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Lena Karlsson

Lena Karlsson

Head of Department

Lena Karlsson

Towards a language of sexual gray zones : feminist collective knowledge building through autobiographical multimedia storytelling

Author

  • Lena Karlsson

Summary, in English

This article examines the narrative and discursive feminist labor of the Swedish 2010 Twitter-initiated #talkaboutit campaign focusing on sexual “gray areas.” The campaign sought to lessen the perceived gap between experience and discourse and work towards an adequate language encompassing difficult sexual situations presented as residing in the gray area between choice and coercion. Autobiographical narratives of negative sexual situations amounting to something less than rape were summoned, produced, and intensively disseminated online and in print media. I mainly analyze the autobiographical stories produced by what could be called the core members of the campaign as they signal the purpose of collective autobiographical storytelling as well as what is sayable and culturally exigent. I analyze how new grounds of contention in between sex and violence are staked out focusing equally on the feminist act of personal/political storytelling and on the story told about sexual “gray areas.” The article discusses the tension between the feminist collective, side-by-side, mode of storytelling and knowledge building and the equally present neoliberal narrative arc which culminates in a subject personally responsible for acting differently next time.

Department/s

  • Department of Gender Studies

Publishing year

2019

Language

English

Pages

210-224

Publication/Series

Feminist Media Studies

Volume

19

Issue

2

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Topic

  • Gender Studies

Keywords

  • autobiographical storytelling
  • feminist activism
  • online campaign
  • Rape
  • sexual consent

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1468-0777