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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7 In line with this peculiarly silent visibility, postfeminism also perpetuates woman as pinup, the enduring linchpin of commercial beauty culture. In fact, it has offered new rationales for guilt-free consumerism, ...
At the same time, the low-cost superstore draws on the rhetoric of family values in its advertisements, presenting consumption as an option for women with low incomes, not just the affluent woman we have identified as the most visible ...
Near the close of the film, she will gratefully return to adolescence after having endured romantic, creative, and professional disappointment as an adult woman. As this example suggests, many postfeminist texts combine a deep ...
than willing to make use of the “angry black woman” as a type, the question of why she might be angry remains unspoken. And, as Paul Gilroy writes with respect to the domestic makeover so central to British television schedules, ...
... an idealized hometown.31 In this anthology, Suzanne Leonard explores the ramifications of class on gendered representation in the United States, taking up the figure of the “bored woman worker” in such films as The Good Girl (2002).
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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
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