'Getting by’ on 4chan: Feminine self-presentation and capital-claiming in antifeminist Web space
Keywords:4chan, gender, anonymity, subcultural capital
The Internet imageboard 4chan is often believed to be a hub of fascism, white supremacism, and violent misogyny. The popular press associates 4chan with ‘incels’ (involuntarily celibate men), using the site to vent their rage at women. Yet a significant minority of posters on the site are female, and/or present themselves as such. These posters use various strategies to negotiate a space for identity-construction and to build subcultural capital within an antifeminist Web space, a striking development in what Amy Shields Dobson calls the process of ‘getting by’ in postfeminist neoliberal culture. By quantifying and analysing these strategies, whilst restraining the rush to ethical judgement typical to discussion of 4chan, this study aims to resituate 4chan’s feminine users from passive objects of violence to active participants in the site’s culture and influence.
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