is a design project that is meant to educate as well as criticize misogynistic content on the internet, with focus on the social media app TikTok. It engages in conversations surrounding feminism, toxic masculinity, misogyny, and social sustainability for users somewhat familiar with the context but accessible for individuals who might not be. TikTok is a feeding ground for unsolicited opinions, without a good foundation you can quickly get buried under them. Digital rebellion highlights feminist methods on the app with the purpose to combat problematic content with humor. The content derives from how feminism as a movement has used humor and continue to use it to keep the fire burning for future generations.
I ponder whether the humor and irony used by content creators to tackle misogyny function as an escape, and perhaps also as a coping strategy.
I am spending a lot of my time on the app TikTok. Perhaps more than I would like to acknowledge. This digital platform inspires and educates my so called “angry feminist self” on a daily basis. With multiple individuals creating video content for educational purposes, solidarity, humor, and my favorite part, and the reason I stay for more, is the use of irony and satire to respond towards sexist and misogynistic content. Which is of course just as easy to find and unfortunately comes with the territory of existing on the internet. Another reason I find this platform so appealing is because millions of users together, have the ability to transform into communities in a comment section or with personal video interactions, to support a single content creator in their efforts towards positive change.
What happens when a rebellion is fought online and not in the streets? Can feminism become even stronger in the hands of content creators, or will it continuously have to justify itself?
In my research I focus the work on the notion of being disruptive and taking change rather than asking for it, which has been seen throughout history and is still a necessity today. Although the tools in the feminist toolbox have multiplied since we entered the digital era. Rebellion can have a much wider variety of appearances. I ask myself what happens to our society and ourselves when acts of defiance leads to positive change? What happens when a rebellion is fought online and not on the street? Can feminism become even stronger in the hands of content creators, or will it continuously have to justify itself?
The end result of Digital Rebellion is displayed as a zine
The antagonist in my works story is the for some famous self proclaimed title of “Alpha male”. Alpha is a character centered in my project to describe a certain type of male found in every corner of the internet, but now focused on the world of TikTok. He is a misogynist with the ability to create new misogynists with his personal approach to how people should and shouldn´t behave or look. Always in his favor of course. The unfriendly feminist TikTok ghost portrayed in various situations here, is the physical element I envisioned could demonstrate the rebellious mannerism I enjoy seeing on the internet.
This series of pages is the end result of Digital rebellion. Since the idea of taking charge of change instead of asking for it to happen, my goal was for this Zine to have a life on its own. For example to be anonymously spread in the lockers of high schools, where a lot of these questions surrounding feminism takes different forms and the students are starting to understand the importance of critical thinking even more. Thinking back to my time in high school, I know a black and white academically written zine would quite soon have found its way in the trash, Therefore I created this one with the intent to appeal to the eye and still have a theoretical, understandable core.
Overview of the zine
We need to acknowledge women’s right to exist in peace without being questioned by anyone. If that standpoint makes me an angry feminist, then I guess that´s what I´ll be.
// your local unfriendly TikTok ghost (ranting in a comment section near you)
Read the whole zine as a PDF