Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture
This timely collection brings feminist critique to bear on contemporary postfeminist mass media culture, analyzing phenomena ranging from action films featuring violent heroines to the “girling” of aging women in productions such as the movie Something’s Gotta Give and the British television series 10 Years Younger. Broadly defined, “postfeminism” encompasses a set of assumptions that feminism has accomplished its goals and is now a thing of the past. It presumes that women are unsatisfied with their (taken for granted) legal and social equality and can find fulfillment only through practices of transformation and empowerment. Postfeminism is defined by class, age, and racial exclusions; it is youth-obsessed and white and middle-class by default. Anchored in consumption as a strategy and leisure as a site for the production of the self, postfeminist mass media assumes that the pleasures and lifestyles with which it is associated are somehow universally shared and, perhaps more significantly, universally accessible.
Essays by feminist film, media, and literature scholars based in the United States and United Kingdom provide an array of perspectives on the social and political implications of postfeminism. Examining magazines, mainstream and independent cinema, popular music, and broadcast genres from primetime drama to reality television, contributors consider how postfeminism informs self-fashioning through makeovers and cosmetic surgery, the “metrosexual” male, the “black chick flick,” and more. Interrogating Postfeminism demonstrates not only the viability of, but also the necessity for, a powerful feminist critique of contemporary popular culture.
Contributors. Sarah Banet-Weiser, Steven Cohan, Lisa Coulthard, Anna Feigenbaum, Suzanne Leonard, Angela McRobbie, Diane Negra, Sarah Projansky, Martin Roberts, Hannah E. Sanders, Kimberly Springer, Yvonne Tasker, Sadie Wearing
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1 The limits of the kind of gender equality enacted within contemporary popular media culture are profound: they are marked by the valorization of female achievement within traditionally male working environments and the celebration of ...
19 One of postfeminism's signature discursive formulations couches the celebration of female achievement (whether on the playing field, in the concert arena, or in the boardroom) within traditionalist ideological rubrics.
Moreover the “girling” of femininity itself is evident in both the celebration of the young woman as a marker of postfeminist liberation and the continuing tendency to either ex- plicitly term or simply treat women of a variety of ages ...
... and others make clear, there is much more to feminist analysis than the celebration of pleasure or consumption, however transgressive we may feel it to be.50 In this volume, Lisa Coulthard's discussion of violence, action, ...
... lesbian lives are simultaneously fetishized and celebrated, mediated through a curious heterosexual gaze that is marked as both male and female. We are not in the business of simply celebrating icons of postfeminist culture: the ...
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Some Reflections on Postfeminist Girls and Postfeminisms Daughters
The Magic of Postfeminist Sisterhood
Adultery Boredom and the Working Girl in TwentyFirstCentury American Cinema
Feminisms Postfeminisms and Processes of Punk
Rethinking Feminism and Film Violence
8 Whats Your Flava? Race and Postfeminism in Media Culture
Governing the Self in What Not to Wear
African American Women in Postfeminist and PostCivilRights Popular Culture
Aging in Postfeminist Culture
Camp Postfeminism and the Fab Fives Makeovers of Masculinity