Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Post-Feminism and Popular Culture

The link to Angela McRobbie's paper on Post-Feminism and Popular Culture:


Bridget Jones' Diary

"My argument is that post-feminism positively draws on and invokes feminism as that which can be taken into account, to suggest that equality is achieved..."

"This is a movement detectable across popular culture, a site where “power … is remade at various junctures within everyday life"

"the shrill championing of young women as a “metaphor for social change” on the pages of the right wing press in the UK, in particular the Daily Mail."

Wonderbra - Eva Herzigova

"The Wonderbra advert showing the model Eva Herzigova looking down admiringly at her substantial cleavage enhanced by the lacy pyrotechnics of the Wonderbra, was through the mid-1990s positioned in major high street locations in the UK on full size billboards."

"The composition of the image had such a textbook “sexist ad” dimension that one could be forgiven for supposing some familiarity with both cultural studies and with feministcritiques of advertising (Judith Williamson 1987)."

"It was, in a sense, taking feminism into account by showing it to be a thing of the past, by provocatively “enacting sexism” while at the same time playing with those debates in film theory about women as the object of the gaze (Laura Mulvey 1975) and even with female desire (Rosalind Coward 1984;Teresa de Lauretis 1988)."

Claudia Schiffer Car Ad

"This advert appears to suggest that yes, this is a self-consciously “sexist ad,” feminist critiques of it are deliberately evoked."

"Feminism is “taken into account,” but only to be shown to be no longer necessary. Why? Because there is no exploitation here, there is nothing remotely na─▒ve about this striptease. She seems to be doing it out of choice, and for her own enjoyment; the advert works on the basis of its audience knowing Claudia to be one of the world’s most famous and highly paid supermodels."

"Once again, the shadow of disapproval is introduced (the striptease as site of female exploitation), only instantly to be dismissed as belonging to the past, to a time when feminists used to object to such imagery. "

Playboy magazine criticism

Here is an article from Journal of the History of Sexuality (May 1, 2008), which criticises Playboy's treatment of post-feminist women as being mysogynistic and disrespectful.


"If we turn attention to some of the participatory dynamics in leisure and everyday
life which see young women endorse (or else refuse to condemn) the ironic normalisation of pornography, where they indicate their approval of and desire to be pin up girls for the centrefolds of the soft porn “lad mags"

"we are witness to a hyper-culture of commercial sexuality, one aspect of which is the repudiation of a feminism invoked only to be summarily dismissed (see also Rosalind Gill 2003)"

Chick Lit

"scenarios and dilemmas facing the young women characters in the narratives of contemporary popular culture (especially so-called chick lit)."

"Individuals must now choose the kind of life they want to live. Girls must have a lifeplan. They must become more reflexive in regard to every aspect of their lives, from making the right choice in marriage, to taking responsibility for their own working lives,and not being dependent on a job for life or on the stable and reliable operations of a large-scale bureaucracy which in the past would have allocated its employees specific,and possibly unchanging, roles."

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