“Swipe up to smash the patriarchy”: Instagram feminist activism and the necessity of branding the self


  • Silvia Semenzin Complutense University of Madrid, Spain




This article provides an overview of the current status of digital feminism in Western societies after the pandemic. With particular attention to its expression in the Italian realm, and by merging autoethnographical notes with existing theoretical contributions, I argue that the emerging figure of the activist-influencer is increasingly embodying the prominent form of digital feminism. Activist-influencers become the expression of the entanglement between neoliberal feminism and platform affordances that encourage self-branding and consumer activities. In so doing, digital feminism reinforces a culture of competition, individual empowerment and depoliticisation, which could be detrimental to feminist solidarity and the urgency of creating shared political agendas to implement feminist policies and push for structural socio-political changes.

Keywords: digital feminism, performative activism, post-feminism, self-branding, Instagram.



2022-06-14 — Updated on 2022-06-17