A1 Journal article (refereed)
“F*** this shit” : Negotiating the Boundaries of Public Expression of Mother’s Negative Feelings (2021)

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

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsMustosmäki, Armi; Sihto, Tiina

Journal or seriesNora: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research



Publication year2021

Publication date08/06/2021


Issue number3

Pages range216-228

PublisherInforma UK Limited

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/76364


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.

Keywordsmaternitymothersemotionsaffectivitynewborn infantsfamily lifemessage boardsonline discussionsocial mediapublic discussionambivalencenormativity

Free keywordsaffect; celebrity; motherhood; social media

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 20:25