Narrative struggles in online arenas: the Facebook feminist sex wars on the Israeli sex industry

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Abstract

In this article, I analyze the role of the Israeli online arena in attempts to challenge attitudes toward sex work and the sex industry. By exploring the short history of the “feminist sex wars” that are being conducted on public feminist Facebook pages, I ask whether online activism can really avoid being drawn into the realm of conventional offline politics. The article argues that while the various Facebook pages aimed to alter the landscape of political and public discourse around sex work and the sex industry, they were in fact sucked into the vortex of the existing public discourse surrounding sex work in Israel, forcing them to choose sides in the dialectic sex wars. I conclude that they nonetheless succeeded in establishing a “narrative of influence” which should be analyzed beyond the disappointment of specific policy outcomes. Online activism thus becomes a key platform for both the construction and contestation between different narratives within the sex industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-800
Number of pages17
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Feminist sex wars
  • feminist activism
  • sex work policy
  • social media

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