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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quently imagines femininity as a state of vitality in opposition to the symbolically deathly social and economic fields of contemporary Western cultures, and the highest-profile forms of postfeminist femininity are empowered to recharge ...
... economies, the changing cultural status of cosmetic surgery, the dissolving line between sex worker and service worker when it comes to women in the workplace, and the aggressive mainstreaming of pornography.
The necessity of feminist critique, at a time when women face significant challenges to their economic well-being, hard-won reproductive rights, and even authority to speak, while popular culture blithely assumes that gender equality is ...
... feel disenfranchised by political discourse.32 In this context, we argue that postfeminism increasingly operates as a rationale for the brutalities of the emergent “New Economies” of both the United States and the United Kingdom.
... sense of aimlessness and inertia several recent films link to women's participation in the service economy. Tracking the presence and absence of race discourses in both postfeminist representation and the scholarship on postfeminism ...
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Bridget Jones and the New Gender Regime
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