“F*** this shit” : Negotiating the Boundaries of Public Expression of Mother’s Negative Feelings
Mustosmäki, A., & Sihto, T. (2021). “F*** this shit” : Negotiating the Boundaries of Public Expression of Mother’s Negative Feelings. Nora: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 29(3), 216-228. https://doi.org/10.1080/08038740.2021.1921844
Published inNora: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
DisciplineYhteiskuntapolitiikkaIkääntymisen ja hoivan tutkimuksen huippuyksikköSocial and Public PolicyCentre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
In 2017, Finnish celebrity Sini Ariell published a blog post titled “F*** this shit” in which she revealed her difficult feelings as a mother of a newborn baby. Attracting attention from Finnish media, the post went viral. Through the empirical analysis of affective reactions to the post on an anonymous online discussion board, we explore how the limits of the public expression of negative maternal feelings are negotiated and maintained, but also challenged. Our results highlight the normative, even punitive dynamics of the digital intimate public, as commenters on the discussion board often argued that struggles and unhappiness during motherhood should not be made public but dealt with in private. However, ambivalences and supportive comments suggested the possibility to challenge norms surrounding motherhood and widen the discussion of difficulties and inequalities in motherhood and family life. Based on our analysis, we argue that affective articulations of anger, anxiety and exhaustion may challenge the digital intimate public’s “infrastructure of happiness”, and they thus have political potential to disrupt the ideals of good motherhood and address the affective struggles that mothering often entails. ...