Banning “braingasm”: an investigation of misogynistic politics in 8Chan’s, U.S. platforms’ and CCP’s regulation of ASMR

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Abstract

This article analyses a global attack on ASMR women producers who produce “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” videos initiated by 8Chan, U.S. platforms and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). We consider ASMR as a form of feminine labour that employs bodily and sensory effects to generate affective pleasures, and it troubles boundaries and expectations about women’s social positions. The very fact that such labour became the target of 8Chan men, deemed as a risk to creditor policies and was subjected to a national blanket ban raises the question of why ASMR is the target of these diverse political-economic entities. Drawing on 8Chan, U.S. platforms and CCP’s discussions around ASMR, this paper contends ASMR became the target across the two most prominent political contexts because it challenges these entities’ claimed legitimacy in excluding feminine enjoyment. Our research politicises the misogynistic aspects of regulating/deplatforming sex: the three political-economic entities’ regulation of ASMR is driven by the desire to monopolise the rights to define “correct” forms of enjoyment, to profit from enjoyment, and the rights to enjoy, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalFeminist Media Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • ASMR
  • China’s censorship
  • deplatforming sex
  • Feminine labour
  • online misogyny

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