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
If, as bell hooks writes, “feminism is for everybody,” postfeminism is in many ways antithetical to the notion of an open society in which all members are valued in accordance with their distinct identities.3 Postfeminist culture's ...
In articulating rapid transformations, the makeover format works to suggest that “taste and lifestyle preference are much more important elements of identity than ethnicity, class, or regional ties could ever be.
As evidenced by Anita Harris's recent edited volume All about the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity and Mary Celeste Kearney's Girls Make Media, scholarly interest in girls and culture continues to generate important interventions.
... feminist scholarship).47 Stripped of its original confrontational political agenda, queerness can be effectively co-opted through a rhetoric of choice such that sexual identity is primarily expressed through consumption practices.
It makes regular use of gay male identities, as Steven Cohan's discussion of authoritative queerness in lifestyle ... questioning whether identity politics inevitably generates a politics of the self, culminating in the “self as ...
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