To Feel or Not to Feel: Dissociative Feminism and Modalities of Unfeeling in 21st-Century Literary Fiction

Abstract

The term ‘dissociative feminism’ can be traced back to Emmeline Clein’s 2019 article for Buzzfeed News, ‘The Smartest Women I Know Are All Dissociating’. In it, Clein describes a new affective tone which shifts from the declarative protestations of ‘girlboss feminists’ to detached, flat descriptions of ‘overtly horrifying facts’ which comprise the everyday existence of women today. Abuse, depression, and burnout are all treated with a ‘so what?’ attitude. In addition to a generally marked dispassion, many argue that this emerging archetype ‘glamourizes her own destruction’ to the point that she knowingly engages in self-interested, fatalistic behaviours, only to scoff in the face of the subsequent fallout. The dissociative feminist deems emotional reactivity trite; she is ‘aware that woundedness” is overdone and overrated’.

Keywords

feminism, dissociative, contemporary literature, post-wounded, luster, Raven Leilani, Otessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation

How to Cite

Miki, C., (2022) “To Feel or Not to Feel: Dissociative Feminism and Modalities of Unfeeling in 21st-Century Literary Fiction”, Moveable Type 14(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.1755-4527.131

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Authors

Cleo Miki (University of Edinburgh)

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  • To Feel or Not to Feel: Dissociative Feminism and Modalities of Unfeeling in 21st-Century Literary Fiction: 4254b57a60ae4556480f63d4cb9bd178