'Be Me, 24yo Femanon': Greentext stories as feminine space on 4chan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

4chan is presented by the popular press as an aggressively masculine space, inhabited almost solely by males. In reality, around 30% of 4chan users are girls and women, according to the site’s own demographic statistics. As part of a larger project exploring feminine space-claiming and subcultural capital building on 4chan, this paper examines the usage and spread of the ‘24yo femanon’ story meme. This is a series of stories in the ‘greentext’ style, told in first person according to a range of stylistic and content-focused conventions established across the site, such as the literal usage of green text and opening with the imperative that the reader ‘be me’: i.e, a demand for empathy and identification. In this series, the narrator is a single 24-year-old woman who endures a series of social and romantic blunders.

We will explore how the first-person voice intersects with other conventions of 4chan to build empathy despite and because of gender boundaries, in conjunction with other strategies of subcultural capital claiming popular to the site and related web spaces. These conventions include a pose of social isolation and awkwardness, taboo humour, and negotiating the value of truth in storytelling on an anonymous site. We will pay particular attention to how the use of a ‘femanon’ character interacts with misogynistic and aggressive discursive norms. This contributes to a clearer picture both of 4chan and its user base, demonstrating how this new form of storytelling can be appropriated to resituate women and girls from a passive object of online and offline violence to active participants in the construction of gendered meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolution of Story Symposium
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2020
EventEvolution of Story - Solent University, Southampton
Duration: 19 Feb 2020 → …
http://evolutionofstory.info/

Conference

ConferenceEvolution of Story
CitySouthampton
Period19/02/20 → …
Internet address

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