oh okay one last thing before I get off the internet—

I’ve been thinking lately about tumblr, and how its mostly-female users appeal to over-the-top emotional language (e.g., my feels, i can’t, cries, ARGH, and variants thereof.)

And it’s interesting, because most of us exist in societies that see excessive emotion as worthy of ridicule, an indication of irrationality, and “hysteric.” Feelings have become feminized, and what is feminine is deviant, Other, lesser. Pathos used to be a valid argumentative strategy—now, an argument rooted in emotion isn’t just bad, it’s invalid. And what is invalid can be dismissed without thought. (It’s unworthy of thought.)

But on tumblr, emotion is linked to power. Explicitly so. Feels can kill, feels can hurt, feels drive the creation of graphics/meta/fic and fierce battles over canonicity or interpretations. Feels are the currency with which you buy your right to fannishness.

Our reaction to a society that dismisses emotion as baseless is to crank that shit up to eleven and make it the gate through which you must pass to enter the community.

we’ve weaponized emotion.

how cool is that?

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