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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... that define postfeminism and its characteristic assumption that the themes , pleasures , values , and lifestyles with which it is associated are somehow universally shared and , perhaps more significant , universally accessible .
The broad imposition of a politics of lifestyle , as Imelda Whelehan has noted , " leaves many victims in its wake -- those who don't conform to its preferred images and those who are too poor to exercise ' control over their lives ...
In this context of beset contemporary femininity , it is perhaps unsurprising that so many of the contributors to this anthology draw examples from the broad categories of lifestyle programming and reality television , with several ...
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 .
Elsewhere Charlotte Brunsdon's analysis of the 8:00 to 9:00 pm slot and lifestyle programming on British television demonstrates the importance of recognizing the pleasures of being addressed by mainstream culture and the necessity of ...