Master of Arts
Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media
Kelly Concannon, Ph.D.
Janine Morris, Ph.D.
Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D.
Paying attention to anti-LGBTQ rhetoric circulating on social media in Fall 2022, this thesis situates political rhetoric on Twitter, by analyzing the use of the hashtag #okgroomer. This hashtag, a corruption of the popular phrase “ok, boomer,” has been used to show contempt on social media by equating left-wing ideologies to pedophilia. Informed by gender critical theory, this work espouses the idea that #okgroomer is constructed as a post-truth ideal aided by the mythos that queer people are dangerous to children. To study #okgroomer, this thesis employs a critical technical discourse analysis informed by ecological scholarship to a case study of the hashtag over two weeks on Twitter. Findings from the analysis reveal that okay groomer has a variety of rhetorical implications in the arena of Twitter. These findings reveal that #okgroomer is often utilized to deflect criticism aimed at conservative figureheads or ideologies, #okgroomer is used to response to criticize multimedia and pop culture and also serves to accentuate the dichotomy between the “everyday blue collar American” and “Hollywood Elite”, and finally, #okgroomer is reclaimed by liberal accounts to criticize conservatives. Additionally, this thesis attempts to trace how the hashtag relates to topics such as Stochastic Terrorism, and how the queer=groomer paradigm has implications for offline violence. This work may be a pertinent site of interest for scholars invested in political rhetoric, queer studies, and digital rhetoric, as well as those with vested interest in the political flashpoint the queer community has become in modern American Politics.
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Adit R. Selvaraj. 2023. "OK, Groomer" :(Post) Truth Rhetoric and Transphobia. Master's thesis. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, . (138)
American Politics Commons, Critical and Cultural Studies Commons, Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication Commons, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Commons, Rhetoric and Composition Commons, Social Influence and Political Communication Commons, Social Justice Commons, Speech and Rhetorical Studies Commons