We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement

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PublicAffairs
Pub. Date:
2016
Language:
English
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Feminism has hit the big time. Once a dirty word brushed away with a grimace, "feminist" has been rebranded as a shiny label sported by movie and pop stars, fashion designers, and multi-hyphenate powerhouses like Beyoncé. It drives advertising and marketing campaigns for everything from wireless plans to underwear to perfume, presenting what's long been a movement for social justice as just another consumer choice in a vast market. Individual self-actualization is the goal, shopping more often than not the means, and celebrities the mouthpieces. But what does it mean when social change becomes a brand identity? Feminism's splashy arrival at the center of today's media and pop-culture marketplace, after all, hasn't offered solutions to the movement's unfinished business. Planned Parenthood is under sustained attack, women are still paid 77 percent--or less--of the man's dollar, and vicious attacks on women, both on- and offline, are utterly routine. Andi Zeisler, a founding editor of Bitch Media, draws on more than twenty years' experience interpreting popular culture in this biting history of how feminism has been co-opted, watered down, and turned into a gyratory media trend. Surveying movies, television, advertising, fashion, and more, Zeisler reveals a media landscape brimming with the language of empowerment, but offering little in the way of transformational change. Witty, fearless, and unflinching, We Were Feminists Once is the story of how we let this happen, and how we can amplify feminism's real purpose and power.
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ISBN:
9781610395908
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Grouped Work ID 3170d0c8-778f-3213-65dc-e0207f4ad8eb
Full title we were feminists once from riot grrrl to covergirland 174 the buying and selling of a political mov
Author zeisler andi
Grouping Category book
Last Update 2018-06-24 01:13:38AM
Last Indexed 2018-06-24 03:20:28AM

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Feminism has sold out, or so argues Andi Zeisler, the founding editor and creative director of Bitch magazine: Today's feminism is a choose-your-own adventure story. Women can choose which aspects of feminist empowerment sound the sexiest, and hype those to the exclusion of more urgent political concerns.
Today, feminism is no longer a dirty word, and women purporting to stand up for women's equality now include high-powered names like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Emma Watson. Hip underwear lines sell granny pants with “feminist" emblazoned on the back. In every bookstore, there are scores of seductive feminist how-to business guides telling women how to achieve “it all." In fact, it's the same kind of sloganeering and wishful thinking that sells low-fat yogurt on TV commercials: get a gym membership, get a job, get a husband, wear a power suit, enter the boardroom. Meanwhile, access to abortion clinics is growing ever more difficult for many women across the country, and Arizona has passed a law requiring doctors to tell women undergoing an abortive procedure about a junk science method of “reversing" abortion espoused by the Tea Party right. Feminism has gone mainstream, but true equality is never an easy sell.
Drawing on almost 20 years of experience covering popular culture from the frontlines of the feminist movement, Andi Zeisler will tell a cultural history through the stories of institutions and real women, feminists and otherwise, in America. She exposes how feminism has transformed into something barely warranting the name, ignoring the many for the one, shamelessly colluding with market forces and popular culture. This kind of feminism is not particularly nuanced, and it doesn't challenge identities and hegemonies as much as it offers nips and tucks. It is no longer a collective action on behalf of all women and those traditionally marginalized, but more about self-actualization of the few. Witty and fearless, We Were Feminists Once is story of how we could have let this happen, and where we go from here.

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title_display We Were Feminists Once
title_full We Were Feminists Once From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement
title_short We Were Feminists Once
title_sub From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement
topic_facet History, Nonfiction, Sociology, Women's Studies