Those Crazy Fangirls on the Internet: Activism of Care, Disability and Fan Fiction

  • Dean Barnes Leetal Tel Aviv University


This article explores Activism of Care, a form of activism offering strategies, implementation of skills and accessibility different from those offered by traditional activism. Activism of Care suggests that activist strategies are not universal, but instead should be tailored for specific communities’ structures, skills and intersectional positionings. This paper focuses on the implementation of Activism of Care by and for neurodivergent participants in fan fiction communities on Tumblr. It demonstrates ways Activism of Care is implemented to promote destigmatization of mental illnesses, and to celebrate participants with depression, anxiety or PTSD. This article describes how Activism of Care implements elements of Care Ethics in fan fiction communities to promote social change. Emotional, literary and social structures of these communities are used to promote the rights, well-being and pleasure of neurodivergent participants. Finally, this paper provides characteristics by which to recognize or create this type of activism, alongside or as an alternative for traditional activism.