Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wresling with Postfeminism

Sarah Projanski’s offers several reasons the word “girl” has replaced “woman” in much of contemporary media. The most compelling is that girlhood “is always in process,” reaching for adult power, but never achieving it. (45) Not to get too second-wave, but what about internalized misogyny? ? It seems that some canonical postfeminist texts like What Not to Wear exhort their subjects to put away girlhood and act (or purchase) age appropriately. What does “age appropriate” mean? What marks the end of girlhood? To whom is this transformation made available? Why do I only answer to texts that interpolate me as a girl? Where are texts that address women? Where are the texts that address women as neither girls nor cougars? What anxieties does the word “women” provoke?

I'm still confused by the differences between 3rd Wave Feminism and Postfeminism. Does anyone identify as “postfeminist?” One author seems to think that young women reject the label “feminist” based on their knowledge of the shortcomings of second-wave feminism. Yet, in my experience listen to students disidentify with feminism, most do not have a reference for feminism outside of popular media. How do we account for their disidentification?

Projansky calls for scholars to move beyond either/or and both/and thinking about the pleasures and pitfalls provided by postfeminist texts. How does the postfeminist call to individual uniqueness and consumer identity make life more livable? For whom does it make life more livable?

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