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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Assuming full economic freedom for women, postfeminist culture also (even insistently) enacts the possibility that women might choose to retreat from the public world of work. Postfeminist fictions frequently set aside both evident ...
... it also anxiously raises the possible consequences of female independence, crudely: emotional isolation for women (a preoccupation that neatly sidesteps questions of women's economic instability); and loss of power for men (again, ...
12 Such dynamics, which extend gender inequities (often in the guise of opportunity and freedom), underline the necessity of a feminist critique that is cognizant of the economic context in which contemporary working lives and popular ...
Indeed, much postfeminist rhetoric is of a piece with the exhortations of the 1990s “New Economy” and the displacement of democratic imperatives by free market ones identified by Thomas Frank as “market populism.
18 Postfeminism dovetails closely with a heightened social and economic emphasis on showplace domesticity, virtuoso parenting, and technologies mobilized in the name of family cohesion. It may very well be one of the ideological ...
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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