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 editors: Mustosmäki, Armi; Sihto, Tiina

Journal or series: Nora: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research

ISSN: 0803-8740

eISSN: 1502-394X

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 08/06/2021

Volume: 29

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 216-228

Publisher: Informa UK Limited

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08038740.2021.1921844

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially 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.

Keywords: maternity; mothers; emotions; affectivity; newborn infants; family life; message boards; online discussion; social media; public discussion; ambivalence; normativity

Free keywords: affect; celebrity; motherhood; social media

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:30