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This timely collection brings feminist critique to bear on contemporary "postfeminist" mass media culture, analyzing phenomena ranging from female action films 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 accomplished its goals and is now a thing of the past. Yet, as the essays show, postfeminist discourses of transformation and empowerment are based on a limited vision of gender equality as already achieved yet somehow still unsatisfactory. 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 takes for granted 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. Among several essays investigating the origins of this pervasive cultural phenomenon is a compelling argument that postfeminism is more than a simple backlash against second-wave feminism. Other essays engage with specific media forms, including magazines, mainstream and independent cinema, popular music, and broadcast genres from primetime drama to reality television. Contributors examine postfeminist phenomena such as self-fashioning through makeovers and cosmetic surgery, the "metrosexual" male, and the "black chick flick." Interrogating Postfeminism demonstrates not only the viability of, but also the necessity for, a powerful feminist critique of contemporary popular culture.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii Introduction: Feminist Politics and Postfeminist Culture / Yvonne Tasker and Diane Negra 1 1. Postfeminism and Popular Culture: Bridget Jones and the New Gender Regime / Angela McRobbie 27 2. Mass Magazine Cover Girls: Some Reflections on Postfeminist Girls and Postfeminism's Daughters / Sarah Projansky 40 3. Living a Charmed Life: The Magic of Postfeminist Sisterhood / Hannah E. Sanders 73 4. "I Hate My Job, I Hate Everybody Here": Adultery, Boredom, and the "Working Girl" in Twenty-First Century American Cinema / Suzanne Leonard 100 5. Remapping the Resonances of Riot Grrrl: Feminisms, Postfeminisms, and "Processes" of Punk / Anna Feigenbaum 132 6. Killing Bill: Rethinking Feminism and Film Violence / Lisa Coulthard 153 7. Queer Eye for the Straight Guise: Camp, Posfeminism, and the Fab Five's Makeovers of Masculinity / Steven Cohan 176 8. What's Your Flava? Race and Postfeminism in Media Culture / Sarah Banet-Weiser 201 9. The Fashion Police: Governing the Self in What Not to Wear / Martin Roberts 227 10. Divas, Evil Black Bitches, and Bitter Black Women: African American Women in Postfeminist and Post-Civil-Rights Popular Culture / Kimberly Springer 249 11. Subjects of Rejuvenation: Aging in Postfeminist Culture / Sadie Wearing 277 Bibliography 311 Contributors 331 Index 355

Promotional Information

Feminist essays examining postfeminism in American and British popular culture.

About the Author

Yvonne Tasker is a professor of film and television studies at the University of East Anglia. She is the author of Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Cinema and Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre, and the Action Cinema as well as the editor of Action and Adventure Cinema.Diane Negra is a professor of film and television studies at the University of East Anglia. She is the author of Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom; the editor of The Irish in Us: Irishness, Performativity, and Popular Culture; and a coeditor of A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema, the latter two of which are both also published by Duke University Press.

Reviews

"This collection is just what I've been looking for: a smart feminist analysis of the curious phenomenon of postfeminism. The editors and contributors provide ample and intelligent criticism of 'commodity feminism' and the lies of 'self-empowerment' in myriad makeover shows, plastic surgery ads, and female action films, without belittling the power, appeal, and sheer gusto of the myths of empowerment, diversity, and 'girl power' in contemporary culture. Interrogating Postfeminism demonstrates that announcements of the 'death' of feminism have been premature."--Pamela Robertson Wojcik, author of Guilty Pleasures: Feminist Camp from Mae West to Madonna "This is a benchmark text: rich, authoritative, timely. Bringing together work by key authors on most of the significant phenomena and genres of 'postfeminist' culture, it will convince readers of the necessity of confronting the term."--Patricia White, author of Uninvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability

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