Sexualized, platformed female bodies in male online practices
Negotiating boundaries of masculinity, gendered positioning and intimacy
Keywords:Gender, Image-based abuse, sexuality, digital media, masculinity, young people
Sexualized images of the bodies of girls and young women – in some cases taken without the knowledge of those depicted, in other cases exchanged as part of erotic or romantic interactions – sometimes turn up in closed groups on social media and on websites and other online platforms. In their efforts to mark and prove masculinity, the (presumably) male participants in these fora share, trade, and evaluate such imagery. The young women depicted are generally commented upon in condescending ways. Based on a combination of digital ethnography and analogue fieldwork and interviews at a vocational school in Denmark, this article explores how boys and young men use sexualized female bodies to negotiate boundaries of masculinity, gendered positioning, and intimacy. Through new materialist and poststructuralist perspectives, we attend to the entanglements of social and technological phenomena enacting these practices.
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