Feminist Tinder: Young Women Talk Back to Harassment Online

  • Laura BrightwellEmail author


This chapter examines performative feminist responses to online misogyny. It explores how young women enter into and engage with feminist discourse online and asks what kind of expressions gain currency in a digital affective economy. This engagement is placed in dialogue with Sara Ahmed’s account of the feminist killjoy, whose vocal unhappiness calls attention to societal inequities. This chapter asks how feminist affective economies are altered in a digital age, where the message needs to go viral in order to be received. Social media offers a space for young women to express their dissatisfaction with mainstream political debates. Feminist social media projects can speak to a lack of faith in mainstream politics and constitute a form of online activism. Often denied political participation in the offline world, these platforms afford young women an alternative mode of public engagement and allow them to enact a form of digital citizenship. This chapter looks at the Instagram project Feminist Tinder, which posts screenshots of abusive messages women receive on the dating app Tinder. It facilitates conversations about this harassment via the use of searchable hashtags and ongoing engagement with the account’s followers. This playful response to online misogyny is complicit with a postfeminist sensibility that uses irony as a weapon. This chapter is also interested in the limits of online feminist activism and asks whether the feminist counterpublic imagined and evoked by the practices, language and framework of Feminist Tinder is always the public that is present.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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