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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As this example suggests, many postfeminist texts combine a deep uncertainty about existing options for women with an idealized, essentialized femininity that symbolically evades or transcends institutional and social problem spots.
In doing so, it implicitly draws strength from the anxiety of aging at work in so many of its texts. Postfeminist representational culture is, of course, acutely age conscious; a variety of “chick” fictions from Bridget Jones's Diary ...
Postfeminism is a pervasive phenomenon of both British and American popular culture, often marked by a high degree of discursive harmony evidenced in such “transit” texts as Bridget Jones's Diary, Sex and the City, I Don't Know How She ...
The essays presented here draw examples from a range of media—tele- vision, film, music, and print journalism—locating these texts within different critical and cultural contexts. We have been guided by what we regard as the necessity ...
... Like You ).40 Both the critical exclusion of texts directed specifically at African American women and the ways in which these films might work to nuance feminist accounts of contemporary popular culture are relevant here.
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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