Panel 13 | Gender & sexism

CADAAD2022 | 06-08/07/2022 | Bergamo, Italy

29 | Alexandra Krendel

#tradfem: a multimodal critical discourse analysis of traditional femininity on Tumblr

In this study, I consider the manifestation of the #tradfem (short for ‘traditional femininity’) community on the micro-blogging and social networking website Tumblr, to investigate how a gender role associated with the image of the 1950s housewife is co-constructed by Tumblr users in the digital age. Traditional femininity has garnered some media attention in the past two years (e.g. BBC, 2020), with some claiming that the movement is linked to white supremacist communities and the alt-right (Kelly, 2018). The purpose of this study is to investigate this claim, by examining how traditional femininity is represented both textually and visually, on posts marked with the hashtag #tradfem on Tumblr. Hashtags are markers of ambient affiliation (Zappavigna, 2011), in that users of the hashtag make their posts visible and searchable to one another, and together they co-construct the #tradfem identity. Tumblr was selected as the platform of choice because users are able to create and share both original text posts and images, and discussions about adherence to gender norms are prevalent on the platform (Oakley, 2016).

I collected 200 posts by searching for the ‘tradfem’ hashtag on Tumblr on December 1st 2021 and filtering the posts by ‘most popular’ (i.e. posts that have received the most engagement). These posts consisted of text and/or an image or multiple images, accompanied by the hashtags that the author marked the post with. I then analysed which topics were associated with the #tradfem community by counting the other hashtags on the #tradfem posts, and analysed how the concept of traditional femininity was constructed in both text and images using a multimodal critical discourse analysis approach (Machin and Mayr, 2012). This allowed me to examine what constitutes the #tradfem identity on Tumblr, and how #tradfem interacted with other hashtags.

I found that hashtags which co-occurred with #tradfem referenced heteronormative relationships with men (e.g. #traditional marriage, #traditional husband, and #tradwife), religion (e.g. #biblical femininity), being a stay-at-home-mother (e.g. #housewife, #homemaking), and aesthetic communities (e.g. #cottagecore and #gardencore). These topics were visible in the co-occurring images, which included women in long dresses and modest clothing, pictures of mothers and fathers with their young children, rural landscapes, homemade baked goods, kitchens and gardens. Some images included saturated colours, making the images bright and eye-catching, whereas others used muted tones to convey a sense of age and nostalgia. Users framed desiring this housewife identity as being an empowering goal that women are free to choose, and expressed resistance to what they perceive as modern feminism, using the #feminism hashtag. I conclude by framing the #tradfem phenomenon as both a manifestation of ‘hegemonic femininity’ (Schippers, 2007) and an escapist fantasy from neoliberal capitalism.


BBC. (2020, January 17). #TradWife: ‘Submitting to my husband like it's 1959'.

Kelly, A. (2018, June 1). The Housewives of White Supremacy. New York Times.

Machin, D., & Mayr, A. (2012). How to Do Critical Discourse Analysis a Multimodal Introduction. SAGE Publications.

Oakley, A. (2016). Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr. Social Media + Society.

Schippers, M. (2007). Recovering the feminine other: masculinity, femininity and gender hegemony. Theory and Society, 36(1), 85–102.

Zappavigna, M. (2011). Ambient affiliation: A linguistic perspective on Twitter. New Media & Society, 13(5), 788–806.

32 | Jessica Aiston

“Just another double standard from the Church of the Pussy Pass”: The discursive representation and delegitimization of feminism within an online community of male separatists.

In this presentation, I take a discourse-historical approach to critical discourse studies (Reisigl and Wodak, 2016) in order to examine the legitimation of anti-feminist ideology. Despite the increasing visibility of feminist activism, anti-feminist sentiment is on the rise (Banet-Weiser, 2018). Among young men in particular, feminism is often perceived as having “gone too far” and as facilitating sexism towards men (Carter, 2020). While backlash towards feminism is not new (Faludi, 1991), such beliefs are reinvigorated in the manosphere. The manosphere comprises a “loose online network” of anti-feminist men’s communities (Marwick and Caplan, 2018, p. 543), including involuntary celibates, pick-up artists, men’s rights activists, and male separatists. Previous linguistic research into the manosphere has revealed a high prevalence of sexist and misogynistic language and dehumanising representations of women (Krendel, 2020). However, the discursive representation of feminists and feminism in the manosphere has received relatively little attention.

I aim to examine how anti-feminist ideology is legitimated through an analysis of the discursive representation of feminists and feminism, as well as the argumentation strategies used to undermine feminism. The data comprises fifty threads taken from a ‘male separatist’ Reddit community, who claim to reject feminism and abstain from relationships with women.

In contrast to prior research on negative constructions of feminism (Edley and Wetherell, 2001), I find that users typically do not distinguish between ‘reasonable’ and ‘unreasonable’ feminists and instead make generalisations about feminists as an entire group. Because feminists are excluded from participation in this digital space, users direct their arguments towards exaggerated feminist strawmen and recontextualisations of feminist arguments made elsewhere on social media. Finally, while many users take a “pro-equality” standpoint (Jordan, 2016) by arguing that men and women should be treated equally and so feminism is illegitimate because it supposedly promotes female superiority, a small but not insignificant proportion of users deny the importance of gender equality in the first place.


Banet-Weiser, S. (2018). Empowered: Popular feminism and popular misogyny. Duke University Press.

Carter, R. (2020). Young people in the time of COVID-19: a fear and hope study of 16-24 year olds. Hope Not Hate.

Edley, N., & Wetherell, M. (2001). Jekyll and Hyde: Men’s constructions of feminism and feminists. Feminism & Psychology, 11(4), 439–457.

Faludi, S. (1991). Backlash: The undeclared war against American women. Vintage.

Jordan, A. (2016). Conceptualising backlash: UK men’s rights groups, anti-feminism, and postfeminism. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 28(6), 18-44.

Krendel, A. (2020). The men and women, guys and girls of the ‘manosphere’: a corpus-assisted discourse approach. Discourse & Society, 31(6), 607-630.

Marwick, A. E., & Caplan, R. (2018). Drinking male tears: Language, the manosphere, and networked harassment. Feminist Media Studies, 18(4), 543-449.

39 | Anna Islentyeva, Elisabeth Katharina Zimmermann, Nadia Schützinger & Andrea Platzer

“Real Men Get More”: Gender in Contemporary Advertising Discourse

Promotional culture and advertising are generally considered “one of the most populous and pervasive modern discourse types” (Fairclough 2015: 60). According to Butler’s (1990) theory of gender performativity, gender is constructed through repetitive discursive practices. Continuous stereotypical representations of men and women in advertising discourse contribute to the construction of gender in society and establish a series of problematic (gender) norms that come to be accepted as the status quo.

Against the backdrop of the complex relationship between language, visuals, marketing strategies, and gender roles, this study aims to investigate the discursive strategies employed in the representation of men (and women) in a carefully chosen sample of advertisements. This sample consists of 50 posters that have been published in print media and presented in public, outdoor spaces. The posters are from the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy; the only language used in all of the selected advertisements is English. The chosen posters advertise products targeted at men, which fit into five major categories: male fragrances, daily care products, (sports) clothing, (alcoholic) beverages, and (sports) nutrition. Among the brands advertised are Estée Lauder, Givenchy, Dove, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s.

In terms of methodology, the study combines methods of critical discourse analysis and visual analysis with a corpus-linguistic analysis. The visual analysis employs Goffman’s (1979) categories (e.g. ritualisation of subordination, relative size and function ranking), which help to identify recurrent representations of women as the weaker sex, which consequently shapes the manner in which male dominance tends to be visually presented. The further analysis refers to the Corpus of Contemporary American English. The analysis of a large, genre-balanced corpus of US English perfectly complements the findings of the preceding discourse and visual analyses, namely in identifying the most salient collocations of real man/men in English and the broader contexts in which these expressions occur. The corpus-based analysis thus reflects on and supports the general findings of the study, which shows that language and advertising operate in a very distinct circular structure and mutually impact one another to a certain extent.

The study manages to provide a multi-dimensional analysis of the strategies that are employed in the (re)production of stereotypical gender roles through advertising, and to critically evaluate the representation of men and women in commercials and in public discourses more broadly. The findings show that contemporary advertising discourse continues to promote traditional gender stereotypes, rather than representing a more natural diversity of gender expression. Unattainable archetypes of femininity and masculinity are often propagated as the norm in advertising; stakeholders should be called upon to challenge these stereotypes and present us with a new normal.

Selected Bibliography

Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

Davies, Mark. 2010. The Corpus of Contemporary American English as the first reliable monitor corpus of English. Literary and Linguistic Computing 25(4): 447–464.

Fairclough, Norman. 2015. Language and Power. 3rd ed. London: Routledge.

Garcia, Guy. 2008. The Decline of Men. New York: Harper Collins.

Gentry, James and Robert, Harrison. 2010. Is advertising a Barrier to Male Movement toward Gender Change? Marketing Theory 10(1): 74–96.

Goffman, Erving. 1988. Gender advertisements. New York & Cambridge: Harpercollins College.

Moss, Mark Howard. 2011. The Media and the Models of Masculinity. Plymouth Lexington Books.

van Dijk, Teun A. 2015. Critical Discourse Analysis. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

40 | Melissa Kemble

A Corpus-Based Analysis of Athlete Identity and Patriarchal Discourses in the Australian Sports Media

This paper presents a critical corpus-based discourse analysis of the representation of athlete identity in the Australian print news media, with respect to gender stereotypes and discourses. Existing research into global sports media coverage has revealed enduring discourses that draw on binary gender stereotypes, thereby promoting hegemonic masculinity. Such prototypical portrayals therefore position men’s sport as the ‘norm’ and women’s sport as the ‘other’.

Specifically, this study investigates how elite female and male athletes playing Australian Rules (AFL) and Rugby League (NRL) are represented in the Australian print media, with respect to previously documented patriarchal discourses i.e., objectification, trivialisation, stereotyping and othering (see Kemble 2020). Combining corpus linguistic analysis with qualitative discourse analysis, this study seeks to understand how elite female athletes newly entering a male-dominated sporting space are represented in the media, and how this compares to representations of their male counterparts. To do so, a five million word corpus of Australian print news articles (the ‘OzFooty’ corpus) has been constructed from the five most widely read newspapers in Australia for the period 1 December 2017 to 31 December 2019. The corpus contains two sub-corpora, comprising the women’s coverage and men’s coverage, to allow for comparison.

Corpus linguistic techniques, including frequency lists, keywords and semantic tags, have been employed to identify salient patterns potentially pointing to patriarchal discourses, which are then further explored via individual text analysis. Specifically, I analyse the discursive patterns of infantilisation, sexualisation, athleticism, emotion and kinship roles. Discourses around gender discrimination, heteronormativity, and binary constructs of femininity/masculinity are explored. The results indicate a potentially positive shift away from such previously documented patriarchal discourses, with female athletes portrayed as “elite sports players” (Caple 2013: 288). However, the analysis also reveals distinct differences in the way that female and male athletes are portrayed which thus serve to reinforce the professional AFL and NRL sporting spaces as ‘masculine’.

This research contributes to the existing literature on gender bias in sports news coverage by highlighting how elite female athletes newly entering a male-dominated sporting space are represented in the media, and how these representations compare to those of the elite male athletes. It provides a foundation for future linguistic research into representations of athletes in the sports media using a mixed method approach combining corpus linguistics with qualitative (critical) discourse analysis.


Billings, A. (2007). From Diving Boards to Pole Vaults: Gendered Athlete Portrayals in the ‘‘Big Four’’ Sports at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. Southern Communication Journal 72(4): 329–344.

Caple, H. (2013). Competing for coverage: Exploring emerging discourses on female athletes in the Australian print media. English Text Construction 6(2): 271-294. doi: 10.1075/etc.6.2.03cap

Kane, M. J. (2011). Sex sells sex, not women’s sports. The Nation, 28–29.

Kemble, M. (2020). ‘As good as the men?’ A corpus analysis of evaluation in news articles about professional female athletes competing in masculine sports. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 12(1): 87-111.

Vincent, J., Imwold, M., Masemann, V., and J. T. Johnson, (2002). A comparison of selected ‘serious’ and ‘popular’ British, Canadian, and United States newspaper coverage of female and male athletes competing in the Centennial Olympic Games. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 37(3-4): 319-335.

75 | Chipo Phili

Representations of sexual abuse of girls in cartoons and readers below-the-line comments in Botswana’s The Voice newspaper cartoon column ‘conversations on a Combi’

Satirical cartoons are a common feature in newspapers. In Botswana, little attention has been paid to cartoons in general, although political cartoons have not been ignored completely as Rapoo (2013) dedicates a section of her study to that. However, no study has done a linguistic analysis of cartoons. The impetus to carry out this study, therefore, derives from this gap in research and intends to shift analysis of cartoons from politics and male elites in broadsheets to gender and sexuality, sexual violence and girls in tabloids. In other words, sexual abuse and girls are excluded in political cartoon research of broadsheets as politics in Botswana is a male-dominated sphere; for example, the national assembly is comprised of just 11% of female representation. A lack of female political representation has detrimental effects for the lives of women and girls, including matters about their sexuality and access to justice. Bednarek (2006) asserts that linguistic research on tabloids still lags behind, yet tabloids sell about four times as many copies as the broadsheets. The Voice newspaper in Botswana has the largest following on Facebook and the highest circulation per week (African Media Barometer 2014). Thus, an investigation of representations of sexual abuse could be a window through which we see how gender and sexuality are shaped by age and social class and how it is also rooted and perpetuated by the prevailing gender and sexuality culture.

The data to be analysed in this paper is part of an ongoing Ph.D. thesis. The data is constituted by cartoons and verbal texts from The Voice newspaper, and the comments posted by readers on the newspaper’s Facebook page concerning these cartoons between 2013 and 2017. The data were collected between January 2020 and August 2021. The objectives of the study are to analyse how girls (minors) and the male perpetrators of sexual abuse are represented in two multimodal texts that comprise of caricatures and conversations purported to be by passengers on a mini-bus (Combi in vernacular). Secondly, I want to determine the type of gender and sexuality ideologies reflected, reproduced and perpetuated by these representations and whether there are other emerging ideologies that contest these representations.

I employ the social actor representation framework (van Leeuwen 2008), systemic functional grammar (Halliday and Matthiessen 2014), and appraisal theory (Martin and White 2005) as methods of analysis. Using these methods, the paper can offer a thorough reading of how social actors are represented in and through language. Categorisation, social action and evaluation are ways of representing the world around us and the relationships that obtain in it. Relationships of difference (e.g. gender) are inherently hierarchical and characterised by power struggles. To understand how gender inequality is manifested in the column, I draw on Critical Discourse Studies as an overarching approach as well as Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (Lazar 2005).

Preliminary results suggest sexual abuse is framed as a socio-economic issue rather than a patrirchal one. The column represents male sexual interests with a bias towards young, working-class men. Additionally, the discourse goals of the column are entertainment (the capital interests of the newspaper) rather than advocacy for the abused girl(s)


African Media Barometer (2014) Botswana, Windhoek: Media Institute of Southern Africa/Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Bednarek, M. (2006). Evaluation in Media Discourse. London: Continuum.

Lazar. M.M. (2005). Performing State Fatherhood: The Remaking of Hegemony. In: Lazar, M.M. (ed.), Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Gender, Power and Ideology in Discourse, pp. 139-163.

77 | Océane Foubert, Lola Marinato, & Robin Vallery

Title: “Un crime que l’on rougit de nommer”: normalising incest narratives with #MeTooInceste

Incest is both a taboo subject and a taboo word. In France, it remained for a long time “a crime without a name” (Giuliani 2016), referred to as “monstrous acts”, “indecent assault”, “the most odious offence”, or even "un crime que l’on rougit de nommer" (“a crime one shies away from naming”) as told by a judge in 1845 (Ambroise-Rendu 2016). In January 2021, the author Camille Kouchner published La familia grande in which she recounts her stepfather’s assault on her brother. These disclosures were followed by the #MeTooInceste movement, breaking the taboo.

#MeTooInceste stems from the larger #MeToo movement; in fact, incest testimonies were already present in French #MeToo tweets (Lopez et al. 2019). These movements facilitated the (digitised) narratives of victims of sexual violence on social media (Keller et al. 2018). However, these testimonies are reported and commented on in the media and by politicians, leading to a potential “distortion of survivors’ narratives in the process of institutionalisation” as observed in other settings (Ehrlich 2014 on the legal context).

The aim of this ongoing qualitative study is to look at French incest narratives across three contexts: (i) Twitter testimonies, (ii) online newspapers, and (iii) political reactions. We will look for potential distortion via naming strategies of the act itself and of the perpetrator, e.g. via non-agency, which has been observed for sexual violence in a legal context (Coates et al. 1994, Ehrlich 2001) and in the media (Clark 1998). Moreover, two strategies can be used in relation to a taboo subject: euphemisms, in particular underspecification, and their opposite, dysphemisms (Crespo-Fernandez 2015), i.e. pejorative expressions insisting on the unpleasant, usually-euphemised aspects of the subject. Euphemisms perpetuate the taboo, while dysphemisms go against the taboo and express sharply the violence of incest.

On its own, the #MeTooInceste movement will not make the linguistic taboo on incest disappear. The taboo might constrain the content of victims’ testimonies, and institutionalisation distort the narratives, but this movement focused public attention on the subject and normalised at least the use of the word itself. Through this study, we wish to assess exactly how these liberated voices are changing the discursive norm about incest.


Ambroise-Rendu, A. (2016). “Briser le tabou: Du secret à la parole médiatique, le tournant des années 1970-1990.” Sociétés & Représentations, 42, 59–72.

Clark, K. 1998. “The Linguistics of Blame: Representations of Women in The Sun’s Reporting of Crimes of Sexual Violence.” In The Feminist Critique of Language, Cameron D. Routledge. 183–197.

Coates, L., Bavelas, J., Gibson, J. 1994. “Anomalous Language in Sexual Assault Trial Judgements.” Discourse & Society, 5, 189–206.

Crespo-Fernández, E. 2015. Sex in Language: Euphemistic and Dysphemistic Metaphors in Internet Forums. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Ehrlich, S. 2001. Representing Rape. Routledge.

Ehrlich, S. 2014. “Language, Gender, and Sexual Violence: Legal Perspectives.” In The Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality: the Politics of Belonging (2nd ed), Ehrlich S. Wiley-Blackwell. 452–471.

Giuliani, F. 2016. “Le Crime sans nom: Dire l’inceste dans la société française du xixe siècle (1791-1898).” Sociétés & Représentations, 42, 31–44.

Keller, J., Mendes, K., Ringrose, J. 2018. “Speaking ‘unspeakable things’: documenting digital feminist responses to rape culture.” Journal of Gender Studies, 27:1, 22–36.

Lopez, I., Quillivic, R., Evans, H., Arriaga, R.I. 2019. “Denouncing Sexual Violence: A Cross-Language and Cross-Cultural Analysis of #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc.” In IFIP International Federation for Information Processing. Springer Nature. 733–743.

136 | Becca Petros

Sparring with Sexism: A Linguistic Analysis of Sexism and Gendered Language in Boxing and MMA

In this essay I position active participants and avid observers of boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) as members of a community of practice in order to explore the sociolinguistic processes that work to negotiate, emphasize, negate, and construct fighters’ identities both as athletes and as gendered beings. To examine the connections between social identity, language, gender, and combat sports, I first discuss fighters’ nicknames from a socio-onomastic perspective (Leslie & Skipper, 1990), which, as I will argue, is a practiced linguistic convention that highlights issues of sexism and the overall rejection of female fighters, resulting in the reproduction of sexist narratives and outcomes on both systematic and cultural levels (Adams, 2009; Ayim & Goossens, 1993; Leslie & Skipper, 1990). I then present corpus data to juxtapose how the identities of ‘male’ and ‘fighter’ are able to coexist seamlessly with how the identities ‘female’ and ‘fighter’ are perceived as mutually exclusive. In addition, the linguistic corpus analysis is used to track positive and negative attitudes as well as sentiment strength of people who follow and comment on combat sports. Finally, I connect my findings to linguistic and social theories to reposition and reinterpret womanhood within the context of combat sports.


Adams, M. (2009). Power, politeness, and the pragmatics of nicknames. Names, 57(2), 81-91.

Ayim, M. & Goossens, D. (1993). Issues in gender and language: An annotated bibliography. Resources for Feminist Research, Vol. 22(1). 3-35.

Bucholtz, M. (1998). Geek the girl: Language, femininity, and female nerds. In N. Warner et al. (eds.), Gender and belief systems: Proceedings of the Fourth Berkeley Women and Language Conference. 199-131. Berkeley: Berkeley Women and Language Group.

Bucholtz, M. (1999). “Why be normal?”: Language and identity practices in a community of nerd girls. Language in Society, 28(2). 203-223.

Butler, J. (1997). Excitable speech: A politics of the performative. New York, NY: Routledge.

Eckert, P. & McConnell-Ginet, S. (1992). Think practically and look locally: Language and gender as a community-based practice. Annual Review of Anthropology 21:461-90.

Lawson, E. D. (1973). Men’s first names, nicknames, and short names: A semantic differential analysis. Names: A Journal of Onomastics, 21(1).

Leslie, P., & Skipper, J., Jr. (1988). Women, nicknames, and blues singers. Names, 36(3-4), 193-202.

Leslie, P., & Skipper, J., Jr. (1990). Toward a theory of nicknames: A case for socio-onomastics. Names, 38(4), 273-282.

Skipper, J., Jr.(1982). Feminine nicknames: ‘Oh you kid,’ from Tilly to Minnie to Sis’. Baseball Research Journal.

Wilson, B., & Skipper, J., Jr. (1990). Nicknames and women professional baseball players. Names, 38(4), 305-322.

152 | Ungku Khairunnisa Bt Ungku Mohd Nordin & Surinderpal Kaur

Self and Other Representations of Female Sympathisers of ISIS

Self and Other Representations of Female Sympathisers of ISIS

Since June 2014, the international media has reported on Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), an international Islamist motivated terrorism group centred in Syria and Iraq which is also known by a myriad of other names (such as ISIL, IS, or DAESH). In the latter part of 2014, the global media began reporting on a new and disturbing trend: women, often young and unmarried, were leaving their homes and families to sneak into Syria and Iraq in order to join ISIS (Neumann, 2016). Sjoberg & Gentry (2011) point out that the way women terrorists are represented in the media as well as the motivation that encourages women to join and support terrorist organisations have not been explored adequately. Furthermore, the media also very often portrays women involved with terrorist groups or acts in ways that are not only different than their male counterparts, but also in ways that are specifically in relation to their gender as well as their perceived gendered roles (Sjoberg & Gentry, 2008). This dual pronged study examines how female sympathisers of ISIS are represented through and by media discourses, and significantly also, how female sympathisers of ISIS represent themselves on Twitter, in relation to ISIS. Employing Critical Discourse Analysis – the Discourse- Historical Approach (Wodak, 2001) this thesis will analyse the diverse and often contesting ways in which the Self versus Other (Wodak, 2009) schemata is prominent in the representations of female sympathisers. The data for the global media’s representation is taken from four diverse online newspapers - The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and Le Madame Figaro. In terms of ISIS affiliated media, Dabiq Magazines, The Manifesto by Al Khannssaa Brigade were analysed, while the self-representations of the female sympathisers of ISIS comes from the tweets of posters in Twitter who have declared themselves as female and whose tweets indicate that they are advocates of the ideologies of ISIS. The representations analysed in the global media include women as young learners, women as mothers and women as wives. In the ISIS affiliated media, themes analysed include women as muhajirahs, women as ISIS wives, women as slaves, women as educators and women as learners. In the tweets, the themes discussed are women as members of the ISIS family, women as soldiers, women as wives, women as keyboard warriors, veiled and modest women and young women. Complementing and contesting discourses found across the media were also discussed. Hopefully by viewing gender through multiple lenses, this paper intends to pave the way for an examination of gender and terrorism that explores the complexities of representations.


Neumann, P. R. (2016). Radicalized: new jihadists and the threat to the West. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Sjoberg, L., & Gentry, C. E. (2008). Reduced to bad sex: Narratives of violent women from the bible to the war on terror. International Relations, 22(1), 5-23.

Sjoberg, L., & Gentry, C. E. (Eds.). (2011). Women, gender, and terrorism. University of Georgia Press.

Wodak, R. (2001). The discourse-historical approach. Methods of critical discourse analysis, 1, 63-94.

Wodak, R. (2009). Discursive construction of national identity. Edinburgh University Press.

154 | Nouf Alotaibi

Intertextuality in the discourse of #EndMaleGuardianshipSystem campaign on Twitter

In 2016, a group of (largely female) activists in Saudi Arabia started an online campaign with the hashtag #EndMaleGuardianshipSystem, particularly on Twitter. Under the male guardianship system (MGS), a Saudi woman must have a male guardian (one of her close male relatives) provide written consent for her to participate in a wide variety of activities, e.g. applying for official documents. The MGS is not enforced by the judiciary or royal decree, but instead through Saudi Arabia’s powerful religious tier in the 1980s. Although Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy with extremely strong ideological forces at play, Gramsci’s work on the post-war capitalist state has provided a sufficient understanding of Saudi society; namely, there is a role for hegemony and cultural-ideological consent as largely realised through religious ideology. The Gramscian concept of hegemony (1971) is proposed to denote the maintenance of power over a certain social group by means of a dominant ideology. He explained that the ruling classes use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. Thus, they rely heavily on discourse that carries certain ideologies conducive to the maintenance of existing power relations in order to become dominant, mainstream and accepted as ‘normal.’ At the discursive level, the hegemonic struggle is carried within the discourse practice itself, i.e. in its reproduction. The #EMGS campaign is considered as a counter-hegemony movement. In that, the MGS has become hegemonic in Saudi society, i.e. a system whose widespread acceptance ensures the maintenance of a powerful social patriarchy and gender inequality; the #EMGS campaign aims to disrupt that power asymmetry and contests the ideological consensus on which it rests. In a conservative society, the campaign has unsurprisingly attracted considerable opposition, leading to some highly charged debates in which women and their position in Saudi society have been placed in the spotlight. This paper focuses on two groups: (i) campaigners against the MGS (the anti-MGS) who raise the breakdown in the social order and in norms; (ii) campaigners supporting the MGS (the pro-MGS) who disregard all disruptive forms of the ‘normal.’ It investigates how they draw on voices, texts and practices which were used to support the main arguments on each side of this debate, as well as to construe social relations of power and solidarity by means of the relations, values and roles associated with those ‘borrowed’ practices. The Farrelly’s (2019) analytical framework of intertextuality, linked to Fairclough's (1992, 2003) concept analysing interdiscursivity was applied to two intertextual sub-corpora that were extracted from the two Twitter corpora (anti- and pro-MGS) because they exhibited intertextuality. The analysis of intertextual references in Twitter indicated that the #EMGS discourse is truly heteroglossic. In addition, these references helped texture arguments which drew liberally on religious and political discourses in particular, with men being the dominant source of these intertextual voices. One of the interesting findings is that the anti-MGS sub-corpora intertextualised female producers of religious discourses, whereas female producers were never intertextualised in the pro-MGS sub-corpora. This perhaps reflects the ideology of male dominance across the arguments of the pro-MGS.


Fairclough, N., (1992). Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press

Fairclough, N., (2003). Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge.

Farrelly, M., (2019). Rethinking Intertextuality in CDA. Critical Discourse Studies.

Fraser, N., (1995). From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemmas of Justice in a ‘Post-Socialist’ Age. New Left Review. (212):68–93.

Gramsci, A., (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks. New York: International Publishers.

184 | Beatriz Hermida Ramos

“One Day We Will Be Free”: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Gender, Queerness and Identity in Joanna Russ’ 1975 The Female Man

In the last century, the intersection between language and what has been historically defined as ‘the margins’ has been explored by a myriad of academic disciplines. For instance, feminist and critical circles (Lorde, 2017) have been concerned with the exploration of both literature and storytelling as potential survival strategies against systemic forms of violence in that they “collectivize[s] resistance and agency” (Ozkazanc-Pan, 2018). Another research area that has examined these notions is third wave sociolinguistics, as it focuses on the links between discourse, othered identities and society within the context of forms of vertical forms of violence and control.

In particular, this research paper is concerned with how subaltern (Spivak 1988) gender and sexual identities are represented linguistically in the context of multiaxial systems of power such as capitalism, white supremacy and the cisheteropatriarchy. Specifically, it explores the effects and discursive construal of these categories, which requires a political and critical understanding of language and discourse such as the one offered by Critical Discourse Analysis (henceforth CDA). While each methodological branch of CDA differs in its approach and object of study, almost all of them seem to coincide in their consideration of discourse as ‘social practice’ as well as in its potential to reproduce, negotiate and even challenge systems of power (van Dijk 2009).

Given the need to further the existing research on the discursive representation and positioning of marginalized gender and sexual identities, this paper will be dealing with the portrayal of desire and gender in a particular text, which is Joanna Russ’ 1975 science fiction award winning novel The Female Man. This direction of focus and scope can also be seen as a direct result of the lack of scholarship that covers the intersection between CDA, literature — a gap that is more obvious when looking at science fiction specifically — and feminist and queer studies. Although there is a growing body of research that combines gender studies and CDA (Lazar 2014) or queer theories and CDA (Queen 2014), these works tend to deal with naturally occurring language as their primary source — even if there are disciplines, such as Critical Stylistics (Fowler 1996), that argue in favor of the value of applying linguistic analysis to literary texts.

Thus, it can be said that there are two gaps this research paper wishes to address: the first one in the general context of CDA and the second one within Russ’ work. In particular, it intends to explore the intersections of language, marginalized gender and sexual identities and power by focusing on how said desire, sexual orientations and gender are represented through discourse in a cisheteronormative and patriarchal context.

To do so, this article will be relying upon lexical choices and self-definition strategies, as they seem to have issues of language, identity and control at their core.

Fowler, R. (1996). Studying Literature as Language. In J. J. Weber, The Stylistics Reader: From Roman Jakobson to the Present (196-205). London: Arnold.

Lazar, M. (2014). Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Relevance for Current Gender. In S. Ehrlich et al. The Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality (180-201). London: Blackwell.

Lorde, A. (2017). Your Silence Will Not Protect You. London: Silver Press.

Ozkazanc-Pan, B. (2018). On Agency and Empowerment in a #MeToo World. Gender, Work and Organization, 1(9), 1212-1220.

Queen, R. (2014). Language and Sexual Identities. In S. Ehrlich et al. The Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality: Second Edition (203-219). London: Blackwell.

Russ, J. (1975). The Female Man. New York: Bantam Books.

Van Dijk, T. (2009). Discurso y Poder. Gedisa Editorial.

192 | Nik Soffiya Nik Mat

Discursive representation of women in discourses of female circumcision in Malaysia

Female circumcision, which is also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female genital cutting (FGC), is a common practice among the Malay-Muslims in Malaysia. This norm has been challenged by many especially the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO) due to some risks of harm. In this paper, I examine how the affected women are discursively represented in Malaysian news discourse of female circumcision and how the affected women represent themselves and their actions in their narrative accounts on female circumcision in focus group discussions.

Using van Leeuwen’s Social Actor Approach (2008) and Discourse-Historical Approach (Wodak, 2015), I specifically analyse 55 Malaysian mainstream and alternative online news texts from the year 2016 to 2020 and four focus group discussions with some Malay-Muslim women. The analysis begins with macro-topics related to the self/other representation, followed by in-depth textual analysis of their discursive strategies of self/other representation.

Findings revealed five broad themes in the given context, namely, culture, gender, health, human rights, and religion. Authoritative figures including government-related individuals are activated as primary social actors in online news media whereas women and girls are passivated and mostly stripped off their agency. The affected women and girls are assigned the “victim” role in online news media although the affected women mostly do not view themselves as victims based on their personal narratives. The removal of agency in the affected women’s roles through passivation and aggregation and other-imposed representation of victimhood disregard their personal situations and lived realities. It dismisses the circumstances the women are in and the actions they take to endure and manage their lived realities.


Van Leeuwen, T. (2008). Discourse and practice: New tools for critical discourse analysis [E-book]. Oxford University Press.

Wodak, R. (2015). Critical discourse analysis, discourse-historical approach. In K. Tracy (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction: Vol. I (1st ed., pp. 275–287). Wiley-Blackwell.

197 | Maria Fano Gonzalez

A comparative corpus-informed feminist critical discourse analysis: male singers’ vs female singers’ representations of gender

In the last decade the number of reggaeton listeners has increased, and with it, the criticism of the content on reggaeton songs because of its sexists stereotyped gender roles which contribute to gender inequalities that could lead to gender violence and sexual violence (Noa-Calla, 2018; Urdaneta-Garcia, 2010; Basagoiti and Ramos, 2006). In addition, recent studies have revealed that women are dehumanised in these songs which may invite hatred towards women (Pontrandolfo, 2020; Hellín-García, 2021). For years, reggaeton has been a male dominated industry, allowing male discourses to define the gender roles in reggaeton. However, recently, a new wave of feminist reggaeton proclaimed by an increasing number of female singers has started to impact this music genre as a reaction to the normative reggaeton discourse (Hagner, 2019). As reggaeton can reach a number of people and influences gender norms and roles by ‘mirroring the society in which it is produced and being a component […] influencing the society in question’ (Boman, 2012:5), it is important to unveil these discourses so that inequality and discrimination in gender roles in reggaeton songs can be challenged and reduced. I analyse a corpus of songs written by female singers and compare them to a corpus of male singer songs, to test whether female singers adhere to the normative stereotypes in reggaeton, or they introduce new topics to challenge and change these discourses. This paper implements a corpus-informed critical discourse analysis of the 200 most listened reggaeton songs in 2021. After identifying key features in the two different corpora, Fairclough’s (1995) three-dimensional approach is used to uncover ideological constructions of the gender roles and stereotypes in songs written by male and female singers. Findings indicate that male singer discourse focuses on women, and they use the women’s role to proclaim their masculinity as previous literature suggested (Galluci, 2008). Conversely, female singers concentrate on themselves, deviate from normative gender roles and the traditional reggaeton discourse produced by male singers and reclaim their own space and story. This comparison illustrates the social biases shown when portraying gender roles in these songs and aims to unveil these ideologies in order to impact our social practices and enable gender equality.


Basagoiti-Elosu N. and Ramos-Constenla M. (2006) ‘Reggaetón: ¿apología de la violencia de género?’ in Corporación Ágora. Violencia contra las mujeres. Córdoba, 9th-11th, March 2006.

Boman, T. (2012) Among Superior Pleasers and Heartbreaking Seductresses. M.A. thesis. Lunds Universitet.

Gallucci, M. J. (2008) ‘Análisis de la imagen de la mujer en el discurso del reggaeton’ in Opción, 24(55) pp. 84-100.

Hagner, J. (2019) ¿Fiera salvaje o flan de coco? - un estudio sobre la construcción metafórica de género en letras de reguetón común y feminista. M.A. Thesis. Lunds Universirtet. Hellín-García, M. J. (2021) ‘It all comes down to sex: Metaphorical animalisation in reggaeton discourse.’ In Crespo-Fernández, E. (ed.) Discourse Studies in Public Communication. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp.152-176.

Noa-Calla, K. D. (2018) El reggaetón y violencia contra la mujer en la asociación Juventud Emprendedora para el Desarrollo e innovación. Tesis de licenciatura. Universidad de Puno. [Online] [Accessed on 25th May 2021]

Pontrandolfo, G. (2020) ‘De tu cuerpo me hago dueño / Tú eres el mío y yo soy tu sueño. The discursive construction of women in Maluma’s lyrics: a corpus-assisted critical discourse study.’ Discurso y Sociedad, 14(4) pp. 930-969.

Urdaneta García, M. (2010) ‘El reggaetón, invitación al sexo. Análisis lingüístico’ Temas de Comunicación, 20, pp. 141-160.

199 | Mashael Althobiti

A comparison of the social stereotypes of Saudi women in British and Saudi media in the context of newly obtained women's rights

Recently, the subject of Saudi women’s rights has become heavily debated within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, receiving a great deal of attention from media outside the country as well. Even though there are studies that investigated Saudi women representation in media (Al-Hejin, 2015; Bashatah, 2017; Brown & Richards, 2016; Elyas et al., 2020), less attention has been paid to comparative studies that could point out to the stereotypical representations of Saudi women which will be investigated in this study. This study explores comparatively the representations of Saudi women in British and Saudi newspapers from 25 April 2016 to 25 April 2020; it focuses on two major topics: allowing Saudi women to drive and travel freely. A total of 25 articles were retrieved from three news sources AL Riyadh, The Guardian, and The Times. Adopting van Leeuwen’s social actor approach and NVivo, the articles were analysed to reveal dominant patterns in representations of Saudi women and to assess the extent to which they are underlined by stereotypical views and perceptions. The results show that British media coverage mostly utilised the activated foregrounded inclusion, unlike the Saudi articles which used the activated backgrounded inclusion. Combining the activated inclusion results shows that it is the most used kind of inclusion in all the data sets. Most of the articles tend to represent Saudi women as a beneficiary, which is a passivized way of inclusion. Moreover, one of the distinct results shows that Saudi women are represented by referring to their names and function or job. This way of representing women has the impact of showing the active roles these women play in their society and how they are empowered. British newspapers use semi-formalisation nomination to refer to Saudi women, while the Saudi articles implemented nomination. Functionalisation, on the other hand, was only used in the Saudi articles which reveal several Saudi women who have a high position in Saudi Arabia. Unlike the old stereotypes of Saudi women in western media (Al-Malki et al., 2012; Eltantawy, 2013;), the data reveal that to some extent Saudi women were presented as active, and receivers, whereas there are some mentions of rights activism, protests in the British data.


Al-Hejin, B. (2015). Covering Muslim women: Semantic macrostructures in BBC news. Discourse & Communication, 9(1), 19-46. doi:10.1177/1750481314555262Al-Malki A et al. (2012) Arab Women in Arab News: Old Stereotypes and New Media. Doha, Qatar: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing.

Bashatah, N. (2017). Framing analysis of British newspaper representation of Saudi women from 2005- 2013 [Doctoral dissertation].

Brown, L., & Richards, B. (2016). Media representations of Islam in Britain: A sojourner perspective. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 36(3), 350-363. doi:10.1080/13602004.2016.1216627

Elyas, T., Al-Zhrani, K., Mujaddadi, A., & Almohammadi, A. (2020). The representation(s) of Saudi women pre-driving era in local newspapers and magazines: A critical discourse analysis. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 1-20.

Eltantawy N (2013) From veiling to blogging: Women and media in the Middle East. Feminist Media Studies 13(5): 765–769.

van Leeuwen, T. (2008). Discourse and practice: New tools for critical discourse analysis. Oxford University Press.

201 | Johnny Unger & Jessica Aiston

“Just because you’re they”: Researcher normativity in the face of conflicting claims of marginalisation in digitally mediated contexts

Scholars in critical discourse studies (CDS) address social wrongs and highlight power imbalances from an explicitly normative perspective, and generally see themselves as positioning themselves on the side of oppressed groups (Fairclough and Wodak 1997:259). In some cases, we take action (such as producing guidelines or giving expert evidence) to support these groups via what Reisigl and Wodak (2016) call prospective critique. However, some polarised social issues and debates, particularly in digital media, present challenges to how researchers handle claims of normative rightness/morality, and thereby how we seek to “intervene”.

In this paper we examine digitally mediated debates between trans rights activists and self-described gender critical feminists, who have frequently clashed in recent years (Pearce et al., 2020). In the context of the current backlash against transgender rights and ongoing severe marginalisation of and violence against trans people in the UK and elsewhere, and claims that trans women are not women, there are regularly counter-claims that cisgender women are facing oppression and erasure due to trans women being able to identify as women in official documentation, trans women’s access to women’s bathrooms, the use of gender-neutral language in healthcare settings and “de-platforming” of gender critical speakers at events (Pearce et al., 2020). Both “sides” of the debates therefore use claims of marginalisation as a discursive strategy. Unlike some of the demonstrably false claims of marginalisation in other contexts studied by CDS scholars (e.g. right-wing populist politicians claiming that white men are an oppressed minority in Wodak, 2020), it is true that women (including trans women) have faced and continue to face real marginalisation and oppression in most social contexts, even if trans women are not the source of this oppression.

We apply Unger et al.’s (2021) framework for digitally mediated CDS to present two case studies drawn from recent Twitter controversies relating to trans rights issues. We use a small sample of tweets by author Margaret Atwood and singer-activist Billy Bragg, and responses to those tweets, in order to qualitatively investigate how social media users express a range of more or less polarised or nuanced views around gender-based rights and justify their ideological positions. We examine argumentative and other discourse strategies (Reisigl and Wodak, 2016) used by the celebrities themselves and the Twitter users arguing with them and each other to show how different ideological positions are represented in digitally mediated discourse. We then use these findings to reflect on our own position as cisgender researchers navigating this normative space, and present suggestions for how normativity and prospective critique can be managed in this and similar contexts.

Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. A. Van Dijk (Ed.), Discourse as social interaction (pp. 258-284). London: Sage

Pearce, R., Erikainen, S., & Vincent, B. (2020). TERF wars: An introduction. The Sociological Review 68 (4): 677-698.

Reisigl, M. & Ruth W. (2016). The Discourse-Historical Approach. In R. Wodak & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of Critical Discourse Studies (3rd edn.) (pp. 23–61). London: Sage.

Unger, J. W., Wodak, R., & KhosraviNik, M. (2021). Critical discourse studies and social media data. In D. Silverman (ed.), Qualitative research (5th ed) (pp 263-282). London: Sage.

Wodak, R. (2020) The Politics of Fear. London: Sage.

215 | Germán Canale

The Fabrication of a Polemic: Gender and Sexuality Guidebooks and Anti-Gender Discourse in the News

In Uruguay, recent social, cultural and legislative changes have called for the introduction of issues of gender, sexuality and heternormativity in the school curriculum. For this purpose, several textbooks and guidebooks for teaching Gender and Sexuality Education have been released during the three left-wing governments (2005-2019). These educational media, however, were met with heavy criticism by different groups who fight over the il/legitimacy of gender and sexuality as official knowledge (Apple, 2014) in the school curriculum.

Drawing on Critical Discourse Analysis and the notion of discursive strategy (Wodak, 2015), in this presentation I analyze a polemic event which was mediatized in national (digital) news: the release of a State-sponsored teacher guidebook for primary education. The analysis of a corpus of 15 news items –published in online newspapers and digital news portals during the first month after the release of the guidebook-- shows how news discourse thematized negative reactions to this guidebook rather than its actual release (turning potential ‘news reports’ into actual ‘issues stories’ or ‘issues reports’, Economou, 2009; White, 1998). In so doing, a ‘polemic’ around this guidebook was discursively fabricated. In particular, I analyze how --through the discursive strategies of victimization, self-representation and silencing-- the voices of politicians, religious leaders, conservative and anti-gender movements reported in news discourse construe this teacher guidebook as unconstitutional, discriminatory and as a tool for indoctrination into the so-called “gender ideology”. In managing these voices, the news reproduce –or at least contribute to the circulation of-- anti-gender discourse, attacking the guidebook but, more implicitly, attacking gender and sexuality rights. Findings contribute to our understanding of the current backlash against gender and sexuality rights and education (Corrêa, 2020; Patternote & Kuhar, 2017). They also point to how this backlash fuels an ideological struggle between conservative and progressive views of education.


Apple, M. W. (2014). Official Knowledge. Democratic Education in a Conservative Age. Routledge.

Corrêa, S. (2020). (Ed.) Anti-Gender Politics in Latin America. Country Case Studies Summaries. Rio de Janeiro: G&PAL.

Economou, D. (2009). Photos in the News: appraisal analysis of visual semiosis and verbal-visual intersemiosis. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Sydney.

Patternote, D. & Kuhar, R. (2017). “Gender ideology” in movement: Introduction. In D. Patternote & R. Kuhar (Eds.) Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe. Mobilizing against Equality (pp. 1-22). London and New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield.

White, P.R.R. (1998). Telling Media Tales: the news story as rhetoric. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Sydney.,%201998,%20Telling%20Media%20Tales%20(unpublished%20PhD).pdf

Wodak, R. (2015). The Politics of Fear. What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean. London / Los Angeles: Sage.

231 | Irene Madfes

Harassment narratives on Instagram. From victimization to empowerment

In Uruguay in 2020 a wave of complaints made by a significant number of women through the social network Instagram, revealed through stories of various kinds experiences of harassment, abuse of power and rape, showing a pattern of structural and sexist violence in many cultural, university, high school, labor, political, etc. environments. This recovery of agency by women who reject their victim status shows the repudiation of behaviors of subjugation (Dworkin 1976). while staging the discursive fact of harassment (Lamas 2018) through media denunciation. This constitutes a way to combat the linguistic vulnerability (Butler 1997) they present in their narratives. Social networks have allowed an increase in the recontextualization of events in which in different ways aggression towards women is expressed and the access of a large number of people to these narratives.

It is interesting to specify the current "discursive fact" about harassment (Lamas). Why can we speak of a discursive fact? "putting sex into discourse" (Foucault 2002:13): never before have women had so many opportunities to publicly tell or retell the violence to which they have been subjected. These denunciations are usually based on common narratives or short narratives (Georgakopoulou 2010) in the form of discursive strategies (Wodak 2001) that exhibit processes related to the construction/recovery of a social/personal/gender identity. As I will try to show, one way to understand these allegations that present varied forms of harassment and violence to such a wide audience is to treat them as recontextualizations

For the purposes of this research I have conducted, in 1st place a survey of the collectives (15), each collective being the subject of different narratives and presenting very dissimilar narrative modalities and topics.

Given the large number of groups and their corresponding narratives (300 complaints), I have chosen to start from gender harassment, which consists of treating a different woman with sexist remarks or behavior (Hirigoyen 1998), which has allowed me to delimit a small number of institutional groups in which discursive practices linked to sexism, both direct and indirect, prevail.

In this way, in the first instance, the determination of the discursive strategies that mark on the one hand the in-group, men, and on the other hand, the out-group, women, pointing out polarized events in which sexist strategies of minimization and dissimulation are used, as well as beliefs, attributes and practices belonging to the out-group are rejected. Thus, it could be specifically determined to what extent their sexual prerogatives are privileged and protected at the expense of their sexual autonomy.

It can be said that dominant discourses fabricate categories, hierarchies and thus exclusions: Cameron calls this the "institutional coerciveness" of social situations.

Therefore, the analysis of these narratives allows for a fine-tuned observation of both current and past control of access to enunciation. This change in enunciative entitlement is articulated with the possibility of eliminating the elaboration of a network of discursive practices used to represent women as deficient and in need of assistance (Coate and Wade 2007).

In the 74 narratives studied, the deliberate nature of the violent acts is highlighted, particularly the strategic efforts of the offenders to silence, undermine the resistance of the victims. But, on the other hand, having reached the public sphere, it allows these narratives to become challenges to the various forms of gender-based violence.

In other words, the structural inequalities that give one group privileged access to social power, discursive space and other social benefits need to be addressed.

234 | Manuela Romano

New Transforming Frames for New feminisms: A Critical, Socio-Cognitive Account

Based on Critical and Socio-Cognitive approaches to metaphor (Charteris-Black 2013; Hart 2014; Soares da Silva et al. 2017) and protest discourse (Montesano & Morales 2014; Pujante & Morales 2013; Romano & Porto 2018), as well as on Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (Author 2021; Ehrlich et al. 2014; Lazar 2005; Molpeceras & Filardo 2020; Wodak 2008), this paper unravels the discursive strategies deployed by new feminist movements -Feminism 4.0., Feminism for the 99%- (Arruzza et al. 2019; Chamberlain 2017; Requena 2020) in the transformation of the traditional discourse of violence and fear into a new one of solidarity and hope when addressing their claims in relation to gender violence.

The study analyses the slogans created for banners and hashtags in recent feminist rallies taking place in Spain from 2017 to 2020. More specifically, it examines 57 lemmas denouncing sexual violence and urging for the sexual independence and enjoyment of women. Within this dataset, the theoretical concepts of (re)appropriation, recontextualization and (multimodal) metaphorical creativity (Forceville & Uirós-Aparisi 2009; Kövecses 2015, 2020; Linell 2002; Semino et al. 2013; Steen 2014) have proven particularly useful in the explanation of the evolution of the term manada (wolfpack); a concept used by feminists not only to call attention to gender violence but, most importantly, to create a positive ingroup identity of sorority and empowerment, while delegitimizing and dispossessing the outer group, rapers and patriarchal institutions of their power.

In short, this work shows the direct relationship between the new creative discourse deployed by feminists and its transforming capacity, as the slogans analyzed are clearly contributing to change the cognitive and social frames of Spanish women from passive victims of gender violence and to active, outraged citizens fighting ‘loud and noisily’ (Cooper et al. 2020) while enhancing the construction of new social structures.


Arruzza, C., Bhattacharya, T. & Fraser, N. (2019). Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto. London/New York: Verso.

Chamberlain P. (2017) The feminist fourth wave. Basingstoke/New York. Palgrave Macmillan.

Cooper, B., Tanner, Ch. & Morris, C. (2020). Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Ehrlich, S. & Meyerhoff, M. (2014). Introduction: Language, gender, and sexuality. In Ehrlich, S., Meyerhoff, M. & Holmes, J. (Eds.), The Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality, 21–42. Oxford: Blackwell.

Forceville, C., & Uriós-Aparisi, E. (Eds.). (2009). Multimodal metaphor. De Mouton Gruyter, Berlin.

Hart, C. (2014). Discourse, grammar and ideology. Functional and cognitive perspectives. London: Bloomsbury.

Kövecses, Z. (2020). Extended conceptual metaphor theory. Cambridge/New York. Cambridge University Press.

Molpeceres Arnáiz, S. & Filardo-Llamas, L. (2020). Llamamientos feministas en Twitter: ideología, identidad colectiva y reenmarcado de símbolos en la huelga del 8M y la manifestación contra la sentencia de 'La Manada'. Digitos 6, 55-78.

Montesano, N. & Morales, E. (2014). Multimodal narrative as an instrument for social change: Reinventing democracy in Spain -the case of 15M. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines (CADAAD) 7, 200-221.

Requena, A. (2020). Feminismo Vibrante. Si no hay Placer no es Nuestra Revolución. Barcelona: Roca Editorial.

Wodak, R. (2008). Controversial issues in feminist critical discourse analysis. In Harrington, K., Litosseliti, L., Sauntson, H. & Sunderland, J. (Eds.), Gender and Language Research Methodologies, 193-210. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

268 | Evelin Nikolova

Resisting discrimination against sex workers: a Critical Discourse Analysis of comments on YouTube

Discourses surrounding sex work can be conceptualised in terms of a continuum with various views ranging from understandings of sex work as a form of male domination and violence against women to understandings that take it as a legitimate work. As such, sex work is often discussed in highly polarised terms (e.g. regarding its legal status, entry motivations, sex workers’ agency, etc.) (Weitzer, 2012). YouTube is a digital environment where the general public often engages in debates and/or language aggression about such controversial issues (Bou-Franch and Garcés-Conejos Blitvich 2014a, b). However, little is known about the ways in which sex work is talked about in such digital environments and linguistic research on the topic is rather scarce. In light of the above, adopting a Critical Discourse Analysis perspective, this chapter seeks to examine how YouTube users challenge discriminatory discourses about sex work. The linguistic data under analysis are taken from YouTube users’ comments posted under the video ‘Things not to Say to a sex worker” which is published on the channel of BBC Three and features sex workers who reflect on their job. The focus of my analysis is on the lexicogrammatical choices and discursive strategies that YouTube users employ in resisting negative stereotypical representations of sex work/workers.

315 | Maria-Magdalena Barascu

News Values in Violence against Women news media reports: A comparative case study – reporting on the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall

This article critically examines two digital-native news organisations, RTVE from Spain and DR from Denmark and explores how journalists use news values in their reports on the murder of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall. Drawing a qualitative analysis, I scrutinise the textual and visual elements of news delivered by the two public digital channels.

My main two objectives in this study are to examine what news values RTVE and DR journalists use and how they use NV when reporting events involving Violence against Women, with a particular focus on the news reports related to the murder of the Swedish journalist and to explore the impact media guidelines have on how to report on Violence against Women on RTVE and DR.

In this paper, I analyse the way media outlets discursively represent Kim Wall murder case on the digital channels of the Danish and Spanish public broadcasters. By identifying the news values used to portray female victim Kim Wall, I compare the treatment these websites gave to the victim and how reporters used NV to construct the image of the female victim.

The current study aims to establish a baseline picture of the extent and nature of reporting on violence against women (VAW) comparing how two digital newsrooms media guidelines impact on representations of violence against women. I answer the research questions How do digital reporters of RTVE and DR use News Values to discursively represent VAW in their news media reports related to the murder of journalist Kim Wall? and How are these values constructed linguistically and visually?

This research draws upon Bednarek and Caple’s discursive news values analysis (DNVA) framework to examine what news values RTVE and DR journalists use and how they use NV when reporting events involving violence against women, with a particular focus on the reports related to the murder of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall. Besides, the present research contributes a cross-cultural study of VAW digital media discourse by harmonising DNVA, content and thematic analysis in order to explore how gender related identities are built across socio-cultural and linguistic contexts, and therefore taking the opportunity to apply DNVA framework to news in different languages and cultures (Caple/Huan/Bednarek 2020: 14, Bednarek/Caple 2017: 137).

To add qualitative data to this analysis, eight in-depth interviews were conducted with professionals from five interest groups: international media professionals, investigative journalists reporting on VAW, journalism professors, independent journalists, and media consultants.

This research furthers our understanding of the journalistic strategies, techniques and codes of ethics employed by two important public digital channels, as well as the interrelationship between discourses in two important newsrooms in western Europe.


Bednarek, M. and Caple, H. 2012. ‘Value added’: Language, image and news

values. Discourse, Context & Media, 1(2-3).

Bednarek, M. and Caple, H. 2014. Why do news values matter? Towards a new

methodological framework for analysing news discourse in Critical Discourse Analysis and beyond. Discourse & Society, 25(2).

Bednarek, M. and Caple, H. 2017. The Discourse of News Values: How News

Organizations Create Newsworthiness. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bell, A. 1991. The Language of News Media. Oxford: Blackwell.

Bell, A. 1998. The Discourse Structure of News Stories. In: A. Bell and P. Garret,

ed., Approaches to Media Discourse. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Caple, H. and Bednarek, M. 2016. Rethinking news values: What discursive approach can tell us about the construction of news discourse and news photography. Journalism, 17(4).

Caple, Helen / Changpeng Huan / Monika Bednarek. 2020. Multimodal News Analysis Across Cultures. Cambridge: CUP.