INTERNET HUMOUR AND THE NORMALISATION OF RAPE CULTURE
Keywords:Rape culture, Internet memes, Humour, #MeToo, Discourse
AbstractThis paper investigates the discursive construction of sexual violence in humorous Internet memes. Feminist digital media scholars have taken an increased interest in the ways in which Internet communication and content reproduces notions of gender norms as well as creating misogynist, racist, homophobic and transphobic content. However, little research has investigated the role humour plays in this discourse – especially how it is presented in Internet memes. Using #MeToo as a case study, the paper investigates the role of humour in memes that focus on sexual violence. Investigating how gender and sexuality are discursively constructed in memes, the paper focuses on how this plays into the representation of sexual violence. The paper asks: what can Internet scholars learn by taking Internet humour seriously? The key findings of this paper is the discursive construction of sexual violence and the role humour plays in this. A himpathetic (Manne 2018) logic runs through most of the memes which centralises men’s experiences and provides disproportionate sympathy with male perpetrators and widely disregards the experiences of female victims. Humour is used to signal inclusion and exclusion as the platforms become spaces for indicating and reaffirming heteronormativity and homosociality. The work done by humour discursively excludes women, sexual minorities and people of colour. This exclusion extends to victim/survivors who often become the butt of the joke and are used as a prop to create a humorous meme.
How to Cite
Andreasen, M. B. (2023). INTERNET HUMOUR AND THE NORMALISATION OF RAPE CULTURE. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2022i0.12972