of gender.

Non-participant observation was selected as the data collection method for several reasons. Firstly, in taking a inductive approach to observing interactions I remained open to varying forms of gender performance in this space and the culturally informed responses Hess and Flores, ; Hine, The use of a meme is prescribed by the relevant social norms, and even formally articulated rules, which dictate what is acceptable as the community regulates itself in creating boundaries of expression.

To reinforce this point, it was typical for the memes analysed to net scores over 10, Theoretical saturation was reached after thre. Saturation was defined as when no new codes stacy vandenberg reddit from the data, and the reading of new posts served confirmed the existing understanding of the community. The focus of inquiry was the normative representations and legitimate performances of gender in Advice Animal memes.

Such situating is particularly important in the analysis of images that promote blame-worthy phenomena like sexism. I observed the subreddit from January to Juneand during this period the subreddit reached its peak in popularity RedditList,

Stacy vandenberg reddit

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