Effeminate Speech on New Media: @HillaryClinton's Public Intimacy through Relational Labor

Flemming Schneider Rhode, Tisha Dejmanee


New media platforms enable new forms of the feminine style. For political candidates, these media may be used strategically to enact unique forms of public intimacy influenced by the norms of relational labor and self-disclosure that govern social media. These arguments are illustrated through a case study of Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account, which shows that she is able to use the political feminine style to great effect by softening her image through digital intimacy and interactivity while still preserving elements of her traditional forensic style. In this way, Clinton enacts a second-wave feminist persona that is substantively political without being seen as extreme or strident. This case study informs how female political candidates can strategically enact femininity.


Relational labor, public intimacy, gender, political communication, Hillary Clinton

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